David Byrne just took his first-ever trip to IKEA and came back with this neat little analogy:
IKEA is huge. We went up to the second floor where the shelves, sofas, tables and lamps are all arrayed into tasteful little room settings – rooms, but with mysterious tags hanging everywhere. Immediately I thought it was like entering a videogame world. Who lives here? What do they do? Why is that book on the table? Is that significant? Could it be some kind of clue to the occupant's identity?…
One soon realizes that one of the goals of this "game" is to decide which cabinets, in which wood or wood-like material, would, could or should be combined with which counter materials, and then to match them to a particular style sofa and upholstery, and finally, to select the color and texture of floor material that would coordinate best with all the above.
There are free measuring tapes available to help you, dotted lines are painted on the floors (to help determine square footage), and personnel hover at computers waiting to guide you through the whole mix and match system – game spoilers, one might say.
See also: If IKEA was a video game