Seven Living Room Designs Inspired by Half a Century of IKEA Classics

In 1958 a furniture designer called Ingvar Kamprad decided to start a small mail-order business called IKEA. Today, this iconic brand has 378 stores worldwide, generating $46 billion in sales every year. And so to celebrate this fantastic journey, the team from HouseholdQuotes created seven living room designs based on the last 70 years of IKEA’s incredible success.

There’s a design for each of the last seven decades. Check them out below.

The 1950 IKEA living room

In the 1950s homeowners could deck out their living room with IKEA furniture for around $1800. That would have got you a stylish UTO table, suave-looking Rex armchair for relaxing Sunday afternoons, and IKEA’s signature Palett standing lamp.

IKEA in the 1960s

IKEA embraced the 1960s Mad Men era. The three-seater Kolding grey sofa would have been perfect for a post-liquid lunch nap, and the Varie cabinet transformed into a home bar for entertaining colleagues or potential clients. Atom-aged yellow helix wallpaper added a dash of psychedelic flair.

The 1970s IKEA look

Style-wise, the 1970s gets a bad rap. And there’s a good reason why bell-bottoms never made a real comeback. But IKEA’s 1970s designs have stood the test of time. The iconic three-seater Impala sofa cost over $1,000 back in the day, but it would look good in any living room in any decade.

IKEA makes its mark on the 80s

The 1980s was another era that true style seemed to pass by. But it was also the decade when IKEA brought one of its greatest designs to the market. Described as Sweden’s most purchased bookcase, the oak veneer Billy Case has racked up over 41million sales worldwide. If you stood all those cases end-to-end, they’d form a wall over 70,000km long!

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IKEA in the 1990s

IKEA kept things simple during the 1990s. Its design teams focused on creating practical pieces of furniture defined by clear but elegant lines. The box-shaped Lack coffee table and Lavin lap encapsulate a design period that blended form with function.

IKEA in the 21st-century

IKEA began the new millennia by reviving Noboru Nakamura’s 1976 POANG cantilever armchair. The 2000s version was an exposed wooden frame draped in thick cushions, creating a super-comfy armchair experience. You didn’t just sit in the POANG; you melted into it. “A chair shouldn’t be a tool that binds and holds the sitter,” said the POANG’s original creator. “It should be a tool that provides us with an emotional richness and creates an image where we let off our frustration.”

Back to the source in 2010

IKEA’s 2010 designs paid homage to the mega-corps humble roots. The 2010 Stockholm collection included a full-grain leather sofa and a smooth, high-quality wool rug handwoven by master artisans.

The contemporary IKEA look

Today’s IKEA designers are fully onboard with the less is more philosophy that will define a new era of sustainability and responsible consumer behavior.  The NOLMYRA armchair embodies the 21st-century minimalist look, while Johan Kroon’s geometric glass coffee table has a futuristic feel that hints at what the next 70 years of IKEA designs could bring.

Some styles age quickly, but designers like IKEA that embrace change and stay ahead of the trends are truly timeless.

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