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the cult you might wanna dip a toe into: vintage Ikea

ok let's be honest, I'm quite sure you already have.

Quite hard to miss actually! Everyones loving the Niels Gammelgaard shelf for a hot minute now. And I get it! Its clean, its airy, it has some good proportions to display your favourite books, flea market finds and add a cute lamp for good measure. Its clearly one of the less is more moments we all crave after the lockdown home trends got a little out of hand over time - maybe just my personal opinion looking back at it.

another perfect example, of a hands down good design they came up with is this table and chair combination. at this point pretty much any design by Gammelgaard is pretty sought after.

but what's going on with vintage Ikea quite deeper? its the retro design we all love? Is it the chrome, is it the rounded shapes? As perfectly resembled by the newly re released BAGGBODA table everyones hyped about? They make it no secret they heard the news: the older the Ikea label the happier the interior obsessed crowd. Me included.

I'm just going to drop a wild take now: and you can fight me on it - but I personally would never buy that said table. Not that the design isn't good, it somehow is so clean and classic, there's basically nothing to say against it. Still its new, it comes in a box, it's fresh from the shelf. I imagine it's somewhat the same experience to build, as a wacky kitchen cupboard, thats essentially just a white box to hide our ugly pots and plasticky noodle drainers which don't match the aesthetic. When I think of vintage Ikea I want that feel of findig a super old piece for free at the side of the road. with stains to remove and all. I want that google pic search moment, when it says it goes allegedly for 3000 on auction. And still its here sitting on the street, thrown out by someone - cause its 'just old Ikea' to them.

Isn't that one of the big parts why we're all so obsessed with thrifting. we want to feel like the thrift gods blessed us, it was waiting just for us. Personally what makes me the most happy is when its left in an horrible condition, but fixable. that was get me going, that proud feeling of accomplishment when I was able to bring a piece back to life.

This seamlessly brings me to another big thought of mine in the whole debate: QUALITY BABY! Lately I was quite shocked to see that an old table set from 2009 is made from real wood veneer and solid plywood. Maybe thats just me, but when I think of Ikea furniture these days, I think of the LACK table cross section, thats basically cardboard in some kind of hard plastic shell.

Its a genius concept, I'll give them that. But seeing all these people spending monthly incomes on their perfect pax configuration makes me sick sometimes. cause what they're buying is just sawdust pressed in sheets at the end of the day. So yes thats where I'm heading here. Old Ikea furniture is beautifully made, simple, clean looks, high quality materials like real wood, real stainless steel.

VAJER 1990s

MOMENT 1983 Niels Gammelgaard

This sideboard KORSÖR from 1967 looks nothing like what any 30 year old or younger thinks of when we talk IKEA. Its simply beautiful and so well made.

It just makes me so sad, why can't we see any exposed woods at okra anymore, like on this beautiful chair designed by Carl Öjerstam around 1971.

every sideboard and their matching stool is covered in white or black plastic film at Ikea nowadays. Maybe the IVAR will be the one and only exception. The frustration I feel when assembling a piece of furniture that basically has sawdust coming out of each and every pilot hole ... there's no great fix if you get scratches in a LACK table, you can't sand that weird shiny plasticky surface. And exactly this is what's really bothering me: the pieces aren't made for the long run anymore like they used to be. you can't disassemble a PAX 5 times. you can't give that fake wood foil a new stain. Its pretty much gone after some time of use. Bute we crave that good quality, the sort of quality thats repairable, thats changeable over the years. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means agains Ikea. I just find it so sad and frustrating to see how their design choices seemed to spiral down due to the cost efficiency.

We're all craving that pretty natural materials back, and you actually don't have to go that far back, to find them. this wicker chair from 2001-2005 by Carl Öjerstam is so funky and pretty. We want things like that!

lets take one last turn on tableware cause I love it so much. for example this STRATEG cutlery set from 1990 is so simple yet so timeless.

also from the 1990s IVIKEN lamp.

1990s table lamp

So I guess you have been on the hype train before, and you're even more now. Great! welcome on board. I just sometimes feel there is this litte shadow crawling up from under your thrifted couch, cause with every hype, with every trend there comes a downer ppl asking for crazy prices left and right. It really can be frustrating sometimes. so Breathe! breathe once more - and don't buy that super overpriced thing. or lets say: buy it when you want it sososososo much that you literally don't care, cause you would also pay 300 more - in this case buy it . In any other case: its IKEA - theres thousands and thousands around. keep your eyes peeled, do your research, visit that estate sale ... be that hunter. and you'll get lucky sooner or later. and trust me - it will be so much more exciting and satisfying when you find that special thing, that might be possible to revive.

but more on that in the next one.

1 Comment

Mar 26

Hi! Just popped here to say your blog is great! Please consider choosing a higher contrast design - the text is incredibly hard to read when it’s beige on lighter beige. It’s quite inaccessible for anyone who’s vision impaired - I’d love to be able to actually read what you’ve written!

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