Trend Alert: The Revival of Vintage IKEA
If you have a thrifty mind and appreciate the enduring quality of vintage furniture, IKEA is probably not exactly on your dream list of brands. Yet, over the past few years, the Swedish design behemoth of mass-produced furniture has been propelled into the public eye as some of its rare finds hit sky-high prices around the world. But how can a brand that is so famous for its affordability, self-assembly concept, and simple designs become the source of newly coveted design collectibles?
Designer furniture on a shoestring budget
It all started with a concept that all people should be presented with the same opportunities regardless of how well off they may be. Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of the Swedish brand, IKEA, grounded his business on the merits that everyone deserves to be surrounded by quality design.
Back in the days when furniture design stars made history by creating some of the most well-known pieces of all time, IKEA decided to team up with some of the most well-respected names to offer affordable replicas to everyone who is looking to fill their homes with high-end pieces, but don’t exactly have a budget for the real deal.
Today, the superb design of these vintage IKEA pieces heightens their prices on the vintage furniture markets, as classics remain classics even if they come in a budget package. Ironically, the products that were supposed to bridge the money gap are now being sold for a pretty penny.
Some of the most fruitful of all IKEA’s collaborations were the ones with Verner Panton, Noboru Nakamura, Gillis Lundgren, Morten Kjelstrup, and Allan Østgaard. Some of these designs can still be found in the stores even to this day, but not every designer product that lined the retailer’s shelves became popular with the buyers.
Ikea White Rocking Chair, Lounge Chair, Model Axvall By Niels Gammelgaard, 2002 | Villa Vintage
From failure to success
Every now and then, the pieces failed to impress and they were discontinued shortly after they hit the stores. They were either too advanced for their time or, in some cases, came with a higher price tag which made them less desirable than the rest of IKEA’s offerings.
But back in the day, high-priced items also meant higher production standards and better quality materials, which allowed them to not only survive to this day but still be in ship shape. When you add scarcity into the equation, it is obvious why these vintage IKEA pieces are now so largely coveted.
They don’t make them as they used to
The furniture retailer giant isn’t immune to this unflattering trend that’s been shaking the entire industry lately. The majority of the newly manufactured furniture is just not as well made as it used to be, and the same is true for IKEA.
If you score a retro IKEA piece in a great condition, chances are it will outlast its newly made counterparts.
The rose-tinted spectacles of nostalgia
But nostalgia also plays a major role here adding sentimental value to the vintage IKEA furniture. Up-and-coming buyers have a personal relationship with vintage IKEA designs as they were surrounded by those pieces while growing up. The majority of the collectors interested in scoring rare IKEA finds are fairly young people who have become financially established and are now looking to recreate what they loved from their childhood homes.
The ‘60s and the ‘70s pieces are highly desirable, but the ‘90s are making a comeback too.
How do I find old IKEA items?
Let’s take a trip down the memory lane and discover vintage IKEA gems available at Vinterior.
Noboru Nakamura Bore Armchairs For Ikea In Leather And Linen, 1970s
This beautiful leather chair is one of the most sought-after vintage IKEA collectibles. It is extremely rare and highly durable, supporting the claim that they don’t make them like they used to.
Safari Chair By Karin Mobring For Ikea, 1970s
Designed by Karin Mobrang back in 1973, the Safari chair comes with a cotton canvas seat and a backrest attached to a pine frame with three leather belts. It’s very elegant and simple in design.
Skye Chaise Lounge By Tord Björklund For Ikea, 1980s
One more collector’s pick, the Skye chaise provides the ultimate comfort and is easy to move around the house. It is available in light brown or black leather.
Which one speaks to you the most? Let us know in the comments section below. For more vintage IKEA inspiration, be sure to explore our preowned vintage IKEA collection.