70 years of IKEA LIVING Rooms, which is your style?

Up until the last edition of the IKEA Catalog, its release was an annual event we looked forward to.

I miss it. The excitement of leafing through 200+ pages of inspiration and ideas. Bookmarking pages to come back to them later. Then running to the store to see the new products in person.

Guess I’m not the only one. This year’s excitement is replaced with a #throwback, thanks to Household Quotes.

They researched the recently-released archives of IKEA catalogues of each era, pinpointing trends and styles from the past 70 years. The team then produced realistic digital renders for every decade, arranging the pieces in a classic s0fa-armchair-coffee-table living room setting.

And the result is a brief history of IKEA Living Rooms in 90 seconds.

Trends with staying power

The MCM style of 1960 is still going strong. The ESBJERB armchair (which the EKENÄSET is a close cousin) and RIO coffee table would fit beautifully in a modern living room. Will IKEA consider bringing them back?

ikea living room style evolution

The bold, organic shapes from the 70s are also here to stay. Like the tulip coffee table and the IMPALA sofa designed by Gillis Lundgren. Gillis is the designer behind of some of IKEA’s most iconic products including the BILLY bookcase.

ikea living room style evolution

He is also renowned for being the employee who gave birth to the concept of flat packs. The story goes, he need to get to a catalogue photo shoot and the legs of the LOVET table wasn’t going in quietly. He quickly unscrewed the legs of the table and voilà! The table fit in the booth of his car.

And notably for the 2020 living room, a WFH area features prominently in the forefront. I wish they had picked a LISABO desk instead of a side table because the NOLMYRA armchair looks a tad out of place against the low table. Nevertheless, it is a visual reminder of how many of us have lived through 2020 — working pretty much everywhere in the home.


Two things remained

First, the wingback armchair. Called REX back then, it is now sold as the similarly styled STRANDMON.

ikea living room style evolution

The REX sold for 215 Krona in the 50’s (today’s inflation adjusted price of $350), while the STRANDMON currently sells for $279 – $399, depending on material.

Which leads us to the second point, the prices.

The living room prices mostly hovered around $1,700 to $1,800. It reached a high of $2,800 in the 2010s, partly because they picked the higher priced STOCKHOLM range in full-grain leather. But if anything, it shows how consistent and affordable IKEA has remained throughout its history.

ikea living room style evolution

Which is your IKEA living room style?

While I don’t camp in one specific style, I find elements from each era that I can embrace. The slim wooden armchair from the 60s, sleek BESTÅ wall entertainment unit from the present … there are many IKEA pieces that I have loved over the years. And still love. (Here’s looking at you, BILLY.)

What is your favourite IKEA living room style? Let us know in the comments below.

Jules Yap