ABBA, Volvo, IKEA and Swedish Meatballs; great inventions from a cold and sometimes dark country, Sweden.

I remember when IKEA came to Australia, with a shop in Waverly, Melbourne. There was a big commotion in my family’s furniture shop. IKEA prices seemed so low that my parents felt genuinely threatened. The family eventually plucked up the courage to go out and do some competitor research rather than being in disbelief about the rumours of cheap furniture that looked good. Looking back I can only conclude my parents were furniture snobs.

IKEA was the here and now, designs not made to last a lifetime. Design that would not take a lifetime to afford. The culture of Australian Interior Design shifted. Classicism, like my parent’s taste in furniture, was becoming a cycle that didn’t re-immerge for another 20 years and when it did it was the same but different!

IKEA furniture seems to subscribe to the Modernist image of ‘form follows function’. In recent years Classicism has crept back in as a theme in IKEA design. This Classicism seems to be a Post Modern reaction to, what I think is, a largely a conservative market in Australia.

I love IKEA! The concept, the DIY, the café and the shop layout that gives you a feeling of being a rat in a maze. Mamma Mia!

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