Interior design articles focus on what is seen as a ‘Swedish lifestyle’, and many convey the stripped-back, functional home as a role model in terms of style. This fits IKEA like a glove. The design is now often based on traditional craftsmanship in local, environmentally sustainable materials. Light woods like pine and birch dominate. The colour scheme starts from the white-painted rooms of modernism, but are complemented with rustic colours in shades of red, blue, yellow and green.
Life at home
The 1990s begin with a severe recession, and the focus is once again on basic everyday needs. In home furnishing, the quite bombastic extravagance of the 1980s is replaced by a minimalist, functional ideal. The function and feel of the home are now more important (and less expensive) than the quest for status.
In the wake of the recession, the home as a safe refuge is seen as increasingly important. The term ‘cocooning’ is coined. For many IKEA customers, the hectic night-life of the 1980s is replaced by cosy time with the family, with a video and a takeaway. ‘Compact living’ also becomes a necessity as the world’s expanding cities become increasingly expensive to live in and homes get smaller.
IKEA launches ingenious, efficient solutions for singles and families with children. The catalogues devote more than 20 pages to children’s rooms, and the stores now have a Children’s IKEA department with its very own range, developed after consultations with child experts like doctors and education specialists – and of course families around the world. Children now truly take their place in the home, and rooms are adapted around their needs.
More and more people are looking for comfortable, functional, discreet, cosy furniture with washable covers. Contemporary design unites a strong sense of style with low prices. And alongside the minimalist aesthetic blooms a rural, nostalgic style of modern simplicity and freshness.