The HEMNES series was launched as an updated version of the rural rustic furniture, which has been sold at IKEA in various models since the 1970s. For many years it was exclusively a bedroom series, but it sold so well that furniture for others rooms started being added.
Different kinds of stain were used to add an aged look to the rustic pieces. Already in 1990, IKEA launched antique-stained furniture in a kind of continental rural style, and it was very popular. In the years to come, it sold better than any other style in the IKEA range. Over the years, HEMNES has kept up with the times and has been launched in a steady stream of new colours and designs. But as the new millennium approached, it was time for renewal. The old antique stain was thought to be a little too drab. A new, greyer, more stylish stain was developed. The surface treatment was called ‘patinated’ and replaced the antique stain. New furniture was also developed in a somewhat stricter interpretation of the rural style, without the frills or coping of the earlier pieces. One important product in the initiative was a chest of drawers in solid patinated pine, designed by Knut Hagberg and Marianne Hagberg. It was named HEMNES and launched in the 2002 IKEA catalogue. The products sold well, and in 2004 HEMNES also appeared in a white-lacquered version. Several new bedroom products were added.
By now, popular antique shows on TV had increased people’s interest in antique furniture. This meant that furniture like HEMNES felt less exciting, since it was clear that all the furniture came from the same place. To meet the higher demand for individuality, IKEA therefore produced new colours of stain such as yellow, blue, red and black, which were used on some furniture in the series. The colours were inspired by Swedish 18th century, and the most dazzling piece was a new, yellow four-poster bed. The HEMNES series once again felt more exciting and individual. The black colour also broadened the international interest. In 2008 a new, grey-brown stain was made, inspired by old, windswept, untreated timber. It was launched in the 2011 IKEA catalogue with new storage furniture, tables and desks for home and home-office use in the HEMNES series. Two years later, bathroom furniture was added.
Still today, 20 years after launch, the entire HEMNES series is sold in four different stain colours for every room in the home.