When the LÖVET coffee table was launched in the 1956 IKEA catalogue, Ingvar Kamprad described it as “a lovely little thing, in ultra-modern design”.
LÖVET had jacaranda in the top and brass-covered feet. It could be packed into a small flat pack, or “individually packed in wood wool & cardboard with string” as it was described at the time. LÖVET was, however, not the first self-assembly product in the IKEA range. They were the DELFI, KÖKSA and RIGA tables, launched in 1953.
LÖVET remained in the IKEA catalogue until 1962, and then took a long break until 2013. That was when product developer Glenn Berndtsson was talking to Ingvar Kamprad about going through old documents, what IKEA likes to call ‘the treasure chest’, to see if there were any nice products that could be given new life.
“We knew that a lot of people were interested in these design classics, and felt the time was right to resurrect some of them,” Glenn remembers. A decision was made to recreate several pieces of classic furniture from the 1950s and ’60s, including the iconic LÖVET table. The aim was to produce a table as close to the original as possible, but no one knew where the old drawings were.
Glenn and his colleagues went to the IKEA historical archive and collection and found an original table.
“That way we could establish the right shape, weigh the table and photocopy the legs to prepare for production,” says Glenn.
Another important difference with the reproduced coffee table was that IKEA no longer used jacaranda, a tropical wood species that, today, has to be protected from logging. So Glenn and his colleagues chose more sustainable species.
“They are sawn in a way so they look just like the original. Put the two next to each other and it’s almost impossible to see the difference,” says Glenn.
The new version of LÖVET is called LÖVBACKEN, and was available at selected IKEA stores in 2021.