IKEA: the brilliant story of the evolution of affordable design

IKEA is a Swedish multinational furniture retailer that has revolutionized the furniture industry by offering affordable, stylish, and functional furniture for homes and offices. Founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, the company has grown from a small mail-order business to a global brand with over 400 stores in 52 countries. 

If you didn’t know, the name is an acronym: Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (the village in which he grew up) – IKEA.

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The story of IKEA proves that the power of innovation and design can create one of the world’s most trusted and beloved retailers.

The origins and the mission

The company’s mission was to create a better everyday life for many people and to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

Kamprad started the company as a mail-order business, selling small items like pens and wallets, and eventually expanded into furniture. The company’s early designs were simple and functional, reflecting Kamprad’s belief that good design should be accessible to everyone, not just prosperous. In the 1950s, IKEA introduced its first piece of furniture, the Lövet table, and by the 1960s, the company had expanded into other areas of the home, including kitchens, bedrooms, and children’s rooms.

Innovative solutions

IKEA’s flat-pack design is one of the company’s most innovative and recognizable features. This design concept involves manufacturing furniture in such a way that it can be easily disassembled, flat-packed, and shipped in boxes. The idea behind the flat-pack design is to make furniture more affordable, accessible, and easy to transport.

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The flat-pack design was introduced early on and has since become a staple of the IKEA brand. By shipping furniture disassembled, the company is able to save on shipping costs and make its products more accessible to a wider range of customers. Customers can then assemble the furniture themselves, following the simple instructions included in the box.

Sustainability made cost-effective

IKEA has been at the forefront of using sustainable materials in its products. From recycled materials to renewable resources, the company has made a significant effort to reduce its environmental footprint and create more sustainable furniture options for its customers.

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Also, the company has always been committed to offering well-designed, functional furniture and household items at affordable prices. To that end, the company has collaborated with some of the world’s top designers, including Philippe Starck and Inga Sempé, to create innovative and stylish products that meet the needs of modern consumers.

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“Well-fed customers are happy customers”

IKEA’s motto, “Well-fed customers are happy customers,” reflects the company’s commitment to offering affordable and tasty food options in its cafes and restaurants. The idea behind this motto is that when customers are satisfied with their dining experience, they are more likely to have a positive impression of the store and are more likely to return in the future.

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To fulfill this motto, IKEA offers a range of affordable food options, including Swedish meatballs, sandwiches, salads, and desserts, all made with high-quality ingredients. The company’s cafes and restaurants are designed to provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere where customers can enjoy their meals in peace.


Lately, IKEA has been exploring ways to make smart home technology more accessible and affordable to a wider range of customers. The company has integrated smart home technology into many of its products, including lighting fixtures, thermostats, and other household appliances.

In conclusion, the story of IKEA’s evolution is a testament to the power of innovation and the importance of affordability in design. By combining simplicity and functionality with style and sustainability, IKEA has created a brand that has changed the furniture industry and improved the lives of millions of people around the world. 


From humble origins to global brand – a brief history of IKEA, IKEA

How IKEA continues to push the boundaries of design, Architectural Digest

A brand story about the success of IKEA, DesignWanted

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