4 Times Ikea Surprised the World This Summer

Europe’s favourite flat-pack furniture store, Ikea has had an adventurous summer, how does yours compare?

From teaching foodies to whip up Scandinavian delicacies with top chefs in a London pop-up restaurant and exhibiting their 70 year history in a dedicated museum in Älmhult, Sweden, to refusing to collaborate with Kanye West – Ikea’s summer has been anything but ordinary for a furniture store….

1. Ikea Launched their New Catalogue

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Ikea’s annual catalogue lands every August, but what’s so surprising about the 2017 edition released last month, is how hard it tries to convince you that having a small home is trendy – critics have even (unfairly) called it a dystopian view of the future.

From wall holders for your chairs and sofa-beds that you, not your guests, should use every night, to a standing mini-kitchen for homes too cosy to have a fitted kitchen. The new catalogue is packed with well-designed, functional and affordable furniture as ever, ideal if you’re also obsessed with space-saving.

2. Ikea Opened a Pop-Up Restaurant in London

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It’s called The Dining Club and from 10th September to 25th September 2016, you and up to 19 mates can reserve your space and seek it out in Shoreditch – where you’ll celebrate the joy of cooking and learn traditional Swedish recipes under the watchful eye of head chef Fred Bolin, without spending a single penny. It’s free.

And it’s not about Ikea’s famous meatballs either, think salmon tartar with beetroot, capers, cucumber, chives and crème or pan-fried pollock, with Swedish roly poly for afters. You’ll have your very own sous chef and maître de, with all of your ingredients (and booze to wash dishes down with) provided for you.

Listen to special talks on everything from creative cooking for kids and reducing food waste, delicious Scandi food to the future of food, at Ikea’s temporary pop-up restaurant.

N&C Showrooms, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PG.

3. Ikea created a Swedish Ikea Museum

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The world’s first Ikea store in Älmhult, Sweden recently transformed into the first ever Ikea museum, with four floors of exhibitions, from fully furnished rooms, old catalogues, Klippan Sofas, Billy Bookcases and founder Ingvar Kampra’s modest office. There’s even a fully fitted Ikea bedroom above your head on the ceiling.

How many shops cram over 70 years of their history, customer stories and products in a public museum? It’s bizarre. And while you can peruse 20,000 items, spanning the decades, you can’t take them home with you, which is bound to feel weird – since the museum looks a lot like a classic Ikea megastore.

4. Ikea Rejected Kanye West

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From March to August 2016, Kanye West kept badgering Ikea for a collaboration project through Twitter, even telling BBC Radio 1 ‘I’d love to work with Ikea – make furniture or interior design or architecture’. While tweeting random sketches of beds, he made it pretty clear that he wanted to create a minimalist apartment inside of a college dorm for his fans.

Surprisingly, Ikea turned him down last month – sending a diagram of a ‘Yeezy’ bed and nothing more. It’s a dig at the huge bed in his viral ‘Famous’ music video, and unfortunately, it seems they’ll never actually make one.  

To speak to someone in Ikea’s customer service team, call this direct number.

Cover image copyright IKEA. Kanye West image copyright IKEA Australia. All images copyright IKEA press office.