Marcus wrote a great post about IKEA a couple of months ago, check that out here: IKEA furniture – cultural differences? I’d like to continue with a slightly different side to IKEA. First of all, the IKEA concept is an interesting one, very align with the Swedish equality mentality. Everybody should be able to furnish their homes nicely, even if they don’t have a lot of money. I think that idea is a very good one.
As Marcus also mentions in his post, people seem to find reasons to discard of their current living room and refurnish it with the latest fashion, sometimes even every year. This stylish type of home is accessible to almost everybody, and to make it even more easy you can even order a pre-designed living room or kitchen.
Lately quite a few people have started to question the creativity behind IKEA homes. If people follow the yearly home interior fashion, and don’t even pick out the furniture themselves, then how different will the homes all around Sweden actually look?
A lot of young people are therefore finding other, alternative ways to cheap stylish home interior. Second hand stores have become a popular concept, as well as pyssel which is the Swedish word for handy crafts. A lot of people are buying old things and redoing them in different retro styles.
If you are interested in testing your Swedish language skills the following blog might be a fun thing to look at. It is a young Swedish girl in her last year of high school. As her final high school project she started a blog so people could follow her complete make over of an old living room. She’s found old things and remade them herself. There are tips on how to do things yourself as well. Check it out here!
So while IKEA symbolizes Sweden and what Swedish homes look like, it also says a lot about Swedish culture. Aspects like a structured/organized lifestyle, openness to innovation, but at the same time Swedes’ reluctance to stick out and of course equality. All these are some of the factors that I think contribute to IKEA’s success in Sweden at least.
What do you think of IKEA?