How to improve Scandinavian chain store furniture.

Reading an article today in the Sydney Morning Herald, I was informed that there are companies across the world “piggybacking” onto IKEA products with improvements and decorations. Seems people will pay a lot more if the result personalises and differentiates the original item.

The article, attributed to Bloomberg, lists companies such as Prettypegssells which supply’s furniture legs, Superfront of Stockholm (both of Sweden) and Mykea which produces stickers. Comfort Works in Melbourne, Australia, retails slip covers for a sofa sold by IKEA: exceeding the original item’s price of $249AUS!

This is of great interest to me. I’ve been puzzled why people, including close acquaintances, with progressive ideas and ideals and an appreciation of personally crafted objects, will drive to and purchase furniture from the nearest Scandinavian supermarket chain store.

Of course, price is one reason. But what is the value of something replicated across the world with no connection to local culture and destined to be dumped: most likely on the side of a road?

I have an admission. More than twenty years ago, myself and my partner Claire, bought a queen bed from IKEA, most likely for price, and from a store probably a hundredth in size smaller than the current flagship in Sydney.
Within six months the bolt on pine legs broke off and I had them remade from timber to my own design. The management at the store was honest and reasonable and admitted that they couldn’t rectify the design flaw. They gave a discount on another item and we were satisfied. The bed, well it went on to last longer than Claire would have preferred.

Contact me if you would like an improved version of something spied somewhere else. Made in a little place called…Sydney!