FOR AN INTERIORS LOVER, there are few invitations that could top being asked to visit Ikea HQ in Sweden. So when that exact situation presented itself to me a few months ago, I was pretty stoked*. It’s important to note,
I am not someone who squeals with delight when my husband broaches the idea of an Ikea mission on Saturday afternoons. I love the idea of it, but I’m a horribly impulsive shopper and crap at assembling anything more complex than a toasted sandwich.
Nevertheless, my mind went into overdrive about what I might find at this mythical place – giant Allen keys, meatballs and big blue bags as far as the eye could see? Quite unbelievably, my daydream wasn’t too far off the mark. There really was a giant Allen key outside the Ikea Hotell, a whole restaurant devoted to its famous meatballs and shiny, silver versions of their big blue Frakta bags on tap. It was total sensory overload, like Disneyland for furniture.
But the thing that really stuck with me was the people. After spending 48 hours immersed in the Ikea universe, it was their mission – that everyone should be able to enjoy good design – that really moved me. Good design should make life better, whether it saves you time, is more sustainable or simply puts a smile on your face, and surely everyone deserves that.
*Understatement of the year!
The Ikea Hotell is, of course, furnished with some of the brand’s best-selling designs.
SHARE YOUR STYLE! WE LOVE SEEING HOW YOU STYLE YOUR COPIES OF REAL LIVING, AND THIS MONTH WE HAVE AN AMAZING HONORÉ “CROISETTE” COTTON CHAIR FROM BASTILLE & SONS, WORTH $1190, TO GIVE AWAY! TO ENTER, POST YOUR BEST VIGNETTE STARRING THE NEW ISSUE ON INSTAGRAM WITH THE HASHTAG #REALLIVINGFLATLAY, AND TELL US IN 25 WORDS OR LESS: “WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THIS ISSUE OF REAL LIVING?” YOU ALSO NEED TO FOLLOW @REALLIVINGMAG AND @BASTILLEANDSONS ON INSTAGRAM TO BE ELIGIBLE. MY OWN CATALOGUE
Spoilt for choice
A rainbow of colour swatches, as far as the eye could see!
Tool time The Allen key to end all Allen keys outside Ikea HQ! I CAME, I SAW, I DRANK THE ELDERFLOWER KOOL-AID! HERE ARE A FEW HIGHLIGHTS FROM MY TRIP TO IKEA HQ – SEE THE FULL STORY ON PAGE 59.
I couldn’t resist having my photo taken on the cover of the catalogue.
Be our guest
In the hot seat Emma does some product testing of her own at our cover shoot – see page 44 for our guide to rocking white interiors.