I’ve loved IKEA ever since I was a kid. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where I grew up, going to IKEA was special. It was a longer drive than usual for my family, and I usually slept along the way.
Photo Credit: Twincinema
I find that the setup of IKEA itself is special. It has the one-way Scandinavian showroom layout so that customers can see all the products before they can reach the check-out counter. So for me, IKEA was not just a store, it was a visual experience.
Of course my parents were really the ones buying something, but usually they would get me an oatmeal cookie at the exit cafe. Again, this adds to my IKEA experience.
So I still have our IKEA catalogues from that time and the paper is already brittle. But it’s still cool. The designs are still cool. IKEA is one of the reasons I love design and IKEA has taught me that for things to look good, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The nice clean lines also add to the comfortable quality of IKEA furniture.
I find it interesting that the spelling of IKEA is just a letter difference from IDEA; because IKEA, especially through its catalogues, encourages people to get ideas from them, as something free one can get from a business. It’s really something when a business can also inspire.
Going through the catalogues, one can even learn lessons on entrepreneurship. For example, to keep prices low, IKEA:
1. “Designs the Price Tag First”
– with this limitation, innovation is key
2. Makes most furniture so that they can be FLAT-PACKED
– thereby lowering storage and transportation costs since they don’t transport air
3. Lets you assemble the furniture
– Sorry for the people that hate this, but I find the IKEA tool and assembly method convenient.
Another thing that I love about IKEA is its product naming system. Using Scandinavian proper names and words allows it to share more of Scandinavian culture to the world. According to Wikipedia, the naming system is as follows:
- Upholstered furniture, coffee tables, rattan furniture, bookshelves, media storage, doorknobs: Swedish placenames (for example: Klippan)
- Beds, wardrobes, hall furniture: Norwegian place names
- Dining tables and chairs: Finnish place names
- Bookcase ranges: Occupations
- Bathroom articles: Scandinavian lakes, rivers and bays
- Kitchens: grammatical terms, sometimes also other names
- Chairs, desks: men’s names
- Fabrics, curtains: women’s names
- Garden furniture: Swedish islands
- Carpets: Danish place names
- Lighting: terms from music, chemistry, meteorology, measures, weights, seasons, months, days, boats, nautical terms
- Bedlinen, bed covers, pillows/cushions: flowers, plants, precious stones
- Children’s items: mammals, birds, adjectives
- Curtain accessories: mathematical and geometrical terms
- Kitchen utensils: foreign words, spices, herbs, fish, mushrooms, fruits or berries, functional descriptions
- Boxes, wall decoration, pictures and frames, clocks: colloquial expressions, also Swedish place names
My Photo: I got the idea of gluing 3 shells in a row from the IKEA catalogue.
Whether we like it or not, all of us are representatives of our country. Even businesses represent our respective countries. My last post about Ayala was also about a business that represented its country well.
Now it’s up to us, even as individuals, whether we represent our country well, or not.