Digging through the unpublished archives of this blog we found this: A reaction written about the release of the new IKEA catalog of a year ago. No matter what you feel about IKEA—as a corporation, design entity, or manufacturer of furniture designed to be thrown away—you have to give them respect as one of the best design oriented companies out there. Anyway, here it is.
If you saw The Devil Wears Prada, you'll no doubt remember the scene where Meryl Streep's character looses a ninja-like assault of deadly force upon her assistant's fashion naiveté. The restrained diatribe, more or less, described how color comes to the market. It does not arrive arbitrarily, she argues. In the world of fashion subtle changes of color often come at the ends of long and arduous journeys, whether it's a sweater hanging in a Rodeo Drive boutique or polo shirt in the bargain bin at Walmart. Never scoff at the nano-differences between two blues.
This is also true of design trends in general; The evolution may begin crawling on the catwalks, but for the mainstream, they don't begin to walk upright until they reach Ikea. For better or worse, Ikea is trending in the classic epoch. Then, it seems, is when the rest of the world begins to notice.
So, when Ikea launches a new catalog, it's a big deal.
Aesthetically, the degrees between the above and Architectural Digest are minute. Ikea admits that many of the photos use environments created in the studio and not displays of product in their natural habitat. It's hard to argue with the results: These pictures are pretty. Results in your own home are sure to vary.
Ikea in the professional kitchen (it's a dream so just go with it): A room such as this could only encourage deep breaths and gentle thoughts. Gordon Ramsey* could not exist in here.
*He of reality television's Hell's Kitchen, et. al.
Ikea knows: The trend of vintage industrial is shown in full flower.
This is not some Sears catalog of old, to end its short life in a back country outhouse. If this isn't where design is going it is certainly where its gone and here the world follows.
In any event, you've got to admit it looks pretty good.