It’s modern! It’s bright! It’s cheap! I have to build it myself? It must be IKEA.
A museum is opening on June 30 in IKEA’S birthplace of Älmhult, Sweden, to celebrate the rich history of the 73-year-old company. While the museum is being funded by the brand itself and will likely leave out some the billion-dollar company’s darker (and more interesting) moments, like the horse meat meatball fiasco and founder Ingvar Kamprad’s alleged Nazi past, visitors can expect a visual history lesson in design.
Any longtime customer of IKEA will appreciate exhibits entirely dedicated to the “Billy” bookcase and the “Klippan” sofa. The museum will also include “period rooms” decorated exactly how they would be for, say, a 1973 IKEA catalog photo shoot. Speaking of catalogs, those can be found in abundance on the walls of the space. The curators put historical accuracy above everything else and they put out a request to track down all pieces they didn’t already have—nothing was reproduced.
In part, the museum is an effort to increase tourism in the small, southern Sweden town. It occupies the first retail space ever used by IKEA (which appears to be as overwhelmingly huge as any of today’s 300-plus IKEA stores). The brand is also in the finishing stages of its hotel expansion (yeah, the IKEA hotel is a thing) in Älmhult. Visit the IKEA museum’s website here for more pictures and information.