Depending on the designer you ask, IKEA may have done any number of things for the interior design industry. You’ll hear both ends of the spectrum from loving IKEA to hating IKEA and everything in between. Regardless of an interior designer’s personal feelings, the truth is that IKEA has changed the interior design industry in more ways than one.
One of the first ways that it has altered the interior design industry is that consumers now have more options. Back before IKEA became popular in the United States, furniture was typically pigeonholed as a wood product. Sure there could be some glass features, but the main structure of the furniture piece was wood. You had different options in terms of type of wood and finish color, but you were going to be purchasing a piece of wood furniture that looked like wood.
IKEA introduced a bounty of color and modern style into the world. While interior designers were always well aware of these design styles, consumers were not as aware. Consumers were also able to choose between a vintage look and a sleek, modern look. With more consumer awareness regarding options, interior designers actually had a lot more to play with.
Another change brought about by IKEA was the concept of more affordable furniture. Those large oak armoire of the past were not cheap and they were not light. Then IKEA came along with its sleek, matte gray, armoire that could pretty much be lifted by two average people.
Not only did it look different, the price tag also dropped significantly. It is much easier for someone to part ways with $500 for a new couch rather than $4000 for a new couch. For more consumers, this mean they could redesign the rooms in their home whereas before the costs were just too great to justify a redesign. So grandma’s old, flower print loveseat was still the centerpiece of the living room. Now with IKEA, that same flower print loveseat was the centerpiece of the lawn out front, waiting for trash removal.
The affordability of IKEA’s furniture also gave interior designer’s the option to provide their clients with a less expensive route while still providing appealing design aesthetics. Obviously, this cheaper furniture comes with a tradeoff.
As everyone knows, usually a significantly cheaper product is also going to be cheaper in quality. This holds true for IKEA furniture. That’s not to say it is bad persea, it will hold up for a few years, but don’t expect to be passing it down to your grandkids like grandma’s flower print loveseat. In the end, consumers have to weigh cost versus quality and determine which is more important for that piece of furniture. Dorm room futon? Go the IKEA route. Couch in your family’s main entertainment area? You might want to pick something that will last for over a decade.
For more information about interior design, please contact AKA Design Inc. or call us at 972-267-3421.