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Happy 40th Birthday IKEA!!

One of the most well known retailers in the world is celebrating, four decades of design, décor and innovation in Canada.  To commemorate being fabulous at forty IKEA launched a new brand commercial that celebrates the vision to create a better everyday life for the many people through its democratic design philosophy; they rolled out their much-anticipated 2017 catalogue and even brought a touch of IKEA’s museum straight from Sweden.’ IKEA Then and Now’ held at the Design Exchange in Toronto during October took visitors on a journey through the decades showcasing how IKEA shaped the homes and life of so many Canadians.
“Canadian’s have welcomed IKEA into their homes for the past 40 years and we are delighted to have reached this anniversary together,” says Dave McCabe, Acting President, IKEA Canada.

IKEA has definitely woven its way into many households across Canada and influenced our style, décor and homes. Last year, alone IKEA Canada welcomed 25 million visitors to its 12 stores and 75 million visitors to the website.

IKEA’s democratic design philosophy of offering a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them has helped them grow across Canada and they will soon be opening stores in Halifax and Quebec city.

“At IKEA we believe that beautiful, well-designed home furnishings solutions should not be for the few, but accessible for the many,” says Lauren MacDonald, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA Canada.

I had the opportunity to speak with Kathy Davey, Head of Interior Design, IKEA Canada about the company’s success here.  The Canadian market is unique as we are a truly multicultural land with people of so many diverse cultures calling Canada home.  To cater to everyone can be a challenge but IKEA has managed to work its magic. So how do they do it?

“In Canada we conduct home visits in every market to get to know people and how they live in their homes discovering their needs, dreams, and frustrations. Home visits give us insights into Canadian life at home, like storage challenges in every room and recycling needs,” Kathy Davey shares. “Dwellings are also different across Canada such as window sizes, home layouts, heating/cooling systems, basements, etc. so we have a unique opportunity to show people many different inspiring home furnishing solutions that meet their needs, tastes and budget.”

Of course there are standout pieces that are the best sellers as they fit into every household.

“Over the last 40 years our iconic items like the BILLY Bookcase, IVAR Storage unit and the POÄNG Armchair, which is also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, have continued to be top sellers,” Davey tells me.

Not surprisingly the highest priority for all Canadians is the heart of the home – the kitchen.

“Many Canadians dream of a new kitchen and opening up their main living space as much as possible,” reveals Davey. “It’s a gathering place for family and friends, so it’s important for them to have the brains on the inside and beauty on the outside and that’s where our SEKTION kitchen system comes into great use.”

As always the iconic brand has come up with innovative, unique and exciting products in the new collection. The designers, through travel, research and partnerships have come up with products to help you organize, give you storage, create cozy yet stylish places to relax with family and friends all made with textiles and fabrics influenced from around the world.  I asked Kathy Davey to choose the top five.

“Canadians will be excited about VALLENTUNA modern sofa series, VARDAGEN traditional cooking and eating series, HEMNES traditional bathroom cabinets in soft grey, SÄLLSKAP traditional Swedish design collection, ELVARLI modern open storage for clothes and shoes,” says Davey.

Congratulations IKEA on 40 years! You’ve reached a wonderful milestone. Here’s to 40 more.

About the author:  Natalie Deane is a lifestyle connoisseur who shares tips for everyday living through decor, entertaining and food trends.


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