Find Major Home Decor Inspo With These Vintage IKEA Catalogues
IKEA showrooms are pretty close heaven on earth, IMO. Luckily, IKEA bottled that feeling and put it online with the release of their entire historic catalog. The digitized archive features editions dating all the way back to 1950, alongside some super eye-catching home goods between the pages. While flipping through, I found countless inspiration from sleek mid-century chairs to wacky mirrors to perfectly organized shelves. Follow along as I take you through the decades of the Swedish home decor and storage powerhouse, and prepare to grab all the inspo for your dream home.
This mixed media shelving unit from the 1953 catalog is super simple, but the shape is eye-catching. It goes beyond the typical floating shelf you'd see these days, adding in the metal sidebars for both support and style points. Plus, the small illustration in the bottom right corner is adorable.
This excerpt from 1956 shows a wide variety of design styles from IKEA. The rattan plant stand in the upper right corner is especially unique with its rounded shape and subtle curves, making me want to implement more house plants in my space.
This 1958 page of chairs took the idea that variety is the spice of life and ran with it. The Benno chair is my top pick, and I can only imagine what this would go for these days. I love the stripes because they're reminiscent of a beach lounger, and the tilted back screams comfort.
I'm a big fan of the oval-shaped mirror on the top left of this page. It's eclectic, but still easy to style at home.
The futuristic styles of mid-century design are always super captivating, and that reigns true throughout the lighting section of the 1964 catalog. It's fascinating to see how the designs of the "future" are nowhere near what things look like today.
There's two things I adore about this image from the 1968 IKEA catalog: First, the overhanging lantern above the kitchen table is super inviting and makes me want to be there for a dinner party! Second, the lovely cabinet has the most satisfying wood stain color ever — it's comforting and compliments this interior to a tee.
I've never seen a furniture piece as wacky as this chair from 1969, but I don't hate it! It looks like an entertaining, yet relaxing chair to unwind in after a long day.
The colorful IKEA pillows just bring something special to my heart.
Currently adding "relaxing atop an aggressively Easy Mac-colored sofa after a long day" to my bucket list, thanks to this IKEA set.
These plastic chairs make sitting look fun, and that's saying something.
This low-to-the-ground living room sets a super relaxed vibe. The second time travel is real, you can catch me in the 70’s, curling up in a lush space like this.
An IKEA interior that feels truly otherworldly is the best IKEA interior in my book. This cozy example transports me to a soothing 1980s living room!
The chairs at the bottom left corner of this spread are just begging to live in my apartment. I'm a huge fan of a plush sitting space!
Back in 1983 IKEA, you could get the same couch in tens of different colors to match your design style. It's a wild pick, but I'd opt for the rainbow couch just to say I own a rainbow couch.
If there's one thing to know about me, it's that multicolored interiors give me all the feels with their child-like whimsy. This rainbow tiled bathroom is truly no exception, making my inner child very happy!
One of these things is not like the other…and by “one” I mean all of these things. Each chair brings something unique to the table you pair it with, bursting with opportunity and inspiration to try something new in your space.
This highly curated space invites anyone to take a seat and chill out under some soft lighting. The standard loft-style apartment lends itself to creative furniture styling like these red couches and shelves, but we could see them styled in just about any room bold enough to try it.
Sconces can add ambience to any room, whether they’re hanging above your bedside table or decorating a dark hallway. This spherical shape with a muted glow adds an extra dose of comfort to soften your space and lets you see at the same time. (Anyone else hate to have the Big Lights on?)
I adore the primary colors all over this spread. Each dash of color stands out from any surrounding neutral pieces, adding a fun pop of personality.
As we counted down to Y2K, IKEA made sure to keep track of time. I love the bold numbers on the rightmost clock, alongside all of the zany colors and dimensions Ikea plays with here.
This ambient neon lighting situation is serving Euphoria, and I want to be there. The checkered kitchen floors are a dream, too.
This catalog gives total girly, cottagecore styles on top, and vibrant, saturated styles on the bottom. Either way, I'd opt for any of these fun 2000's bed spreads, especially if they're as cozy as they look.
Remember when loft beds were all the craze? I remember begging my mom for one so I could build out a little cove under the bed. Sadly, my loft bed wish wasn't fulfilled, but at least I have this catalogue excerpt to keep dreaming about one.
This page makes me excited to play with more patterns and maximalist styles at home.
Can I get a light? I mean, one of these lamps from IKEA. The white, funky floor lamp will definitely do.
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All images via IKEA Museum
Creative Assistant, Meredith Holser, is B+C's resident food writer, photographer, and TikTok taker. Meredith writes about a range of topics for B+C, but she's adopted food writing in all its many facets for the last year. You can see her work published in Do214, Advocate Magazine, WFAA, and North Texas Daily. Meredith's passion for photography began after sneaking her mom's iPhone to take pictures of flowers on vacation, eventually evolving from a passion to a professional career. Outside of work, you can catch Meredith hiking, trying new recipes, and dreaming about having a yummy little treat.