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Has Vintage Ikea Finally Become Collectible?

For years, either fairly or unfairly, Ikea has been the butt of many a jokes from those in the world of the decorative arts - especially from those in the antique and vintage business. Comments ranging from flat-pack junk to disposable-décor have been common motifs promoted by dealers and collectors alike, often in an attempt to differentiate their own seemingly 'professionally-curated' vintage inventory from that of the Swedish conglomerates catalog of mass produced items. 

 For many though, including Jeffery Blumefeld, a vintage enthusiast, who owns and represents a group of resale shops throughout New Jersey, this is not only an outdated notion, but one that's well past its prime. "We've been selling vintage 80s Ikea for about fifteen years now," says Blumefeld. 

 For those dealers who managed to get ahead of the curve and bought stock and inventory early, the rewards have been plentiful. Alison Hardy, who curates most of her Ikea pieces on 1stDibs, says that knowing what to buy has been key to her success. 

 However, it's not just the designs themselves that make Ikea pieces collectible, but also the stories behind them. The fact that Ikea pioneered a new approach to furniture production makes the company and its furniture designs historically significant and relevant. Marketplace enthusiasts appreciate this kind of context - especially when these pieces can tell a story to not only collectors and dealers, but to their customers as well. 

Ashford Institute of Antiques Staff April 3, 2023