IKEA’s Winter Sale Has Everything You Need To Get Organized For The New Year
You’ve probably already noticed, but a new year has just begun. Though you may have just stepped into 2019, it’s never too early to start thinking about how you’ll take on the next 12 months — and in style, no less. Despite the fact that a full-on makeover worthy of a movie montage may be your first instinct for a reset, take a browse through IKEA’s winter sale instead. From bookcases and comfortable chairs, these pieces will ensure all your everything in your home — including your sanity — is neatly in order for the year.
From now until Jan. 6, IKEA is allowing anyone who has signed up to become a part of IKEA Family up to 30 percent off on major home necessities such as this Billy/Oxberg Bookcase, available for $320 as part of the sale. While you might find the idea of a membership to the Swedish furniture retailer on the daunting side, don’t let the title scare you away from saving on a few key items that’ll keep your home organized throughout the year. In fact, the only thing you need to get in on these deals is an email address. Once you’ve done that, the sales are yours for the taking.
Put yourself in the right mindset as you plan out 2019 with this Alex Desk, available for $99 instead of its regular $149 for any IKEA Family members. This desk is also available in both gray and beige, making it an easy option no matter how you define your home décor aesthetic. You can also use a bookcase for more than just books. Opt for a simple three-shelf Billy Bookcase, which costs $34 instead of $49, for additional shelving in room. Or, you can have a taller, glass-paned Bookcase from Billy/Oxberg, $170 during the sale, to hold a number of items ranging from coffee table books and photographs to linens, depending on where you place it.
If you want to put an added touch of je ne sais quoi into your living room or bedroom, you can add in a Standmon Wing Chair, which is available in brown for $189 or light beige for $169. Give yourself some extra seating while also making your house feel more like a home in 2019.
Now, scroll down to shop more pieces that are available on sale for IKEA Family members online.
Here’s Your Chance to Get IKEA’s Blogger-Beloved Kallax Shelf On Sale
In 2014, Ikea made waves when it discontinued its popular shelving system called Expedit. So much so, a Facebook page comprised of 20,000-plus people was created to save the shelves. But, little did Ikea shoppers know at the time, Ikea would shortly replace Expedit with a new line of shelving — one that would become instantly popular among home bloggers to hack: the Kallax. Since, Kallax has become one of the store’s most versatile items, prompting Ikea to launch an entire Kallax collection in 2017 consisting of hanging organizers, clip-on baskets, and removable storage units to easily customize the unit. And lucky for us, one of the limited versions of the Kallax shelving unit is currently on sale through March 31.
Kallax has eight different colors from which to choose, but the white/check pattern — designed by Tom Hedqvist, one of the founders of the design collective 10-gruppen — will soon be discontinued. Usually priced at $69.99, it’s currently on sale for $54.99.
KALLAX shelf unit, white, check pattern $54.99 Buy now Sign Up
This is a deal anyone who’s in the market for a Kallax should jump on immediately because think of it this way: It already has a trendy interior print. Half the work’s done for you, especially if you plan to transform the shelving unit into a reading bench or even a glorified bar “cart,” like this one by Dash of Jazz.
And the Ikea hacks don’t end there. Here are some other genius Kallax transformations that’ll give you major home inspiration.
For this hack, Ikea Hackers used two 4-feet by 2-feet cubes, but you can use the larger Kallax for one, long bench — and even more storage.
Rolling media unit
Attach casters to the shelving unit, and — voila! — you have yourself a rolling media unit.
The Pink Dream’s Kallax-turned-dresser is simple: merely add doors and overlays. That’s it.
This will take more work than the rest of the hacks — and lots of plywood and metal label holders — but in the end, you’re left with a gorgeous set of cubbies. Get the hack from Petal & Ply.
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Silly Billy: what the Ikea bookcase tells us about the true cost of fast furniture
Jo Jackson remembers the day when it was clear that nothing was going to be the same for a while. It was mid-March and Made.com, an online purveyor of millennial-friendly furniture, had big plans for growth in the year of its 10th anniversary.
“At first, there was this moment of the rabbit in the headlights, as we acclimatised to this new normal,” says Jackson, Made’s chief creative officer. She is talking from home, six weeks into Britain’s pandemic lockdown, which has laid waste to business plans – and businesses – in almost every industry.
Sales dipped initially, but then something changed. “People began working out their new work-from-home environment and looking, for hours, at the colour of their walls or the state of their sofas,” Jackson says.
Sales rallied. Some spikes in demand were predictable; sales of Made’s office and garden furniture went up by 33% and 50% respectively. Others, perhaps, revealed a collective search for comfort: bedding sales have almost doubled.
Other big online furniture retailers have reported similarly strong demand. Revenues have doubled at Wayfair, the US furnishings giant. Ikea, which is preparing to reopen its stores, has doubled down online, slapping its new slogan, “Conquer the great indoors”, on desk chairs and storage solutions for tinned food.
As the walls close in, many of us are sprucing them up. But there is a payoff. While online retailers have stayed open, the means of disposing of old furniture have all but disappeared. Public waste centres and charity shops have closed their doors, while many “freecycling” websites and for-sale pages of community forums have suspended trading.
“It’s a big concern when you think about how much we normally receive,” says Allison Swaine-Hughes, the retail director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which took in more than 185,000 sofas alone last year.
Across Britain, councils have reported a spike in flytipping, including furniture. Swaine-Hughes, who says the BHF is monitoring its stores for dumping via CCTV, is concerned that landfill sites may swell with newly abandoned items. “We want people to hang on to those items until we can gratefully receive them,” she says.
Pandemic makeovers are tightening the focus on the toxic implications of “fast furniture”, years after the fashion industry – and its consumers – faced their own environmental reckoning. A familiar paradox lies at the heart of a business model that produces £15 bookcases and £2 T-shirts: how can you be sustainable while selling keenly priced products, largely made of natural resources and plastic while at the same time inviting your customers constantly to upgrade them?
Furniture used not to be cheap – or fast. Old dressers and chests of drawers were heirlooms that we took with us as we moved and grew families. A clash of styles in our living rooms mattered less than it did in our wardrobes.
Much of what followed can be traced to a precocious Swedish entrepreneur. Ingvar Kamprad was only 17 when he founded Ikea on his uncle’s kitchen table in 1943. Fountain pens and udder balm were among his first products, but furniture soon came to dominate. Ikea opened its first showroom in a small Swedish village in 1953.
Kamprad, who died in 2018, became a marketing genius, a democratising influence on design and a flatpack billionaire. His business model relied on volume, which kept prices down, and inexorable growth, as well as a safe, contemporary aesthetic that became known as “global functional minimalism”.
Yet that growth remained steady, for a while. Ikea did not reach Britain until 1987, when its local rivals included MFI. “Even by 1998, when I started working for the company, we had stores in a few countries and most of the production was still in Scandinavia,” says Johan Stenebo, who held senior positions at Ikea for 20 years, including a stint as its environmental director.
But Ikea began to look to eastern Europe and Asia for cheap resources and labour. “We did that to get the prices down and earn profit,” Stenebo says. It worked. Take, as one example, the Billy bookcase, an Ikea stalwart now made by robots at a rate of one every three seconds. Since its launch in 1978, its price has come down by about a third.
“Get the prices down and you increase sales – we created that demand, not the consumer,” says Stenebo, who quit Ikea in 2008. Disillusioned with corporate mores, he wrote Ikea: How to Become the World’s Richest Man. “That’s why I have a problem now with discussions about climate change,” he adds. “It’s corporate-driven but we always talk about consumer behaviour.”
The family dresser, passed down through generations, was a vanishing commodity in this new market, which promoted modern design. We did not need quality furniture like it anyway; the shrinking, transitory flats of generation rent could be furnished at an unthinkably low cost. Today you can buy an Ikea sofa, coffee table, TV bench, double bed and mattress, dining table with four chairs, wardrobe, bookcase and chest of drawers for £401. How much of it would you take to your next place or bother to sell?
The cost to the environment is greater. Cheap furniture is typically made of chipboard – glue-bound wood chips – and laminated with plastic. Recycling centres do accept it, but it is complicated and costly to process. Incineration or landfill is often the easier route. A BHF survey of 2,000 first-time buyers and renters last October revealed that one-third of people had thrown away furniture that could have been sold or donated.
And that is just the end of the cycle. It might begin with unsustainable or illegal logging, followed by energy-intensive milling and production in giant factories, the use of chemical treatments and plastics, as well as foam stuffing and yards of upholstery with its own supply chain. Then there are the emissions of global shipping.
The conservation charity WWF focused on trees in its 2016 report on furniture sold in the UK, Are You Sitting Comfortably?. It found that 68% of the dozens of retailers it assessed were failing to put in place robust policies for timber sourcing or communicate them to customers. Furniture worth €2bn (£1.78bn) was being imported to Britain from “high-risk” countries where illegal logging is rife.
“This sector has sat on its hands and is way behind other industries,” says Julia Young, who leads WWF’s work on forests. “Wood furniture relies on a material that is under a lot of pressure globally, with increasing demand.” At a minimum, she says, retailers should be certain that wood has certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Furniture price wars have compelled businesses to sideline sustainability even when it seems cheap. “I remember one guy telling me that a typical sofa sold in the UK contained wood that cost about £9,” Young recalls. “But if you bought it sustainably, with FSC certification, it would cost £10. And that’s probably in a sofa that might sell for £450.” But when you are selling sofas by the container load, the small additional costs of sustainability add up.
As the world’s top furnisher, Ikea feels the pressure to act. “Sustainability is not new for us,” says Malin Nordin, the head of circular development at the chain’s parent company, Inter Ikea Group, which had retail sales of €41.3bn (£36.6bn) last year. She directs me to Testament of a Furniture Dealer, a pamphlet Kamprad wrote for employees in 1976. “Wasting resources is a mortal sin,” he said, while also setting out Ikea’s “duty to expand”.
I ask Nordin how a product like Tärendö, a dining table made of plastic-coated chipboard with steel legs and plastic feet, could ever be sustainable when it costs £30. She sends me a newer document: Ikea’s People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy, published in 2012. It sets out goals to, among other things, make all its products from recyclable and renewable materials by 2030.
Ikea plans to be able to take back and repurpose or recycle its own furniture at the end of its useful life – and to tweak designs to make this simpler. “We will make the needed mind shift to start seeing these products not as a single-use item, rather a material bank for the future,” Nordin explains in an email.
These are largely goals, rather than widespread practices. But at least they exist. At WWF, Young praises Ikea’s commitment in the face of the greatest scrutiny, but not all retailers have the scale or pressure to invest in change. “For most companies, it’s just not part of their pitch to the customer,” she says.
Since 2015, WWF has produced a Timber Scorecard, on which it rates major retailers for their sourcing policies and commitment to achieving sustainable supply chains. Ikea scores highly. Many other brands do not. They include Made. “They’re under the radar,” Young says of the company. “It all looks lovely, but they’re failing to take responsibility for their impact on the environment.”
Jackson is not familiar with the scorecard. Made’s PR team later point out that the ratings are about the display of information, but they do not provide details of Made’s sourcing policy. “Made is absolutely focused on doing the right thing for its customers, suppliers and partners, and sustainability is a huge focus for our business,” a statement reads.
Jackson accepts that Made’s website and marketing lack prominent information about sustainability, not least given the brand’s younger target market. But she says much is happening behind the scenes. “We don’t want to be quick to put out a potentially greenwashing-sounding statement,” she says. “We want to take our time to do this well.”
Made is planning to launch a service for taking away old furniture when new items are delivered, either to be disposed of responsibly or passed to a charity retailer. “Or, in some cases, if it’s our own product, we’ll take it back to reuse or repair it,” Jackson says. Made is also working on a rental scheme, an alternative business model that Ikea has already tested in some markets.
An industry belatedly facing up to its environmental footprint is in experimentation mode. Demand for change is growing. “We’re definitely seeing a shift in spending towards recycled, sustainable and long-lasting furniture,” says Hamish Mansbridge, the CEO of Heal’s, which has sold furniture from the same London store for more than 200 years. It now sells garden furniture made from recycled ocean plastic and a sofa upholstered in fabric made from yarns salvaged from the fashion industry.
Joni Steiner, an architect based in London, is trying to transform office furniture. Rather than relying on a vast factory in China, he co-founded Opendesk in 2012, which largely exists as a library of original designs of minimalist furniture, made in sustainable plywood. Customers, which have included Nike, Google and Greenpeace, pick a design and then get quotes from the platform of workshops, which includes one man in his San Diego garage and a team of eight on a Yorkshire farm. Makers get 71% of the sale price, while Opendesk, which needs to employ only four people, gets 22% (Steiner says this split would traditionally be reversed).
Small workshops with their own direct customers are also noticing shifting demands. “They’re more interested in how things are done, rather than just something that arrives on the doorstep from a factory somewhere,” says Tim Smith, who runs Create Furniture in Tottenham, north London. His customers increasingly request work-in-progress photos and have become more willing to invest in bespoke, handmade cabinetry.
Yet Smith acknowledges the seductive economy of faster furniture. It is easy to sell the advantage of a fitted wardrobe (starting price: £1,500). But cabinetry is relatively simple – it is boxes with doors. To hand-make a family dining table in solid wood, Smith would have to charge upwards of £4,000. “But then you might as well buy something in a shop that isn’t going to be that different for £400,” he says. “People’s desire to get nicely made stuff that is sustainable only goes so far.”
Growing demand for vintage furniture is part of the solution. Sites such as Vinterior and Pamono are matching abandoned heirlooms with new, grateful custodians. Where they have survived, some of Ikea’s older pieces have become desirable. Last year, a Swedish auction house sold a 1972 yellow Ikea Impala armchair that had cost about £30 when new. It fetched almost £2,000.
But, at the same time, big furniture is racing to furnish homes in major emerging markets. In Stockholm, Stenebo cannot see an easy way back for flatpack chipboard, whatever happens in the post-pandemic version of normal. After he wrote his book about Ikea, he decided to swap global retail for local education. He now teaches economics and business at a high school in Stockholm. “We’ve just done five weeks on corporate pollution and global warming,” he adds. “I used to be part of the problem, but making a mistake is one thing. Correcting it is more important.”
Sale ikea shelf
There will not be that turmoil with which he held this year's meeting in one of the student dormitories Tbilisi, together with fellow students at first. Lapping almost gallons of medical alcohol, and then, in this frenzy, hovering all night on creaky bunks with smoky acne students.
Eh, I had to take Leopold with me. - Ilya thought, about his chubby student friend. Otherwise, it is quite possible that today I generally have to celebrate the New Year alone.SNUG MAKEOVER WITH IKEA BILLY BOOKCASE HACK- Laura Melhuish-Sprague
Mom, what were they like. Accidentally not such a white thong with white roses. - I remembered the panties I saw then in the corner of the corridor. - How do you know that. She turned sharply to me.
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