In its catalogs, Ikea is all about creating spaces that buoy the grand illusion that its flat-pack furnishings look awesome in "lived-in" spaces of "real life." So, for its annual library of catalogs and brochures, its team of stylists—which, it seems, are nearly as creative as the furnishing giant's famously off-the-walls marketing gurus—cart in the clutter. It makes sense: there's nothing that says "real life" quite like strewn papers and books stacked on the nightstand. Though Ikea takes it a step further: dozens of paper cranes, a single glitter-coated top hat, a seahorse floating in a vase, for example. Yes there are a few Ikea staging standbys—toy cars, paper airplanes, typewriters, and globes are all staples—and then there are the things that separate the Swedish retailer from the amateurs. To unicycles and beyond, below are 32 random things spotted in the latest catalogs.
↑ A tiny floating seahorse on the stairs.
↑ A kitchen chair hanging from a tree. A bowl of peppers.
↑ A parking lot.
↑ A bundle of sticks. There was quite the discussion about whether or not this was something that has any utility. Conclusions were not made. (2014)
↑ Ikea loves stacking books like this. Ikea also loves, apparently, pulling out the entirety of a vintage measuring tape.
↑ A unicycle.
↑ This framing job.
↑ Three (3) violins.
↑ An orange tree? Maybe? Plants aren't a strong suit. (2014)
↑ Ikea is emperor of the coveted "book falling off the table" look. Oh, and the "books that are utterly throttled and disemboweled" look. (2014)
↑ 25 paper cranes. A juju hat from Cameroon.
↑ Giant buttons! (2014)
↑ A box full of rope. A sparkly top hat. (2014)
↑ A very small television. (2014)
↑ Another feather hat. (2014)
↑ A tiny rake, a microscope, and the Ikea's classic move: the task lamp on top of a sloppy pile of magazines. (2014)
↑ A storage container of hay. (2014)
↑ Six-plus jars of lemons and a shopping-cart basket full of carrots. (2014)
↑ (1) A giant photo of a cat and (2) an egg carton full of plants. It only counts if they are on the floor. (2014)
↑ The ever-convenient eggs-in-a-vase trick.
↑ Box o' pinecones. Gotta save those.
↑ A nice cloudy sky on the floor. (1997)
↑ Vintage postcards.
↑ CATS. Cats. (2013)
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