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70 Years of Ikea, as Told by—What Else?—Show Apartments

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All photos courtesy of Ikea

Considering the wealth of innovative measures and marketing gimmicks furnishings giant Ikea employs to expand its brand—from refugee housing to doll furniture to all sorts of other crazy crap—it's easy to forget that Ikea has been around for more than seven decades (and there are vintage catalogs to prove it). In 1943, 17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad registered the company name, using it to sell fountain pens and nylon tights. As years passed, Ikea morphed, and Kamprad's business turned into a franchise, his franchise into an empire. To glorify its long path to becoming the world's largest furniture retailer—to the tune of 349 stores in 43 countries—Ikea is replacing its first storefront in Älmhult, Sweden, with a full-scale museum. What's little-known, however, is that Ikea already had an exhibit in Älmhult, comprised mostly of Ikea's signature show apartments. From the droll goods of the early '50s to the neon wares of the '80s and beyond, here's a tour through Ikea's history by way of its fake rooms.

· All Ikea posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]
· Here Now, a Dozen Amazing and Marvelous Vintage Ikea Ads [Curbed National]