A few weeks ago I found myself in Almhult in Sweden, home of the original IKEA and location of the first store which opened in 1958.
IKEA is so recognisable, around the world, that it's hard to remember what a revolutionary shopping and design concept it originally was; bringing good design, destination shopping, and flatpack, to the masses.
I couldn't pass up the chance to stay in the IKEA hotel (yes really!) which was originally built as a holiday motel in the 60's, and to visit the IKEA museum.
Some of the patterns that IKEA has produced over the years, and that are on show in the museum, are amazing. It was a real chance to 'time travel' back to some amazing room sets and see these fabrics and pieces of furniture in situ, bringing them to life in a way a book can struggle to do. Here are some less than perfect pictures I took on this little field trip.
Love it or loath it, so many people do shop at IKEA because of the low prices and undeniable love of design. It is no wonder so many people setting up home for the first time put a trip to IKEA pretty high on their 'to do' list.
Watching the films of IKEA's history and wandering around the museum, I found myself with a new appreciation for the brand, and for the patterns and designs that have passed through it's doors and into our homes.