Sixty years ago, Gillis Lundgren was unable to wedge a table into the back of his car. In a bout of frustration, he either patiently unscrewed or feverishly sawed away the table’s legs (sources differ), but in any case, he went back to his employer with the idea for self-assembled furniture that packed flat for easy shipping. That employer happened to be the retailer Ikea. They created a table called the Lövet. And the rest is history.
Now, Ikea has decided to resurrect the Lövet with its spiritual successor, the Lövbacken. The update shares the original table’s three-pronged bottom and midcentury modern aesthetic (nothing like Ikea’s birchwood-laden Swedish minimalism, is it?). But maybe more important, it runs all of $60, meaning it’s a mass-market-friendly end table from furniture’s most collectible era. Or put differently, Ikea just Ikea’d their own creation in an intellectual-property ouroboros. Can you even imagine how successful a midcentury modern Ikea pop-up store would be? Can’t you just see the AMC/Mad Men cross-promotion in full stride? Would you be able to quell the fury at millennials who’d get to decorate their first dorm room like they’re Don freaking Draper?
Neither could we.