Lifestyle / Society

Take a tour of the places that inspired Ikea's furniture names

By Laura Hall

Photo: Mikael Svensson/Johnér

Ingvar Kamprad, who founded Ikea, named bathroom items after Swedish lakes, and couches after Swedish towns and villages - now the Swedish tourist board is encouraging you to visit them

You know Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant, and you no doubt have a few Ikea items in your home. But do you know the story behind the sometimes unpronounceable names of their furniture and household items?


This winter, VisitSweden, the Swedish tourist board, has launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to shed light on the company’s unique naming process, because many of its popular items are named after real places in Sweden. And now they want to reclaim them.

Take Ektorp, for example. It’s the name of one of Ikea’s most popular sofas, but it’s also a little spot, around 5km from Stockholm, where you’ll find lakes and beautiful green spaces. Google ‘Ektorp’ and you’ll find pictures and prices for sofas before you discover the real place.