Monday, 10 June 2013

Ikea's unusual new
Huset range

What's unusual about this new range of Ikea living room furniture, below? Well, for starters, the whole lot costs just over a tenner.

But there's a catch...

None of it is big enough to sit use – unless you're a doll.

Isn't it surprising Ikea's only just thought of selling teeny tiny versions of some of their furniture? Even that rather plain stalwart of a sofa looks more exciting when you know you can pick it up with one hand. And as for the chair – brilliant. I reckon they'll sell out. Especially when you consider the price of the beautiful, but largely unaffordable, Vitra classics miniatures (more of which below).

The Ikea room set is part of the new Huset range of doll's furniture for children (or big children) and costs £12. It launches (along with the rest of the 2014 catalogue) on 1 August. (And if you like the weeny monochrome rug, you can see the original sized version, which sparked some surprisingly lively debate between a friend of mine and me, over here.)

As well as this impending little range, you could check out the very lovely midcentury originals and replicas you can get in doll-sizes (see below) – there's a whole world of collectors out there, with dream houses they can only dream of living in.

Or, if you're feeling flush, there's always that deluxe Vitra collection, which is available from the Design Museum shop. Brace yourselves if you think it's the only way you'll be able to afford an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman – it'll set you back more than £500.


But this sexy 1:6 scale Vegetal, above, by the French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, around £25, is within reach if your desk or mantlepiece is crying out for a tiny, collectable chair. It is cheaper than the rest since it was designed so recently – in 2008 – and so hasn't yet reached the cult status (or price) of many of its predecessors, which also come in little sizes.

You can also, semi-affordably for those in a position to lavish large sums on decorative accessories, get a diminutive 1945-designed Eames plywood elephant...for around £135. But for just £159, you can get the full-size version (try Nest), which is big enough for a child to sit on. That said, you can't get the glorious plywood version, above, in large sizes – the kid-size versions only come in polypropylene, in several perky shades. This is because the plywood version was never produced for sale during the Eames' lives, and so the only versions out there are the limited edition Vitra released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Charles Eames' birthday. And as you can imagine, those babies sold out fast.

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