In honour of my favourite scene in Fight Club: my review of the latest IKEA® catalogue
Imagine my excitement when the latest instalment in the ever gumtree-popular IKEA® series hit my front doormat, unsought, unwanted and unloved. (Nothing like my puppy’s, but I am better able to control myself). I note that this year (I’m not sure if they mean “this year” as in “this year” 2017, or “this year” as in next year, 2018, as it says on the cover. In this post modern world, catalogues come out for years which haven’t happened yet, and I am confusingly out of touch by 40.
I need a quote here, from Celines “Long days journey into night”, about how everything you touched and read and ate was fake, but I’ve lost my copy. When I find it, I’ll update. It’s a good quote 🤣. I do wonder, though, the lies keep piling up and up every day, lies from government, lies on tv, lies about what year it is in the IKEA® catalogue: maybe there’s some cunning plan to fuck with all our heads until we’ll believe anything? Which is kind of what Celine said, but way better. Naturellement 😉
Anyway, either like NOW, when they’re printing the catalogue, or in 2018, which is apparently where the catalogue comes from, IKEA® are “celebrating 30 years of the wonderful every day”; by which I can only assume they mean working there, rather than shopping there. Maybe staff get free meatballs.
The overall mood is sombre, but hopeful. It is tastefully lit by Northern European light as though through a large sash window (ahem ££££) by a slightly melancholy sun, coming out after a drizzly day, filtered through raindrops still on the glass. This window, though, is out of shot. One wonders, staring out of ones small, Barrett homes style window, if this is IKEA’s® plaintiff visual lament of the pitifully low living standards in England compared to the rest of Europe, while respectful of our frustrated longings, they draw a modest veil over the precise dimensions of our inadequacies.
The subtle but vibrant cuisses de nymph on the walls is a daring and sensual choice, providing a lustrous backstory to the inviting half open pink door just glimpsed in the left of shot, which alongside the “carelessly discarded” cardigan on the arm of the chair hints at an afternoon of familiar pleasures, in a warm home with full central heating. That the occupier of said room is barefoot is implied by the plush rug, and the counterbalance of the verdant tropical garden in the right hand of shot. The subtext of the lush pink trumpet in amongst the vibrant foliage need not be outlined here; it is worth noting that again, it is clear that this room is both cosy and bright.
Personally, I find the sofa chimes something of a sour note. The yellow tone doesn’t quite go far enough into either mustard or canary, either of which would have provided a more balanced partner to the teal bookcase in the background. It feels like a prop in the production, only serving as a resting place for the “interesting cushion” (more later). With the grey chair, the stylist is back on form, but there is sense in which it only further illuminates the essential soulnesses of the sofa.
The wire basket tables are a hit, with me. They beg for a little customising, as does much of IKEA’s® cheaper offering. I don’t need a round wire basket storage coffee table, but if I did, I feel I could so something interesting with those.
The child’s toy in the foreground feels a bad choice. Perhaps they must include some toys on every cover, I don’t know. Maybe it’s to appeal to the IKEA® demographic. But it doesn’t look like a kid has been playing with it, does it? It should be scattered about a bit.
I was going to say more here about the cushions, but I’ve decided the less said, the better. It appears from the back cover that they sell for £1.75, which is a lot for a really ugly cushion. I assume the “fun” pencil one is for dogs to chew/shag while you’re at work. The rug is a sellable mix of fashionable tones and relatively easy to clean, but an opportunity was lost to tap into the whole tribal/arrows/chevron thing. That would have been about a hundred times better.
One also can’t help feeling a void in the top right hand corner, perhaps as our eyes are drawn to the ever-just-out-of-view window. An narrative chasm cries out from the top right hand of the bookshelves, on which should have been placed something tall and dramatic. Idiots 🙄. This, for example, IKEA® actually does have some quite nice baskets sometimes. But how many baskets do you need? 3, maximum, I’d say, and I think I’m already over But, just to show
1. Tyler Durden, c’est moi
2. I’m not a hater
Here are some things from the catalogue that I’ll be liking in 2018