The side-table that sparked the flatpack revolution

Design Moment: Ikea Lövet Table, 1956


This is the table to curse when, after hours of confusion, you’ve finally managed to assemble that Ikea storage unit only to find a small pile of screws and plastic widgets mysteriously left over. The unassuming-looking side table sparked the so-called flatpack revolution. The Lövet table came about in 1959 when the company’s designer Gillis Lundgren attempted to transport a table in his car. It wouldn’t fit in the boot so he sawed off the legs, realised the obvious potential and brought the idea of flat-pack furniture into work.

Ikea is now 75 years old – not quite old enough for its furniture to have antique status, but getting there – and to mark the anniversary it has reissued a collection of its early pieces. There’s nothing from the Swedish giant’s very first output; instead, the chosen pieces fit perfectly into the current appetite for mid-century modern. The Lövet table – reimagined and renamed the Lövbacken – is leaf-shaped, in poplar veneer, with three detachable beech legs that have gold-coloured tips on the feet. It is easy to assemble.