There’s a Whole World of Vintage IKEA Out There, and It’s on Etsy
Shop our picks, starting with an ice cube–inspired lamp.
Published Jan 11, 2023 10:30 AM
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When walking through the hypnotizing halls of IKEA, it’s easy to lose sight not only of your original shopping list but the long history behind the visionary Swedish company. It was formed in 1948, after World War II, around the then innovative model of canceling out the middleman to keep well-designed furniture attainable. (If you’re a nerd like us, you should probably hop on over to the digital IKEA Museum for more fun facts and PDFs of every single catalog.)
Since then, IKEA has commissioned renowned designers like Joe Columbo and Vico Magistretti, and more recently Ilse Crawford and Sabine Marcelis. While we continue to reap the benefits of designs like the circa-1984 Ivar storage system and circa-1979 Billy bookcase, there have, of course, been some discontinued lines over the past 75 years. But we’re not sure why—those no-longer-with-us items are as cool and funky as it gets. Among the easiest to find have been in the lighting category, at none other than Etsy.
Particularly covetable vintage IKEA lamps that you can buy right now span funky ’80s to ’90s Memphis styles, but be warned: You are about to enter a glorious online shopping hole that may be difficult to find a way out of. (A word to the wise: Take note of the outlet type; adapters may be needed for European plugs.)
Because all good things come to an end—aka sell out—you can always search “vintage IKEA lamp,” “‘80s IKEA lamp,” or simply the names of any of the models, below, for more finds.
The Memphis trend is alive and well and, thankfully, so is this table lamp designed by Ettore Sottsass himself. Bringing a full dose of fun to any table it graces, the toylike piece doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The elongated shades and yellow-green hue make this lighting duo the right kind of weird. If you like them now, you’ll love them when they’re on; the light shines through pin-size holes to create a starlike effect.
Fact: A cone-shaped lampshade is timelessly chic. The utilitarian features of this ’80s design, like adjustable height and shade direction, make it elevated enough to go beyond the desk; confidently place it on a reading nook or nightstand, too.
Domino editors love IKEA’s Fado lamp, but if the Jonisk lamp was still in production, the Fado would have some serious competition. The larger scale, imperfect shape, and rounded base make it a modern statement piece perfect for nestling into a room’s corner.
This refined sandy-hued sconce adds a touch of modernity to any bedside. The ’80s piece is rare to come by now; it was a particularly short-lived model. Beware: It’s larger than it looks. With a length of 23 inches, you’ll be making a real statement.
Inspired by the space age and an ice cube (seriously), this ’90s lamp is as much a conversation piece as it is a light source. Thick frosted glass emits a soft glow, which means the ambience will be lovelier than ever.
At less than 10 inches tall, this ‘80s opaline glass lamp brings no shortage of personality. The bulb shines through the material to cast a red glow, making it the ultimate party piece.
For the child within you (or an actual child), this sunny yellow desk lamp is the type of cute that brings a little joy to even the most dreaded office tasks. Its collapsible legs and rotating head are a plus, too.