IKEA the business. A non-profit?


“I decided that the stock market was not an option for IKEA. I knew that only a long-term perspective could secure our growth plans and I didn’t want IKEA to be become dependent on financial institutions.”

Ingvar Kamprad, Senior Advisor & Founder

I remember in 1985 when IKEA opened its first US store. Wow, its been 30 years. That first store was in Plymouth Meeting, PA. A short distance from my home in Philadelphia. Billboards were posted everywhere announcing the store’s opening. It was an event. For a designer, the idea of affordable readily available Scandinavian furniture and products was a dream come true. Back then, I felt privileged to be living near the first, AND ONLY, US store. IKEA has since outgrown their first US store in Plymouth Meeting, PA. In 2000 the store moved to nearby Conshohocken, PA. But I’m a lucky lady. I work in Conshohocken so I make frequent trips on my commute home.

IKEA has disappointed me with some of their products over the past 30 years, but not many. Early on, lots of products just fell apart. But today, IKEA offers some amazing solutions that are an integral part of our home.

I’d just like to say. Nobody does it better than IKEA. It is truly a remarkable business. And on so many levels. The level I’m going to talk about today is IKEA’s corporate structure. So…

Did you know?


In case you were wondering….

IKEA was started in 1943 by Swedish founder Ingvar Kamprad. It is a private “foundation”. A charitable organization. No stock and no shareholders. But still, it’s amazing to imagine that it’s 31.22 billion dollars in sales In 2014 were achieved without the help of shareholder or investor money.

IKEA’s ownership structure secures it’s long-term future. Because IKEA is a foundation it cannot be sold or split up by heirs.

And it works like this…

The Stichting INGKA Foundation (a private non-profit) based in the Netherlands owns the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group must reinvest funds back into the IKEA Group OR funds must be donated for charitable purposes through the Stichting IKEA Foundation.

The IKEA Group (another private company) franchises the IKEA retail system from Inter IKEA Systems. 

Inter IKEA Systems (yes, private) is the owner of the IKEA trademark, concept and the worldwide IKEA franchisers.

Got that?

The IKEA group of companies


So, is IKEA a non-profit? Clearly it is.

It’s a privately owned charitable foundation dedicated to interior design. By being a charitable foundation IKEA minimizes it’s tax liability. The founder Ivar Kamprad and his family financially benefit from this arrangement. And because IKEA is a private charitable entity it makes it impossible to takeover. IKEA remains intact and immune to tampering from successors.

Rest easy. Or not. IKEA will still be there for  your grandchildren.

Images, content and data sourced from IKEA.com

Raise the bar. And a glass.

Target's Threshold™ Windham Accent Cabinet
Our teal blue bar cabinet – Target’s Threshold™ Windham Accent Cabinet

Under $150 at Target… bargain.

Zigzoe is very conscience about pennies going out the door. After all, those pennies are also needed for fabulous BYOB dinners in foodie rich Philadelphia.

Target Threshold Windham Accent Cabinet.
Target Threshold Windham Accent Cabinet.

Threshold Windham Accent Cabinet

I love the pop of color of this storage cabinet. It compliments our modern decor without being too fussy. It could easily swing country too. The cabinet has one adjustable shelf with stylish window pane doors. Target says it’s made of “quality wood materials”. Not exactly sure what that means but I’m certain it doesn’t mean solid wood. That’s OK with me. It’s easy to put together but the best part is it doesn’t LOOK like it’s put together. It has a lacquer like finish and is sturdy enough for our needs. I love the teal blue. Highly recommended.

If teal doesn’t work for you there are nine other colors to choose from. It’s $134.99 when it’s on sale or $149.99 regular price at Target. Yeah, Target!

There are other pieces in the Threshold Windham series if this one doesn’t work for you.

Mad Men lives on

Mad Men is over but Don Draper’s world lives on. We see his living room flipping through the pages of a Crate and Barrel catalog. In artwork inspired by the era at West Elm. At IKEA, the Scandinavian originator of today’s modern functional design. And if we’re lucky enough to afford it, the real deal at Design Within Reach.

Left: Interior Design Magazine. Don Draper's NYC apartment. Photography by Eric Laignel. Right: Crate and Barrel's March spring collection 2015.
Left: Interior Design Magazine. Don Draper’s NYC apartment. Photography by Eric Laignel.
Right: Crate and Barrel’s March spring collection 2015.

What is so appealing about this era in design? FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION. Not a catch phrase but a practical manifesto for post war Europe and America. While Europe was rebuilding, America was entering an era of manufacturing might. After the hardships of war decorative design elements became frivolous, costly, and time consuming. New techniques in manufacturing introduced the world to new possibilities. Artists began designing with a view towards a modern utopia. Not to decorate and hide, but to reveal the structure within. To make beautiful the materials of manufacturing. Strip everything bare to its simplest forms. Painting became abstract, office buildings exposed their skeleton structures, and furniture became bare of decoration. Ultimately, a simple beauty emerged which remains timeless and still popular today.

Modern design emits hope. Hope in the future. Hope in possibilities. Hope in ideas and invention. The style will never go away and will always continue to evolve.

Left: Award winning set from Mad Men. Interior Design magazine. Photography by Eric Laignel.
West Elm, Sarah Campbell Wall Art – Hot Day

The simple elegance of this design period plays well with so many other styles. It’s been combined with african art, oriental rugs and global textiles. 

Miller House and Garden.  Owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana. Designers: Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, and Dan Kiley.
Owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art

We’ve said goodbye to Don Draper and company but we’ll never say goodbye to modern.

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To view the entire galley of award winning Mad Men sets at Interior Design click here.

Five design rules to live by.


No one likes to live with rules but rules create structure, balance and continuity to life around us.

Here are five design rules to make your space and it’s inhabitants happy campers.

1. Cut out the clutter. This is obvious but it needs to be said.  If you want to approach a magazine worthy looking space then stacks of mail, kids toys and gym equipment need to be put away.

2. Stick to a color palette. Choose 2-3 colors as a base to work with. Sticking to your color palette will create harmony in your space.

3. Create contrasts. Contrasts in color, size or texture add interest to a room.

4. Don’t buy everything at once. Build your space over time. Our tastes change and evolve. Shouldn’t your room too?

5. Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes design is just trial and error.

Mirror, mirror….

Transform a Home Goods find into a sophisticated and modern mirrored tray.

Mirrored tray from Home Goods.
Mirrored tray from Home Goods.

I love the look of mirrored trays. They add a little glamor and sophistication. They’re practical too.

This one came from Home Goods. It’s nice, but I wanted something a bit more sophisticated and interesting. This is “faux” decoupage. Why not real decoupage? So that’s what I did. Read how.

Read More »

Forget about beige

Crate and Barrel spices it up with orange.
Crate and Barrel spices it up with orange.

Beige will ultimately end up boring you.

Think about it. What’s your favorite color? Have you ever said… beige? Yet it’s the “go to” color for decorating. It lacks, well… color! That’s not all bad. It can be a backdrop for the colors YOU DO love. Like food, add a little spice to your beige. In the same way that spice adds interest to food, color adds interest to a room.