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IKEA relaunches first flat-pack table

The three-legged, leaf-shaped side table that sparked a revolution in self-assembly furniture over 60 years ago is returning to IKEA stores next month.


Scandinavian furniture giant IKEA is relaunching the 1956 Lövet table, which they have re-engineered and renamed Lövbacken.

The original design was conceived when IKEA designer Gillis Lundgren was unable to fit the table in his car. By sawing off the legs, Lundgren inadvertently created flat-pack furniture.

Emily Birkin, country sales manager for IKEA UK and Ireland, said that customers are increasingly interested in buying furniture with a story attached to it. "We decided to bring back a popular piece that not only comes steeped in history but combines retro styling with modern convenience," she said.

“We wanted to pay tribute to the timeless appeal of the original Lövet whilst retaining its simple and practical assembly," Birkin added.

1956 IKEA catalogue featuring the Lövet table

The brown Lövebacken table features a leaf-shaped tabletop made from poplar veneer and has three detachable beech legs with gold-coloured accents on the feet. It measures 77 centimetres in length, 39 centimetres wide and stands at a height of 51 centimetres.

The table returns to stores in the UK, Netherlands and other select countries from August 2013.

IKEA have recently unveiled designs for flat-pack refugee shelters and launched miniature versions of its products for children to play with.

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Here's the press release from IKEA:

Return of the Table that started the “flatpack revolution”

IKEA brings back the company’s first piece of Flatpack Furniture with launch of LÖVBACKEN side table

Home furnishings company IKEA, is re-launching the original piece of furniture that kick-started the flatpack revolution. The LÖVBACKEN side table, originally sold by IKEA as the LÖVET in 1956, will be making a come-back into stores in August 2013 as the new IKEA catalogue is sent to 13,157,000 households in the UK.

The LÖVBACKEN takes its inspiration from the LÖVET or 'the leaf', the company’s first product to be sold in a flat pack rather than fully-assembled. Almost 60 years on, the table has been redeveloped and re-issued by IKEA as the LÖVBACKEN, enabling everyone to own a piece of design history.

Created by the same team responsible for the main IKEA range – which now numbers 9,500 different products – and of which there are 90 occasional (or side tables) tables, LÖVBACKEN is faithful to the original design right down to its measurements. One tweak to the design will see the original use of jacaranda for the first LÖVET table top replaced with a stained poplar veneer on MDF for the LÖVBACKEN.


Whilst photography of the original LÖVET exists, the original designs were thought to be have been missing until IKEA designers rediscovered them in the company’s archives.

According to IKEA folklore the LOVET was being used in an IKEA catalogue photography session but its three-legged, leaf shape proved too cumbersome for designer Gillis Lundgren to fit into the car. To solve this, Lundgren sawed off the legs and, at that moment started a flatpack, self-assembly revolution.

The LÖVBACKEN side table captures the beauty of mid-century modern with its poplar veneer patterned table top and skinny solid beech legs tipped with gold-coloured foil. At 51 cm high, it’s just the right size to pair with an armchair or alongside a sofa.

Emily Birkin, Country Sales Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland said:

“Most people will have a piece of furniture that they’ve either built or put together somewhere in their house. But until now, not many will know the incredible story about how it all began with a simple little table.

“We know from our research that people are becoming more and more interested in buying pieces of furniture that have a story attached to them, so we decided to bring back a popular piece that not only comes steeped in history but combines retro styling with modern convenience.

“We wanted to pay tribute to the timeless appeal of the original LÖVET whilst retaining its simple and practical assembly. By working together with our customers and enabling them to be a part of the production process, we’re able to make good design affordable to everyone. Now everyone can own a design classic.”

The LÖVBACKEN is part of the IKEA 2014 range and is available for just £40 in tinted, clear lacquered poplar veneer. The new range launches in the new IKEA catalogue in August 2013.