Love it or hate it, Ikea is one of the most intriguing businesses on the planet.
With its endless amounts of meatballs, super-frustrating helpful arrows on the floor and flatpacks aplenty, the furniture retailer has become of the UK’s most-loved brands and on Tuesday (6 February) the BBC gave viewers a look behind the scenes.
Here are 20 moments that made it must-see viewing...
1. When it started with this guy’s frank take on Ikea
It was clear that from this point on, we’d be in for a no-holds-barred look at the furniture shop.
2. This shot of a designer, who clearly hadn’t done her homework so tried to pull this off
The cushion-coat, coming to a store near you!
3. Tom Dixon’s introduction set the tone for his scenes
4. And his determination to avoid calling a bed, ‘a bed’
5. Paul’s enthusiasm for the 80s-themed party
In his defence, the shell suit really was something.
6. “Platform for living”
7. This fact about the catalogue knocked us for six
The Ikea catalogue’s print run is bigger than the Bible’s, and the Quran’s.
8. “Bed sofa”
Definitely not a bed, people. No beds to see here.
9. The Catalogue Council
Sarah, the catalogue designer, works tirelessly on the design each year. Then if the council don’t like her work, they just bin it. They’re terrifying.
10. When this Ikea employee shared our flatpack struggles
Smug grins all round, it’s not just us who end up in floods of tears every time.
11. Tom’s second passion was making sure his design wasn’t called a “sofa bed”
His colleague deserves a raise for putting up with this.
12. This detail about “the Ikea way”
Even the top bosses usually take buses, in order to cut costs.
13. When we found out what happens if you call Tom’s design a sofa, while he’s in the room
So just to make things clear: Beds are “primary living unit”, unless Tom is bickering with Ikea over his design, in which case “bed” shall be shouted from the rooftops. Got that?
14. And how he got his own back on stage at a fancy furniture fair
This guy’s face also deserves 10 points.
15. This return to Warrington gave us a real insight into the future
Whatever Paul’s having, we want one.
16. Simon’s desire to visit Ikea HQ was one of the purest things on television
Until he questioned why a colleague should get to go twice and tried to get her thrown off the shortlist, that is.
17. His face when he got there was even better
It’s like Disneyland but even more amazing, basically.
18. Everyone’s joy at discovering what Ikea almost named one of their products
It was rejected for the obvious reason.
19. Paul’s verdict on the catalogue
NOBODY TELL SARAH!
20. Finally, we’ll never forget the image of Tom’s sofa bed going up in flames
Just redo the safety tests, they said! It’ll be easy, they said!
Don’t worry though, they got there in the end.
Watch ‘Flatpack Empire’ on BBC iPlayer.