Affordable midcentury modern furniture: IKEA revives the 1956 Lovebacken side table

retro-end-tableIkea is no stranger to taking inspiration from their vintage design archives — which we explored discovered in our story about their 2012 PS collection. This time, instead of simply being influenced from the past, they have revived it. Their new LOVEBACKEN side table is a nearly exact replica of the 1956 model the LOVET. This table was one of the first flat pack pieces that Ikea manufactured, a practice that is told to have started when the Lovet’s designer Gillis Lundgren removed the table’s legs in order to fit it into his car.

ikea-lovbacken-tableThe LOVEBACKEN table went on sale in U.S. stores this summer, retailing for $59.99. With features like a distinctive grain pattern in the veneer top and plastic feet that protect against scratched floors, this mid century design revival would be a welcome addition to any retro or modern home — at a very affordable price.

From the Ikea Family Magazine:

In 1956, the LÖVET side table began the flatpack revolution when IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and designer Gillis Lundgren unscrewed its legs so they could fit it into a car. Now it’s back, renamed LÖVBACKEN. ‘It’s good to delve into the treasure chest of our design history,’ says Peter Safranek, Living Room Range Communicator. ‘It’s classic ’50s design. The leaf-shape top, angled legs… It’s a beauty.’

You can read more about the history of this design and see vintage catalog pictures in the story about Ikea LOVEBACKEN on the Daily Mail’s website.

mid-century-end-tableMega thanks to Facebook follower Carole for tipping us off to this story!

  1. Robin, NV says:

    Hah! I’m headed over the hill to Sacramento this weekend and was thinking of hitting Ikea while there. I’ll have to check out this table in person. It’d be cool if it was part of a series. A coffee table in this style would be sweet!

  2. Drew says:

    We picked up this table from IKEA this weekend. It looks great and took less than two minutes to assemble as the legs simply screw into the bottom of the table.

  3. Mary Elizabeth says:

    Yes, the table is way cool. Remember, you who have some skillsaw skills, that the MCM table legs are available in all sizes from some woodworking catalogs, and you could make your own in a similar shape using a laminate top on plywood. Or you could prime and paint the plywood top with latex enamel, creating a leaf pattern or whatever other pattern you wish. During the 1960s I think every boy I knew made some sort of side table or coffee table in woodshop, using the standard screw-in legs.

    But nobody mentioned the phone sitting on the table in the entryway photo! Wonder if it is a reproduction or a real old black rotary dial phone, which I think in the 1950s was the color of most phones, except the red one in the west wing of the White House that was connected to the Kremlin. 🙂

    1. pam kueber says:

      Great idea. I also see table legs like this — used, or sometimes even NOS — on ebay. Another idea: Dumpster dive — watch for tables with interesting legs that are out awaiting the garbage truck.

  4. Ada says:

    Words cannot express how much I love this table. Words can also not express how infuriating it is that the nearest Ikea is more than three hours from me. Pfft.

  5. Carole says:

    You’re more than welcome. Glad it was a useful lead. 🙂

    I guess if I want one of these I’d better make a beeline to IKEA. lol

  6. Fan-freakin’-tastic! Great news, great design! I never thought I was lucky to live in Canada in terms of retro finds, with its lack of Youngstowns and Genevas. However, in Toronto, we have not one but TWO Ikeas, one at each end of our city, each on the subway line, with an Ikea shuttle bus to their doors. Ikea must know they have a big market here. Now, maybe if they brought back some more vintage designs AND textiles, we’d be all over Ikea.

  7. Priscilla says:

    Thanks for posting about this. I’m visiting LI NY and I picked one up this morning.
    Because it was originally made in 1956 we have a connection 🙂

  8. Anusha says:

    We have one! I It’s next to our genuine mid century armchair (one of those chairs with springs for a rocking motion, don’t know their proper name), which I’ve draped two Ikea sheepskins on because we can’t afford to get it reupholstered right now … lol! Anyway, the table is absolutely adorable and goes perfectly with all our furniture!

  9. Scott says:

    I saw one of these in person yesterday at the IKEA in Cincinnati and it was quite attractive. Usually when it comes to new “hard pieces” of furniture I’m extremely lukewarm but I feel completely different about a faithful reissue of a vintage piece.

    I do wish it had been at price point more like $49 than $60 though, I’d probably have impulse-bought a pair without even thinking about it.

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