You probably come across these brands every day but do you really know them well? Read on to discover the facts and figures behind the biggest names in home furnishings.
#1: The home furnishings giant initially started life in 1943 as a catalogue homeware supplier.
#2: Ingvar Kamprad, who launched the business, used his initials coupled with the first letters of Elmtaryd (the farm he grew up in) and Agunnaryd (his home town in Smaland) to form the name Ikea.
#3: The 1956 Lovet table, a three-legged, leaf-shaped table – reengineered and relaunched as the Lövbacken a couple of years back – was what sparked a revolution in self-assembly furniture after Swedish designer Gillis Lundgren was forced to saw the legs off to fit it into his car.
#1: The name Dulux is derived from the words luxury and DuPont – an American chemical company founded in 1802.
#2: The OId English Sheepdog – affectionately nicknamed the “Dulux Dog” – has been the brand mascot for the paint brand since 1963. The most famous was Fernville Lord Digby, who had his own stunt doubles.
#3: Paint images are magnified as much as 25,000 times during the research and development stages at Dulux’s R&D centres in order to understand how quickly and well the paints dry.
#1: Founders Peter Bonnén and Kristian Byrge did not come from creative backgrounds. Peter was from the Economics field, while Kristian was in strategic management. But the pair’s love for architecture and design led them to set up this furniture label.
#2: Muuto works only with Scandinavian designers to keep the spirit of the brand.
#3: Made from soft silicon rubber, their Unfold pendant lamp can actually be folded and packaged neatly just by pushing the top of the fixture.
#1: Launched in 2002, this Danish design company only started selling furniture in 2009.
#2: Normann Copenhagen receives five to 10 design proposals each day from designers all over the world.
#3: The steel base of the Form chair, introduced by the brand in early 2015, is welded together by hand, making the use of screws unnecessary.
#1: While the brand’s iconic mixers have been made since 1919, it was only in the 1930s that they took on their now-familiar form.
#2: The kitchen appliance company got its name when the founder showed the wives of the executives in his company a prototype model of their mixer, and one of them exclaimed that it was the “best kitchen aid” she ever had.
#3: The KitchenAid Experience Retail Centre at Greenville, Ohio has a museum dedicated to vintage KitchenAid artefacts, advertisements, and iconic products such as Julia Child’s K5A mixer.
#1: The toilet manufacturer was founded in 1917 by Kazuchika Okura, who was working for a ceramics company then and thought it was a good ideas to make toilet bowls in a time when Japan had yet to have any.
#2: The name Toto comes from a contraction of the Japanese words for oriental ceramics.
#3: First introduced in 1980, the washlet is Toto’s signature product. It is an electronic toilet seat that comes with features including a pre-mist (a spray of water that covers the toilet bowl to prevent waste from sticking), a heated seat, a dryer and a deodoriser. 36 million washlets have since been sold worldwide.
#1: Le Creuset’s signature colour is the Flame, modelled after the intense orange hue of molten cast iron inside a cauldron.
#2: While Le Creuset’s pieces are associated with French style and cuisine, the brand has also worked to build an international presence by coming up with pieces to embrace local cooking trends such as a cast iron wok, an Indian karahi dish, a Japanese sukiyaki pan, an Italian risotto pot and a Moroccan tagine.
#3: The cast iron is still being made in the original foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand in the North of France, with each piece passing through the hands of 15 skilled artisans.
This was adapted from Brand Story vol.1 2016