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Small family home, big retro vibe!

15 June 2016

In a 66m2 apartment in Spain the past is still going strong. As soon as we stepped inside, colourful design icons from decades past caught our eye in every corner. But for Fernando and Diana, retro isn’t just a look, it’s a lifestyle. ‘First it was just music and clothes,’ says Fernando. ‘But now it’s what we do every moment we’re not working. When it’s grey outside, the vibrancy of our home makes me smile.’

A vintage IKEA lamp adds personality to a sideboard display
Fernando’s wife Diana loves retro clothes as much as retro furniture

Fernando and diana’s home truths

OUR HOME IS… where we feel happiest.
THERE ARE FOUR OF US… Fernando, Diana, Martina (4) and Philippe the dog.
NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE VINTAGE… but it has to fit in with the retro style – like the IKEA PS range. And we have to really love it! Practical pieces are great, but only if they look good as well.

‘We have a list of the IKEA pieces we’d like to find, so when we spot one at a vintage fair or online, it feels like discovering treasure!’
Fernando, accountant, Spain

Pick up vintage IKEA on eBay or at flea markets


Designed by Verner Panton, this colourful zigzag chair is made from just four sheets of MDF. ‘It’s a favourite,’ says Fernando. ‘We bought ours for €130 on eBay. But they can sell for as much as €1,000; it’s crazy!’

The most unusual IKEA pieces become the most valuable


A space age light with lots of personality, this was created by Carl Öjerstam and Magnus Elebäck. ‘Be adventurous when you go to IKEA! I like to buy the strangest thing in the store,’ says Fernando. ‘Those are the things that gain the most value!’

Statement chairs give your home instant personality


Ole Gjerløv-Knudsen and Torben Lind created this chair, which was produced by a company that made plastic buckets and bowls. ‘We pick up lots of furniture from vintage fairs,’ says Fernando. ‘This is Martina’s favourite.’

Vintage lamps like the TELEGONO are hard to find


This sculptural design, with an adjustable reflector, is by Vico Magistretti and came in red, black, and white, as well as orange. ‘Pieces like this are hard to find,’ says Fernando. ‘They don’t make them like this anymore!’ 

A table and chairs set designed for compact living


Sandra Kragnert’s design for a super-compact dining table with tuck-away chairs suits Fernando and Diana’s small space perfectly. ‘We eat dinner here,’ says Diana. ‘If we have dinner at all!’

A LÖVBACKEN table gives you the vintage look without the expense


This reissue of the first ever IKEA flatpack design – the LÖVET table from 1956 – adds a vintage look without the vintage price tag. ‘It’s our new favourite,’ says Fernando. ‘It suits our style perfectly.’

Mix new IKEA pieces from the IKEA PS range with your vintage finds

‘We only buy furniture that we really like. We wouldn’t get something if the colour wasn’t right – we wouldn’t just paint it!’
Diana, accountant

Patterned fabrics and furniture make a real style statement

In love with patterns

‘Colour and patterns make us feel lively,’ says Diana. ‘We mix and match them as much as we like and never think there’s too much. When we first moved in our walls were orange, then grey, and finally white. It’s much easier to combine lots of colours with a white background.’

Patterned fabrics and furniture make a real style statement

Live and sleep in one space

The living room doubles as the master bedroom thanks to a pull-down bed that folds away to free up space during the day. ‘It’s our best idea,’ says Fernando. ‘One part of the living area is for sleeping, another for painting, eating and being with friends. The colourful bookshelves around the bed are actually from the IKEA kitchen section, but I think they help the space feel more like a living room.’

Floorplan of Fernando’s home

Family fun in a small home

‘Our 66m2 apartment is small but works for the four of us,’ says Diana. ‘When we moved in 10 years ago we wanted an open home without walls, but that’s hard to find in our city… so we took out a wall between the hallway and the living and dining area to let in more light and make the space bright and sunny.’

Love the iconic designs in Fernando’s home? See them and more at the new IKEA museum, based in the first ever IKEA store in Älmhult, Sweden. It opens 30 June 2016!

Made by

Photography: Daniel Farmer 
Styling: Emily Henson 
Black and white photography: Elena Fletcha