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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bengt Ruda

Bengt Ruda (1918-1999) was a Swedish architect and furniture designer. He worked for Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) during the early 1950s and gained a name for himself with his innovative modern design.

In 1956 he was approached by IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad and accepted a position with the up-and-coming new company. Ruda was highly influenced by Italian designers, and one of his first designs for IKEA demonstrates this. His easy chair Cavelli was designed in 1959 and was presented in the IKEA catalogs that year as a "modern aristocrat." It might be surprising to many that these early IKEA designs are quite valuable today and sell for a considerable amount of money at auction.

Eventually Ruda rose to various management positions with IKEA.


Triva armchairs for NK

Easy chair for NK

Sofa for NK

Z-chair for NK

Cikada safari chair for IKEA

Cavelli chair for IKEA

Grill chair for IKEA


  1. They're all classic pieces but I must confess a preference for the Grill chair....something about it recalls primary school chairs.

    1. I'd love to have a little Grill chair sitting in one of my corners too. We so often use a slightly apologetic tone if we have any IKEA pieces in our homes, but we forget, I think, that some very talented designers have worked for the company over the years.

  2. I wouldn't have a problem having some of these earlier pieces. I love the beautiful designs and I'm pretty sure the quality of construction was considerably better in the early days. It's a shame that Ikea quality has gotten so poor, but that's mass market ideology.

    1. Yes, the quality of the early design appears excellent. But...that was the 1950s and this is 2014. Almost nothing in this world is manufactured with the level of quality it was then.

  3. They did reissue a small table recently, looks like a leaf.

    1. Yes, they reissued the 1956 Lövet table by Gillis Lundgren, which they modified somewhat and renamed Lövbacken.