Singoalla Lounge (1961)
Courtesy of auktionsverket.se

Vintage Ikea Furniture Pieces That Resell for Serious Money

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Singoalla Lounge (1961)
Courtesy of auktionsverket.se

Ikea Rich

Ikea — with its flat-packed boxes, hex wrenches, and first-apartment furniture that seldom made it to the next place in the same condition — wasn't always the brand of choice for singletons, college seniors, and divorcees. In the mid-20th century, it was a hub of Scandinavian design and a testament to making the most out of the least. Items such as the Billy bookcase, Poäng chair, Lack table, and Klippan loveseat have seen their prices rise since Ikea landed in the U.S. in 1985, while other pieces have seen their prices soar at auction as tastes and materials change. With Ikea opening its own museum of vintage offerings, we present the following as just a few examples of furnishings that can go for well more than their initial price.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Delicious Foods Worth Buying at Ikea — and Some to Skip

Ake Easy Chair (1950s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Ake Easy Chair (1950s)

Resale price: $6,900
Danish architect Philip Arctander helped give Ikea its midcentury modern sensibility with this “clam chair” — a stained beechwood lounge chair with club shaped legs and curved armrests — as his crowning achievement.

Singoalla Lounge (1961)
Courtesy of auktionsverket.se

Singoalla Lounge (1961)

Resale price: $2,100
Harald Fust designed this coveted piece, sparing no expense or detail for now-frugal Ikea. Wrapped in cerise velvet with deep-knit buttons, this fainting couch still looks gorgeous more than a half-century later.

Tufted Sofa (late 1960s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Tufted Sofa (late 1960s)

Resale price: $3,850
This three-seat brown leather tufted sofa with tubular chrome frame was designed by Johan Bertil Häggström as an Ikea original and wouldn't look out of place in a doctor's office or executive suite today. It'll test your threshold for brown, but embrace the earth tones.

Eker Armchair (1961)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Eker Armchair (1961)

Resale price: $1,571
Gillis Lundgren, just the fourth person hired by Ikea, made this red beech chairwith a curved back with splints and a seat pad in black leather. He’s responsible for the Billy bookcase as well.

Diana Safari Canvas Chairs (1972)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Diana Safari Canvas Chairs (1972)

Resale Price: $3,320
Designer Karin Mobring was behind this chair, with solid stained wood supporting a canvas-upholstered seat tied with leather straps. Inspired by a British officer's chair, the Safari chairs in this collection have been oiled, their canvas has been washed out, and their original pillows preserved.

Vibert Chairs (1993)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Vibert Chairs (1993)

Resale price: $12,000
Danish furniture designer Verner Panton used a blend of bold color and futuristic patterns and angles to create works that remain influential. Only 4,000 sets of these six postmodern chairs were made. These have their original tags in place.

Black Leather Skye Chaise (1980s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Black Leather Skye Chaise (1980s)

Resale price: $1,167
The '80s were as stark and minimalist for Ikea as they were for much of the decade's design. The Skye lounger was designed by Swedish interior designer Tord Björklund and features a black leather cushion on a black canvas supported by a black painted tubular metal base. It looks more striking than comfortable.

Space Age Club Armchair (1973)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Space Age Club Armchair (1973)

Resale price: $3,538
This was one of the last pieces the chain designed before moving beyond the Scandinavian market into continental Europe. Ikea collectors often see this as one of the points where quality drops, so this chair's fiberglass seat, original red trim, aluminum base, and mechanized reclining function are particularly prized.

White Jarpen Wire Chair (1983)
Courtesy of pamono.com

White Jarpen Wire Chair (1983)

Resale price: $1,238
You know Swedish designer Niels Gammelgaard's work when you see it. Consisting mostly of metallic wire framing, Gammelgaard's pieces often used single pieces of wire sheeting for their construction. This one remains timeless.

Vintage Oak Sideboard (1960s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Vintage Oak Sideboard (1960s)

Resale price: $2,601
Provenance isn't always easy to come by when dealing with Ikea furniture. You're relying on old catalogs and designers' records, and even those won't get you answers every time. This sideboard is still in excellent shape, but little else is known about it.

Joker Easy Chair (1950s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Joker Easy Chair (1950s)

Resale price: $2,629
Bengt Ruda used to design furniture for Sweden's Nordiska Kompaniet department stores, but this rare adjustable Joker chair made for Ikea is also Ruda's handiwork. The black-lacquered wooden base and metal frame under seat are still intact, and all of the upholstery and even the leather armrest are original.

Bore Lounge Chairs With Footstool (1970s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Bore Lounge Chairs With Footstool (1970s)

Resale price: $6,844
We saw a few of these at various auctions. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a pair of these 1970s leather button back lounge chairs, not to mention matching footstools, in their chocolate brown leather. The chairs and stool have light chrome tubular frames with removable leather cushions and are raised on Ferrari stamped casters. They were designed by Noburu Nakamura, the Japanese designer of Ikea's popular Poäng chairs.

Amiral Easy Chairs (1960s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Amiral Easy Chairs (1960s)

Resale price: $5,155
Mobring crops up again, this time after designing these minimalist chrome and leather chairs. A prime example of the Scandinavian Modern movement, these chairs don't look like much, but will fetch more than $2,500 apiece.

Teak Cabinet (1955)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Teak Cabinet (1955)

Resale price: $3,250
Again, provenance on these pieces is hard to come by, but this teak cabinet with dovetailed drawers and adjustable shelves is both a gorgeous and rare example of Ikea's earliest work. The golden birch lower interior of cabinet and drawers is particularly gorgeous.

Ladoga Sideboard (1960s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Ladoga Sideboard (1960s)

Resale price: $2,953
There’s scant information available on this piece by Erik Wørts. To give you an idea of how much the company has changed since, Wørts worked primarily with teak and rosewood, often accenting it with cane and leather. That level of detail, and depth of color, is absent today.

Troligen Leather Lounge Chairs (1970s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Troligen Leather Lounge Chairs (1970s)

Resale price:$2,621
Häggström stuff has quite a following among collectors. The tubular metal framed lounge chairs with original brown tufted cushion and arm rests are similar to a sofa we featured earlier, and are only slightly less costly.

Guide Shelving Unit (1985)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Guide Shelving Unit (1985)

Resale price: $2,291
Gammelgaard's minimalist metal designs got a pop of color here. Useful in the home or office, thisshelving unit has adjustable feet and is composed of particleboard, fiberboard, ABS plastic, acrylic paint, and paper shelves on a powder-coated steel structure. The shelves are white on one face but have bursts of color on the other, which can make them either really fun or painfully practical.

Winnie Armchairs (1950)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Winnie Armchairs (1950)

Resale price: $2005
Though French designer Pierre Frey put his name on his own design company in 1935, he did a bit of work for Ikea in the 1950s. The Winnie modeluses birch wood, upholstered in quilted beige and yellow wool cloth that seems incredibly plush by Ikea standards.

Fest Brass And Glass Chandelier (1960s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Fest Brass And Glass Chandelier (1960s)

Resale price: $1,665
Interior designer Hans-Agne Jakobsson, the man behind Elysett lamps, didn't like to advertise his work for Ikea. As a result, he anonymously designed this gem, which is named with the Swedish term for party.

Grace-61 Armchair (1961)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Grace-61 Armchair (1961)

Resale price: $2,090
We aren't sure who designed this armchair, but its oak frame and armrestsuggest they took great care before handing it off to Ikea. This chair takes on some added value after being fully restored and re-upholstered with camel leather.

Oti Lounge Chairs (1986)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Oti Lounge Chairs (1986)

Resale price: $2,503
These diamond-shaped lounge chairs are the crown jewels of designer Gammelgaard's stint with Ikea. These metal-screen chairs look like modern art.

Leather Poäng Chairs & Footrest (1970s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Leather Poäng Chairs & Footrest (1970s)

Resale price: $3,447
This is Nakamura's lasting gift to Ikea and one of its top sellers to this day. It's the leather on this particular version that makes these pieces so valuable today.

Tajt Lounge Chair (1973)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Tajt Lounge Chair (1973)

Resale price: $1,441
Another gem from Lundgren, this chair was all about function. This chair is basically cushions strapped together. Release those straps — restored, in this chair's case — and it makes a fine mattress. The result is a piece that's been a fixture in family rooms and dorms for generations.

Swivel Chair (1980s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Swivel Chair (1980s)

Resale price: $1,350
This low-slung lounge chair has no discernible lineage, but you definitely weren't supposed to use it with a desk or as a table chair. Nice in front of a television or just fine in a den or family room, this navy blue aluminum beauty is stuffed with new filling for added comfort.

Axvall Lounge Chair (early 2000s)
Courtesy of 1stdibs.com

Axvall Lounge Chair (early 2000s)

Resale price: $1,017
Gammelgaard continued his wiry metal theme well into the 21st century. Thislimited-edition chair featured an off-white enamel base and elastic cords as upholstery. It's long since been discontinued.

Kroken Lounge Chairs (1970s)
Courtesy of pamono.com
Natura Armchairs (1977)
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Natura Armchairs (1977)

Resale price: $2,718
More comfortable Danish modern armchairs designed by Karin Mobring, these beauties still stand out today. Their pine frame looks familiar, but it's that thick cognac-colored leather that's the showstopper.

Leather Lounge Chair (1970s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Leather Lounge Chair (1970s)

Resale price: $1,500
Even Ikea designer Bjorklund's creations looked better in cognac leather. But the beauty of that leather patina is matched by the overall stability of the chair.

Midcentury Armchairs (1960s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Midcentury Armchairs (1960s)

Resale price: $1,382
Ruda was on a roll for Ikea in the 1960s. These chairs used beech wooden frames to support an upholstered canvas seat and backrest with thick leather armrests.

Mats Theselius Chairs (1980s)
Courtesy of etsy.com

Mats Theselius Chairs (1980s)

Resale price: $1,070
Still a star of Scandanavian design, Mats Theselius is more commonly associated with far more costly work than Ikea chairs. But these, even with a few breaks in the wicker on one backrest, can command four figures easily.

Hasslo Chairs (1990s)
Courtesy of pamono.com

Hasslo Chairs (1990s)

Resale price: $851
Perhaps best known for designing Ikea's Stockholm Bowl, dutch designer Monika Mulder also designed thisset of four lounge armchairs for Ikea's PS Design branch. With an orange wire steel frame and a seat and back of translucent polyurethane, these chairs were part of a limited edition that's drawing a lot of attention a generation later.

Nejika Porcelain Kitchen Set (1990)
Courtesy of bukowskis.com

Bonus: Nejika Porcelain Kitchen Set (1990)

Resale price: $1,200
Don't toss your old post-college dinnerware until you're sure it's worthless. The somewhat unlikely sale of this set of porcelain, was reported by the Daily Mail, and the price provides just some inkling of what even modest Ikea pieces, beyond the vintage furniture, can fetch.