Monday, March 14, 2011

Invasion of the Knappa

The first time I can remember admiring the IKEA Knappa lamp was at a hair salon five or six years ago. When you spend a few hours in a salon, boredom forces you to acknowledge every aspect of the d├ęcor and this lamp became the subject of my observation. After I left the salon, I began to see the lamp everywhere—In other salons, restaurants, boutiques and apartments. This flickr photostream is a collection of Knappas found throughout the world.

I thought it was strange that so many gravitated to this one lamp, given the number of lamps there are to choose from in this world, so I did a little research to try and illuminate the reasons behind its popularity.

1. It’s from IKEA.  Everyone loves IKEA. It’s cheap, it looks good, and it’s fast. Shopping at IKEA is like Disney World for adults; you can stroll through inspiring fake rooms filled with IKEA goodies, grab whatever box of furniture you want from the shelves for immediate gratification, laugh at hilarious Swedish names, and reinvent the style of your home in just a few hours. The only downside about IKEA is that everyone else loves it too, so you’ll likely see your own furniture in other people’s homes.

2. It looks more expensive than it is. The lamp adds ambiance to any room, which is why you’ll often see it in salons or restaurants or above a dining room table. It gives off darker and more flattering light than your typical florescent lamp—as IKEA’s wesbite explains, it “gives a soft mood light.” And since its just $30, small businesses like the aforementioned salons and boutiques can afford the classy look without breaking the bank.

3. It’s a knock-off of a famous lamp. Supposedly the Knappa is actually a knock-off of the lamps created by a Danish company called Le Klint. The Le Klint “Pendant,” as they’re called, were inspired by famous Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen, who designed an “artichoke” pendant that looks reminiscent of the Knappa.