For the past two years, most of us have spent a bit more time at home than ever before. Swedish furniture giant IKEA used their annual Life at Home report to get a sense of how this has affected the global populace. In their 2021 issue, a team of quantitative and qualitative researchers asked thousands of people around the globe to share their unique home experiences.
The accompanying photography and art direction highlight everyday life and pull emotionally revelatory insights from the research. Despite the occasionally serious subject matter, it features dynamic, playful design with unexpected shapes and whimsical colors. This journal is less a catalog than a compelling portrait of how the Covid era continues to affect life at home.
In 2021, home furnishing retailer IKEA launched its eighth annual Life at Home Report, exploring how thousands of people worldwide feel about their homes — places they live in everyday. Every year they search for remarkable lessons of what makes life at home noteworthy, so they can help people thrive in the spaces they occupy and feel in there eased even more.
And never before this research has been so important as it was before the Covid-19 pandemic when it comes to our prosperity at home.
With the help of the brand purpose agency Given, based in London, England, IKEA assembled a team of qualitative and quantitative research partners to ask over 34,000 people globally to share experiences on mental wellbeing about their home spaces. These insights shaped the report’s content and creative communications platform: Balance Starts at Home. For the first time in the Life at Home Report’s history, a bespoke editorial-led magazine was delivered alongside a traditional report format. It features a wide selection of stories that touch on the key five themes of mental wellbeing at home thoroughly explored in the research: space, community, relationships, rituals, and the future home.
Life at home is personal. And hence, we had aimed for this first magazine edition to be the same. As the Editor-in-Chief of “A Balanced Place” writes, the “wild contradiction is where the data ends and the story starts.” To achieve balance in a year full of ‘no’, the way we use our spaces has shifted. And we have been seeking to share many stories of motion: essays, interviews, manifestos, photographs, drawings and artefacts by contributors from all walks of life. From pictures of tranquil everyday life in Ikaria island in Greece, to a story of culinary innovator Dr. Aris LaTham who at his age of 75 has moved far seeking new place to thrive. Diving into a bedtime scrolling with a writer Emma Beddington, and inventing a near future with the bright minds from Near Future Laboratory.
Led by the concept „Balance is not still”, we wanted to create a dynamic and inspiring design, yet not overwhelming that let us take a few longer breaks in this period of time. We took the already known iconic IKEA Noto font and integrated it into dynamic, somewhat unexpected compositions of shapes and colours that give the magazine a bit of strangeness and delight fun. In the art direction of photography, we wanted to highlight everyday life, pulling out simple emotions from the magazine’s heroes.