A big Scandinavian furniture store with a four-letter name that starts and ends in vowels is about to open a gigantic branch on the outskirts of London. No big deal, you might think. However, this is not the Swedish behemoth you're imagining, but Danish competition in the form of ILVA. The firm began in its homeland 32 years ago, before opening a flagship in Ikea's backyard in Malmö, Sweden. Now it's set to move outside Scandinavia for the first time with three stores planned for the UK. The rapid expansion begins in Thurrock, just outside London, in July when the first British branch is set to open. Others will follow in Manchester and Gateshead.
On first impressions, their eclectic range seems to sit somewhere between Ikea and the more upmarket Habitat (also owned by the Swedes), and it's good to hear that only a small percentage of the products will be flat-packed. You can see several that caught my eye after the jump, including the vaguely Starck-inspired dining room.