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Life at Home 14 May 2024

(OPINION) The revolution in Life at Home: how the “Meaningful generation” is changing the game!

The world around us is evolving at a rapid pace, with every generation leaving its unique mark on the canvas of time. At Ingka Group (largest IKEA retailer that represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales), we have been paying close attention to a new generation of consumers – the Meaningful generation. Rooted in core principles, this generation is reshaping our world through democratic design and meaningful affordability. But what really defines the Meaningful generation

“Rooted in core principles, the Meaningful Generation is reshaping our world through democratic design and meaningful affordability”

– Belén Frau, Global Communication Manager at Ingka Group

Here are five distinguishing traits: 

1. Democratic Design

Meaningful generation passionately believe that good design is for everyone, and not just an elite. They seek out products that bring form, function, quality, and sustainability, all at an affordable price. Their mantra? Access to Design should not be a privilege of a few. It should inspire and be accessible to all. This reflects in the way they choose to decorate their spaces, making a statement of inclusivity. Echoing this sentiment, the latest Life at Home Reports* revealed that those who feel their home reflects their identity are 1.5 times more likely to feel more positive about them. This fact underlines the Meaningful generation’ approach: your space is not just where you live; it is a canvas to reflect who you are, your uniqueness, your identity.

2. Meaningful Affordability:

For the Meaningful generation, affordability is not just about low prices. It is about value, longevity, and making mindful choices. They are ready to invest in pieces that are sustainably produced, have a longer life span, and align with their values. Embracing the second-hand market, they find unique items that carry stories and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. They see beyond the price tag, looking for the story and the impact behind every purchase, and the values behind every brand they engage with. This perspective is mirrored in a recent finding where almost 1 in 3 people say it is the things in their home that help recall memories or experiences that are important to make home reflect who they are*. It highlights the Meaningful generation’s focus on purchases that are not only economically wise but also emotionally connecting. Moreover, a significant insight from Life at Home Report (LAHR) 2023 shows that 26% of people said not having enough money to take care of their home prevents them from feeling in control of their life at home. This underscores the importance of affordability in the Meaningful generation’s quest – it is about empowering them to create a living space that is both financially attainable and deeply personal, truly reflecting their identity and aspirations. In this journey, second-hand items aren’t just economical choices, but treasures that add a unique character and story to their living spaces.

3. Sustainability as Second Nature:

Inheriting a world grappling with environmental challenges, Meaningful generation has a keen sense of responsibility towards the planet. They prioritize products that reduce waste, champion recyclability, and have a minimal environmental footprint. Their choices reflect a commitment to a better tomorrow, making sustainability more than just a buzzword; it is a way of life. This commitment is getting more relevant in the broader community, with 72% of us who think our homes help us live sustainably, feel positive about our current life at home*. This statistic not only reinforces the growing consciousness around eco-friendly living but also aligns perfectly with the Meaning Affordability generation ethos. It shows a clear trend and need towards homes that are not only comfortable and aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally responsible.

4. Adaptable Living:

The Meaning Affordability generation values flexibility in their living spaces. Whether it is a multi-functional piece of furniture or a modular kitchen setup, they lean towards solutions that can adapt and evolve with their changing needs. Space is not just about size; it is about how efficiently and fluid it can be utilized. This notion is supported by recent findings* where 40% of people agree that space for needs and interests is important for a home to reflect their identity. This statistic highlights the growing importance of versatile and smart space usage in modern homes. Meaningful generation, with their forward-thinking approach, are pioneering this trend, seeking homes that can seamlessly transition from a cozy relaxation corner to a productive work environment, or adapt to their lifestyle changes over time.

5. Community and Collaboration:

Meaningful generation thrive on community and collaboration. They share DIY (Do It Yourself) hacks, co-create solutions, and believe in the power of collective ideation. Their approach is not just about personal fulfilment; it is about elevating everyone around them, making the world a more connected place and sharing and engaging within communities empowered by digitalisation. This sense of community is further underlined by recent findings showing that already 21% of us find a sense of belonging from shared values with others in our community*. This statistic resonates deeply with the Meaningful generation ethos, highlighting the importance of interdependence and mutual support within communities. It is not just about being self-reliant; it is about fostering a network where help, ideas, and resources are freely exchanged. And emotions are welcome as part of self-expression. 

In essence, the Meaningful generation embodies the spirit of 80 years of purpose-led IKEA history. It ranges approximately from 8 to 88 years old, from all classes, genders, and ethnicities. It´s a generation that champions design for the many, seek out meaningful affordability, and strive for a sustainable, adaptable, and collaborative world. As IKEA continues to grow and evolve as a brand, we are inspired by this generation and are committed to co-creating a brighter future together, tech enabled and people powered, a world that is fair, inclusive, affordable, and ever evolving. 

As evidence to our commitment to this generation, we showed up at the Paris Fashion Week last February, where we grabbed on Life at Home Report 2023 fact that 48% of people globally do not feel that their life at home is represented in the media to create IKEA+. With IKEA+ exhibition we celebrated the diverse dimensions of life at home, weaving the fabric of everyday real life into the tapestry of haute couture and making it available for the many people. Also, Milan Design Week last month, where based on LAHR fact that a whopping 72% of people say having a home that helps them feel positive and prepared for the future is important, we created IKEA 1st exhibition. It was all about the firsts wishes in your Life at Home: the first move, the first place you create, unpacking the first box, hanging the first picture, stepping into that first shower and many other remarkable firsts. Exhibitions from real lives for real people, the many people. Because for the Meaningful generation and IKEA, self-expression starts at home! 

*Life at Home Reports – 2022 and 2023 

Belén Frau, Global Communication Manager at Ingka Group 


About Ingka Group

With IKEA retail operations on 31 markets, Ingka Group is the largest IKEA retailer and represents about 90% of IKEA retail sales. It is a strategic partner to develop and innovate the IKEA business and help define common IKEA strategies. Ingka Group owns and operates IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V. It has three business areas: IKEA Retail, Ingka Investments and Ingka Centres. Read more on

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Belén Frau GCM at Ingka Group

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