Everyone’s favorite Swedish furniture store is trying something new.

By Lauren Phillips
February 05, 2019
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Filling a new apartment or home with furniture, décor, and household essentials can be exhilarating; it can be the sort of challenge that has both an engaging process and a satisfying final result. For frequent movers, though, or anyone with constantly changing tastes, it can be pricey and quickly exhausting, especially if furniture buying (either in a new home or for a new look) means tossing all the older pieces.

IKEA is testing out a new solution to this growing problem, and if the experiment works, swapping out furniture might be easier—and more affordable—in the very near future. According to the Financial Times, IKEA is going to start leasing furniture to customers, starting with a trial in Switzerland starting as soon as February. The trial will involve several different types of furniture, with customers returning the furniture at the end of the leasing period and either leasing something else or making a permanent purchase.

IKEA won’t be the first company to offer customers temporary ownership of furniture, but it may be one of the largest and best-known traditional furniture companies to try renting out. The new option may extend the lifespan of furnishings, an IKEA executive told the Financial Times, which would be a shift toward a more sustainable furniture industry, especially coming from IKEA, which is known for its hyper-affordable (and hyper-tossable) furniture offerings.

The trial could lead to subscription services for different types of furniture at home and in offices. If successful, changing the look of a home as trends change could be as simple as waiting out the furniture lease; allowing bedrooms to grow and change with sprouting children could be much, much easier on the wallet and on the environment. And, of course, frequent movers could feel less guilty about leaving furniture behind, rather than packing up and moving it all.

The trial’s results remain to be seen, but if the test is successful, shopping for furniture could look very different very soon.