It all started with a dishrack

Creating space in everyday life is as true today as in the kitchens of the 1940’s. By combining the design history of Elfa, the original drawings by Nils Strinning from 1948, and the ingenuity of today, Elfa is now launching a modern, easy to assemble Elfa Dishrack.​

Learn more about the dishrack

Elfa through the years

In 2023, Elfa celebrates 75 years of innovation and customer focus. Since the beginning, the company has been a reliable partner for many people - and like society, homes and the living environment - Elfa has evolved over the years. But how has our living situation, interior design and everyday life changed over time? Watch the video to find out!

Celebrating our classics

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The Sparring Shelving system

Clean, with brackets, the so called  ”Sparring” Shelving system, has become a true Elfa classic. They can be found in homes all over the world and are often featured in acknowledged interior magazines. The simple, classy design of the bookshelves allows for the books and other interior details like vases, posters or potted plants to shine. 

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The Top track

When creating efficient, durable, and flexible storage for the Swedish parliament building, the Shelving system by Birger Sparring was enhanced by the invention of the the top track. Easy to mount on any kind of wall and with adjustable shelves as everything just hangs from the top track.

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The bracket

To minimize the impact on our world we are redesigning our products. First out was our best seller, a plain bracket. We reduced the height with nearly a third, without sacrificing it’s load capacity or high quality. And best of all, it’s durability, the bracket can still be used in a Sparring system from the 1950’s.

The dishrack was the first product in the Elfa range


NEW! Relaunching the dishrack

In 1948 our kitchens were a far cry from what they are today. We had no practical way to dry our plates, glasses, and cutlery. Arne Lydmar, our founder, had just started his engineering firm to serve the rapidly growing numbers of Swedish radio amateurs. Their slogan, “Everything between antenna and earth,” said it all.

Nils Strinning was his wife’s cousin. Nils felt very passionately about making our daily kitchen routines a lot easier. Showing Arne his ingenious design of a dish rack made of steel wire changed everything. Arne decided on the spot that he wanted to manufacture it. He would soon create a business around all sorts of products made of steel wire, not just the dish stand. He put all his energy and passion into developing the steel wire product business. “If you do the dishes, Elfa will dry them!”

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Four ingenious minds

Arne Lydmar

It’s 1948 and Arne Lydmar, the fast thinking entrepreneur, trained in electrical engineering, good with logic and numbers and said to be impossible to beat at cards, has just left IBM. His engineering firm Elfa has been registered and piles of mail-order catalogs, that his wife Britta helped him make, now occupy the kitchen table. 64 pages of “Everything between antenna and earth”.

Nils Strinning

In the same place and at the same time is Nils Strinning, Britta Lydmar’s enterprising cousin. He has just designed an ingenious dish stand made of steel wire. Seeing potential in Strinning’s idea, Arne Lydmar accepts to manufacture it and he does not think it’s a problem that dish stands are not quite Elfa’s core business.

Björn Hoff

Elfa’s sales manager has a brother, Björn Hoff, working at Osterman’s, Sweden’s largest car reseller at the time. Would he accept to take on a responsibility he did not have a clue about? He does. Björn learns how to weld and creates all the machines needed to manufacture the products. He creates Elfa’s first factory, designing all the products.

Birger Sparring

The same year in another part of Stockholm, Birger Sparring has just filed a US patent application for his invention in the wall band system. The drawing is far from new. He started his business already 15 years ago. All his European patents are based on it.

Four ingenious minds

At a time of technical expansion and a high demand for something new, four ingenious minds came to simplify everyday life to this day, 70 years later. Who were they?

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Creating space since 1948