Ride the Metro this week in Paris and you might get off the train to an odd sight: No, it’s not the ol’ dorm-room-recreated-on-the-lawn college prank, it’s an ad. Ikea set up their furniture collections in a few busy stations (St. Lazare, Champs Elysées Clémenceau, Concorde, and Opéra), supplementing those rock-hard, gum-stained waiting benches with comfy and pristine (for now) Ektorp and Kalstad couches and Brasa floor lamps. Posters on the walls continue the vibe with trompe l’oeil cabinets and bookshelves.
Ikea pulled a similar trick last January, when the company set up a fake Oval Office in Washington D.C.’s Union Station. Though it might not make Paris straphangers think about redecorating (more likely to remind them what a pain it is to schlep furniture on the subway), it’s sure to confuse some bleary-eyed morning commuters. “Wait, where am I?”