Ikea means different things to different people. For some, it’s a place to stock up on inexpensive essentials for offspring leaving the nest. For others, it’s the home of organizational inspiration for a closet or a room. And still others see it as the preferred option for in-home kitchen design and installation. Its name conjures up an image as individual as the shopper who straps on a big blue bag and strolls through its Marketplace but there’s one irrefutable fact: Ikea has always first and foremost been about innovative product designs. It can’t be a coincidence that Ikea rhymes with idea.
This month the Swedish company launches its Ikea PS 2012 series of products that rejuvenates some of its most exceptional pieces from the past. PS stands for Post Scriptum. The series debuted in 1995 to showcase Ikea’s original designs. In this 7th edition 19 designers took 46 products and gave them new life with sustainable materials and updated looks. They kept family budgets in mind while drawing inspiration from Ikea’s 60-year past.
Designer Marcus Arvonen merged two previous Ikea chairs, one made of plastic, the other wood, to create his wood-plastic composite chair with an armrest ($99). Although it comes in black or red, Arvonen explains it’s also green.
“The excellent design qualities of plastic come through and the wood composite means reduced carbon dioxide emissions when we manufacture.”
The PS 2012 glass-door cabinet ($499) stores and showcases your stuff. A wall of different sized frames is built into the door. Designers Lisa Widén and Anna Wallin Irinarchos took their cue from cabinets of the 1980’s.
“Today, we want to highlight all sorts of things, not just porcelain. As long as your things fit in the cabinet there are no limits, and you can put an attractive frame around both everyday things and collectibles.”
Imagine plants or bowls of décor balls on tabletops that cannot be knocked over. That’s one of the advantages to a version of the PS 2012 side table ($29.99-$39.99). Henrik Preutz created a contemporary, square table that was inspired by flower stands from years ago and comes in three styles.
“You choose whether you want a table with a flat surface, with a big fruit bowl or with four bowls – bowls that you can use for anything from flowers to snacks. If you have a hard time choosing, you can easily combine all the tables together to make one large sideboard.”
Three blond-wood side tables put together to make a sideboard. One has a bowl of limes, one is flat and the third has plants in its recessive bowls
Ola Wihlborg explains her motivation for creating a coffee table on wheels ($49.99) that comes in blue or white and modernizes a relic from the past.
“Old IKEA catalogues are filled with forgotten pearls and exciting furniture. I stumbled upon the tea trolley one day when I was browsing through catalogues. Tea trolleys feel old-fashioned, but there’s still a need today for mobile things. My goal became designing different solutions for the living room, not just a piece of furniture. Instead of being just a tea trolley, the coffee table also works for storage. The castors make it easy for you to move the table about and, when you want, to choose a new way to use it.”
The PS 2012 collection includes lamps, storage solutions, furniture, artwork, rugs, oven dishes and many more ideas that offer a nod to the company’s history while focusing on current and future trends. Although attractive and affordable, these pieces are meant to appeal on a practical level, too. As project leader Peter Klinkert explains, “We don’t do IKEA PS collections just to make a kind of intellectual discourse about our design passion. It’s much more about creating relevancy for the many people at home. Design belongs in real homes.”
View the entire PS 2012 collection at www.ikea.ca.
- Lisa Brandt is an author and decorating enthusiast. She’s the morning newscaster on 98.1 Free FM radio in London, On. Visit her at www.lisabrandt.ca