IKEA is going back to the future to ring in a remarkable milestone.
The brand — which is celebrating its 80th birthday this year — is launching a limited-edition collection for its anniversary that pays tribute to iconic designs from its past.
Featuring furniture, bedding, home decor and accessories in eye-catching tones with bright, joyful vibes, the Nytillverkad collection is being released at select IKEA Canada stores starting in July.
To start, 25 products will be launched, with the global retailer promising more to come at a later date.
Nytillverkad digs back into the brand’s archives to reimagine and reconfigure pieces from its collection that have held a place in the heart of fans — and the company’s designers themselves.
“IKEA is always harvesting from our own treasure chests, not going through Instagram feeds and looking for what is cool,” Marcus Engman, IKEA chief creative officer, told Daily Hive at 2023 Milan Design Week, where journalists were given a first look at the designs.
The journey to release Nytillverkad was long and involved extensive searches through old catalogues and many conversations with IKEA archivists, longtime staff and designers both past and present, explains Karin Gustavsson, creative leader at IKEA and for the Nytillverkad collection. It’s also intentionally very colourful.
“After the pandemic, we needed colour again — that amazing colour splash,” Gustavsson said.
Scandinavian design in the 1970s and ’80s came from a “colourful” place and was heavily influenced by bold colours and pattern pallets, Engman added.
“We thought it was a good thing to bring back.”
IKEA is going back to its roots with inspired pieces that are simple and functional, yet unique and playful. With a history spanning eight decades, the drop is also a leap in technological advancements — using fabrics and materials not available when the former pieces were originally conceived. Think vintage, recreated and reworked with a modern flare.
At Milan Design Week, Fredrika Inger, managing director at IKEA of Sweden, said the new line will kick off several years of releasing a series of “carefully selected” items from the archive, updated to reflect its customers and the bold look of a new generation.
When it came to exactly what to replicate, designs were chosen intentionally based on whether they could be timeless and how they were conceived of and appreciated by customers around the world.
Here are five of our favourite classics for tomorrow that are dropping in the first iteration of the limited-edition Nytillverkad collection:
The throwback mid-century modern side table
The most vintage piece in the entire collection is the Lövbacken side table ($99), a mid-century modern minimalist side table that first graced the pages of IKEA’s catalogue over 60 years ago.
First introduced in 1956 as Lövet, it was one of the brand’s very first flat-pack designs.
The new Lövbacken comes in orange, blue, and light green with an ash veneer top — and adds a pop of colour to any room.
A candy-coated coat stand
The Bondskäret ($49) originally rolled out in the 1970s, an era IKEA heralds as a radical moment in design. Then called the SMED, it’s long been a favourite of vintage resellers.
The new restyled piece comes in two new colours, dreamy lilac and cheerful yellow. It’s also been developed to be more stable than the OG version, and to meet today’s flat-packing standards for easy shipping and transport.
The original designer, Rutger Andersson, heralds the tree-like gem as an ingenious example of postmodern design.
The versatile stackable stool
Who doesn’t love a stackable stool at home? The multi-functional Domsten ($45) has a smooth pine seat top and metal legs in contemporary colours.
Designed by Karin Mobring, it appeared under the name Jerry in the IKEA catalogue in 1973. The 2023 version has been improved using high-density steel, a move indicative of the brand trying to harmonize sustainability and affordability as it tries to achieve full circularity by 2030.
The cute-as-a-button mini stool is Scandinavian design perfection. Gustavson says it’s a piece that was chosen for the collection because it has a lot of “IKEA identity,” but is propped up with new colour options.
Upbeat ’80s fabric reimagined
The joy in the collection is surely centred on Swedish textile designer Sven Fristedt’s groovy Krypkornell fabric.
First introduced more than 40 years ago as the Bladhut pattern on a cover for the Klippan sofa, it’s now going to be available on bedding, kitchen accessories, pre-cut fabric, and cushion covers.
“I don’t think your home needs to be as coordinated as it has been in the past decade and you can explore with more colours and textures,” says Gustavson.
But that’s not all for bold colour patterns in the drop. The new collection will also include Fristedt’s clean diagonal pattern, Lagermispel, in candy pink, sky blue and banana yellow, as well as duvet covers sets (starting at $39.99) and napkins ($3.99).
Minimalist candle holders
Sibling dynamic duo Knut and Marianne Hagberg originally conceived of these minimalist, unembellished candle holders in 1980. Then known as Cylinder, the new iteration — Tuvkornell ($59 for a set of three) — will come in lilac, primary green and blue.
The accessories are as iconic as their designers. In their 40+ years designing pieces together at IKEA, the brother and sister rolled out over 2,100 pieces, from toothbrushes to tables. They even collaborated on the Frakta bag, IKEA’s ubiquitous bright blue carrier shopping bag with yellow logo handles.
The limited collection is available starting July 1, at select IKEA Canada stores including IKEA Coquitlam, Etobicoke, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax.