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Home 4 | In the minds of IKEA designers

Every item in the IKEA range starts out the same way: as the brainchild of a talented designer, brought to life by a bigger team of developers, engineers, manufacturers and more, before finding its way into stores as a finished product. What thoughts and considerations went into some of our most-loved products? Well, the best way to find out is to ask!

TUFJORD bedframe by Ola Wihlborg

The TUFJORD upholstered bed frame brings a soft and luxurious feeling to the bedroom, with top-quality materials and details. “When I designed TUFJORD,” Ola explains, “I wanted to maximise comfort and softness and create an embracing feeling in bed. The curved headboard creates a secluded place for cocooning moments ⎼ like reading, cuddling or relaxing after a long day. The shaped metal legs and the soft, beautiful upholstery give the bed a characteristic look.”

CHILIFRUKT vase by Mikael Axelsson

In the beginning, the CHILIFRUKT vase wasn’t even a vase at all. “It actually started out as a jug – and you can still use it as both,” Mikael says. “I like to keep my designs as simple as possible, with a reason backing every single decision. At the same time, I don’t want to end up with something boring or expected, so I try to find an unusual element that still adds purpose to the piece. This vase’s interesting pinched look also makes it easy to pour from; and achieving both is what I aim for in all my work.”

BRÖNDEN rug by Akanksha Deo

Handcrafted details come up again and again in Akanksha’s work. She has worked closely with craftspeople in her home country, India, which taught her to appreciate the skills mastered over many generations.

HAVSTEN chair by Andreas Fredriksson

Andreas dreamed of making a modular sofa that could be used inside or outside. “I wanted to make a truly flexible sofa,” he explains. “Easy to add onto, move around, and furnish in different ways.” The sofa differed a lot from other comfortable outdoor sofas that are often big and heavy. Andreas’ design idea was to use light steel tubes to build an airy metal skeleton covered with mesh in order to form the frame of the sofa. Thick pads and cushions are then placed over the mesh to provide comfort.

GRÖNSAKER serving bowl & salad servers by Friso Wiersma

Friso describes his design values as “No nonsense, with a focus on being honest with materials and using decent construction.” These are lessons he learned as a cabinet maker and boat builder – and which he applies to every IKEA product he designs today… even something as small as a salad bowl! In this case, he wanted to celebrate the beauty and possibilities of bamboo, creating an unusual elevated shape that feels good to hold. The accompanying servers are also designed to lie across the bowl’s flat lip without slipping: small thoughtful details that make everyday life a little bit easier.

MÅNALG wall lamp by Hanna Klarqvist

Hanna’s aim as a designer is always to create products that are functional, beautiful and sustainable so that people want to have them in their home for a long time. “With MÅNALG, my mission was to find out how to best use natural fibres in a wall lamp. I wanted the lamp to be both decorative but still create a beautiful and functional light. Sedge is a great material and creates an almost textile feeling with its different layers and directions.”

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