After launching a few maximalist, pattern-crazy houseware lines, Swedish furniture giant Ikea returns to a focus on Scandinavian minimalism. The company's new limited-edition Viktigt collection, overseen by texture-loving Swedish ceramicist Ingegerd Råman, features pared down objects that focus on the barest essentials. Designed in Sweden and made by Vietnamese, Indonesian and Polish craftspeople, the collection goes on sale in the United States the week of May 23.
"Handles are simply non-essential," said Råman of the starkly simple pitchers featured in the collection.
While Ikea is perhaps best known for its mass-produced, flat-pack furniture, the Viktigt items are all made by hand from a limited palette of materials: glass, ceramic, bamboo, and woven fiber.
"Pieces made from natural fibers are as far from standardized design as you can get," explained Ikea designer Nike Karlsson. "It’s handmade. Every chair and basket is different."
The line's subdued set of colors is as limited as its material palette. Everything is black, white, rattan, or glass. But those materials were put to use in a wide number of housewares ranging from a grass-woven glass case to baskets of varying sizes, ceramic serving plates, pitchers, glasses, jars, chairs, and a hand-woven sofa.
With such a bevy of simple designs, which is a minimalist to choose?