Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I was invited to the launch of the new Ikea Catalogue two weeks ago. I went with big expectations. We were met by rugs on the pavement, furniture on the street, and fabrik arranged over scaffolding and hanging like washing between the houses of the narrow street of Snickarbacken in central Stockholm. The theme this year is the life at home, tips and ideas with textile and how to add personality to your home. Ikea had even done a survey about Swedish peoples relationships with curtains. I am not so sure they spent their money right here even though the result was that in spite of many Swedish homes are missing curtains most of the people wanted curtains at home and a lot of them do change them according to season. 

A working desk for making things in textile in the middle of the street to symbolise Ikeas new give about making things yourself. But not quite sure what to make except curtains, cushions and bedspreads? According to the catalogue why not make strange little flags and hang over your desk or mix different fabrics (do not bother to iron) on your curtain. It may look like you did not buy enough fabric and had to mix and match, but what the heck, its fun to make things yourself. Or why not tare ribbons out your fabric and cover the legs and back of your chair or the legs on the table. Gives you something to do on a rainy day? Or? Or why not hang some embroidery frames in you window, why not? Not so pretty but different.

Unfortunately the whole "exhibition" looked like it was put together in a hurry. And instead of having well known and experienced stylists or interior designers do the job Ikea had invited some bloggers to show some curtain work they have done. This guy had made curtains out of old Ikea Catalogues. Clever, but what has that got to do with textiles?

The whole display and styling was unfortunately a bit like the whole catalogue, not with any red thread and sometimes brilliant and sometimes hasty and strange. I do understand the will to move away from the big interior magazines very stylish and perfect homes but that does not mean that one has to make it fuzzy, busy and a bit too artistic. Like who would put an old used painting brush in the living room in a vase. And put big glass jars full of flour (or white paint powder or perhaps something more dangerous?) on a pile of books? I am a big fan of Ikea and have worked with them both as an interior designer for the catalogues, and as a stylist/journalist using their products in stories and homes for over 20 years. They are experts especially when it comes to storage and kitchens,  you go there because you want to have some order at home and not to look at chaos and unattractive dressings rooms. When it comes to the directory it looks a bit like a bad copy of a catalogue from the early 70-ies. But not arranged in any stylish way but like they have been put together randomly. Ikea can definitely do better. There are so many talented people already working with or for Ikea, some with a lot o experience and understanding of the products and the consumer. Use them! And I am already looking forward to next years catalogue, it can only be better!

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