For the first time since 2014 there is a new Ikea PS Collection. 21 designers collaborated with Ikea to make 60 new products, ranging from furniture to drink mixes.
This collection targets Millennials, and other people that move a lot or live in transient or shared living situations. The furniture tends to be small, light weight, portable and durable. As a result, a lot of it looks a bit unconventional, and may not appeal to people living in more traditional circumstances. However, I do think that for the most part, it does represent good design for the target audience. For example:
This 2 seat sofa with 36 cushions looks a bit like lawn furniture covered in pointy clouds to me. However the metal frame looks light weight and durable, and it separates into two pieces that make it easier to fit through small doors, carry up narrow stairways, and wedge into the corners of microscopic flats. In other words - it is ideal for the intended audience.
This collection has several pieces like this sofa, that are great designs but don't fit my lifestyle, some designs that are right up my alley, and a few that just don't make any sense to me at all. In my review of the new collection, I am going to break it up into these groups.
Good Designs that Don't Fit my Lifestyle
Valet stands are a great place to stage tomorrow's outfit. This one is a great size for small spaces, and the wheels make it easy to move out of the way if it needs to share space with important things like doors; however, it's design is a bit too stark for me.
This Ikea storage unit is fairly light weight, and the metal construction is durable, which makes it great for frequent movers. It is also lockable, which is good for a shared housing situation (when roommates are not entirely trustworthy). However, it feels a bit like garage storage to me.
This is just good design. It is small enough to be a side table, portable enough to be used as a cart. It can serve multiple functions which is key in a small space. It's form just doesn't quite fit my taste.
This rocking chair will not find a place in my home, because it doesn't match ANY of my other decor, but I actually really love it. It is such an unusual and inventive shape. I feel like it would be a conversation starting piece.
Right Up my Alley
Who doesn't love a good throw? This one is a beautiful emerald color with an interesting texture.
I am always on the look out for interesting containers that can be used in multiple ways and these fit the bill. They are large enough to hold things like fruit, and pretty enough to hold flowers, or to be displayed on their own. They also come in nearly opaque white.
I don't know why I like this mug so much. I have plenty of mugs. I don't need another mug, but I want this one. I think it is again the shape that I find so appealing - I have never seen a mug this shape ever before.
This arm chair is one of the first things that caught my eye in this collection. I love the sleek simple lines combined with the unusual mesh fabric. Ikea seems to be envisioning these in a living room type of setting, but to me they look like an office guest chair that your guests might actually want to sit in. It would also make a really good occasional chair in my home; however, I would have wanted it to be stackable for that use so I could fit multiples in a small space and drag them out as needed. The only real problem I see with this chair is the price tag. It is in the same price range as most of Ikea's large upholstered arm chairs, and it just doesn't look like it is in the same league as something like the Strandmon Wing Chair. However, if it is as comfortable as one of the big arm chairs, then it would be a good choice for a living room that was very short on space.
This plant pot is my favorite piece in this collection hands down. It is beautiful, and functional, and I need like 5 in my house right now. I think the price is a little bit high when compared to Ikea's other pots and plant stands, but not excessively so. Of all of the pieces in this collection, this is the one that I can say I will absolutely be putting in my home.
What were they thinking?
This is a seat/floor pad, but why you would want it I don't know. Ikea's picture of it has it on the floor like a yoga mat, but the surface is plush fabric, so you couldn't actually use it as a yoga mat, and it looks much too thin to sleep on. Based on the velcro closures on the top it might work as a car seat cover, but it wouldn't fit well. To top it all off it is $59. Just think, all of this uselessness for less than $60.
This coffee table is less than 2 feet by 2 feet, and looks like a short TV tray table. It is at best a side table, and not a particularly good looking one at that.
This is a flashlight that has to be plugged in and lives in a cage. Someone please enlighten me on why anyone would want this. Why wouldn't you just use a flashlight? Half of the purpose of a flashlight is that it is portable, and this isn't. To top it off it is $34.95. I could get a flashlight and some good rechargeable batteries for much less than this. I just don't get it.
This one was so incomprehensible to me I had to include two pictures. It is called a throw, but looks like a quilted vest. Without the person in it it looks like a normal size vest, with the person in it, it looks like a vest that was made for a giant.
I guess it is supposed to be like a snuggie, but somehow it is even less attractive than a snuggle (and I didn't think that was possible). Then there is the price - $50 - for this.... this.... thing.
If you would like to learn more about Ikea, check out this week's episode of Hang Your Hat, How is the Kullen Coming Along. I go into the history of Ikea, including some troubling past events that I am sure Ikea would rather keep buried, as well as how they are working toward sustainability and social justice now.