Ikea is our go-to place for almost everything home: From bookshelves that can be hacked to look like your own creation to chic organization pieces and unique items you never thought you needed, it’s the ultimate mecca when it comes to finding affordable decor and more… but it’s not exactly the place you go when you’re looking for something unique or handmade.
But that’s where Ikea’s newest collaboration comes in. The favorite retail giant has just launched an exclusive, limited edition collection with Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek that seeks to turn traditional mass production on its head.
Enter: The Industriell collection, which celebrates the natural imperfections of raw and organic materials from wood to glass, ceramics, and textiles to create ultra unique goods that look like they’re handmade.
Hein Eek’s aesthetic is famous for embracing salvaged material to create beautiful furniture, and through its sustainability missions, Ikea has been behind this idea from the beginning. The result is a range of goods that champion deliberate imperfection, from knotted pine chairs and tables with slightly uneven surfaces to textiles with prints that look less than perfectly geometric. Each piece is imbued with its own unique character and slight variation.
“When I graduated from design school, there was a great drive for perfection in design,” Piet says. “If you made a thousand copies, they had to be identical, and there was nothing in the design that hadn’t been put in there by the designer. I wanted to strip that idea away and let the material take the lead.”
And the collection’s minimalist simplicity does exactly that: Tables and chairs of soft pine that would have otherwise been considered a waste show the varying grains, knots, and blemishes of the wood, making each piece feel special; almost one of a kind. Ikea’s creative leader Karin Gustavsson says that the manufacturers used as much of the tree as possible for pieces like these, and that by 2020, the retailer hopes to have all of its wood come from more sustainable sources.
Hand-drawn textiles round out the collection, and are created in smaller batches that embody the “handmade, mass produced” theme of the partnership, while pieces like the simple bookcase prove that when it comes to embracing the natural, less is more. The imperfectly perfect pieces add a human quality to the collection, and we think this concept is a totally refreshing change, especially coming from a big box retailer like Ikea.
But you’ll have to act fast if you want in on this one: The collection is set to launch in US stores starting in April, but since it’s a limited edition collab, the products will only be available in-store while supplies last. Ikea recommends that customers contact their local store to check product availability—but with a collection as cool and unique as this, we recommend you get on that sooner rather than later.
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