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IKEA swaps minimalism for maximalism in latest accessories collection

IKEA swaps minimalism for maximalism with accessories designed by Per B Sundberg

Skull-shaped vases and horse candleholders feature in a maximalist collection of accessories designed for IKEA by Swedish ceramic and glass artist Per B Sundberg.

Called Föremål, the highly decorative collection celebrates the figurative and humorous side of Swedish design, rather than the minimalist aesthetic that the region is more commonly associated with.

IKEA swaps minimalism for maximalism in latest accessories collection

The small decorative accessories feature figurines of people, plants and animals, such as two metal candleholders in the shape of poodles, and a series of bolster cushions printed with repeated symmetrical patterns.

Each piece in the range was designed by Sundberg, or Pelle as he is also known, who describes his work as "lush, rough, and burlesque", and "based on folklore".

IKEA shared the designs at its annual two-day conference held in Älmhult, Sweden, ahead of the collection's launch in September. Called Democratic Design Days, the conference showcases the brand's upcoming collections and the designers behind them.

IKEA swaps minimalism for maximalism in latest accessories collection

For Sundberg, whose work is represented in permanent collections at M+ in Hongkong and the National Museum in Stockholm, the collaboration was an opportunity to share his work with a wider audience.

"It's boring to be placed in a box," he said. "I like doing different things and try to fight people's expectations."

"Now I can make a tray that is mass-produced and sold for under 10 euros [£8.80], which makes my things accessible to a big audience," continued Sundberg. "There’s a democratic aspect in that which I like."

IKEA Creative Leader Nike Karlsson said that the design process for FÖREMÅL largley took place on the factory floor, with Sundberg taking inspiration from objects he found on the shelves.

IKEA swaps minimalism for maximalism in latest accessories collection

"By taking something that exists and putting it together with something else, he creates a new context that becomes something interesting," said Karlsson.

"Life at home is about more than functions and solutions. We need art that stir up emotions. If you buy a Per B Sundberg, you take something home that is more than you normally get at IKEA. Something you can treasure and hand down from generation to generation."

At the opening of the Democratic Design Days conference on Thursday, IKEA's head of design, Marcus Engman, said the collection is "non-typical IKEA" and that it "mirrored" Per B Sundberg as an artist.

Also announced at the conference was a set of mobile speakers and lights designed by Swedish tech creatives Teenage Engineering and a rug that looks like a huge IKEA receipt designed Virgil Abloh.