SVÄRTAN collection shows Ikea’s dark side

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When you think about typical Ikea collections and products, your mind tends to wander towards bright, colour popping plastics and glass. Even the brand is made up of the primary blue and yellow of the Swedish flag, designed to stand out amongst all the other store facades.

So when their new collection features products in only muted greys, black and whites, they certainly make a statement.

So is the case with the SVÄRTAN collection, which invites us to explore the urban landscape of India, and look past the vivid colours we normally associate with this bright and vibrant country.


The collection has been designed in collaboration with Swedish textile designer Martin Bergström alongside Indian fashion students. It use patterns from the rugged and sometimes complex architecture of the cities of India, and utilises them on a number of products. In the collection you will find pieces such as tables, stools, bed linen, rugs and other textiles, bowls, glassware and metallic objects.

Bergström says, “My idea was to create a modern interpretation of India and its heritage, a country with designs that are perceived in the West as colourful, golden, and shiny.”

He has certainly succeeded, in fact, the pieces in the collection have a sombre, edgy feel about them that you would not associate with India at all. The slightly misshapen glassware that looks as if it has been abandoned, the wooden stools you could imagine being used in an old factory, the ink blots and stains that have been used to bring the textiles into life. It is as if every piece has its own dark story to tell.

Here are a few of our favourite pieces from the Ikea collection:

You can use these wooden stools to sit on or as little side tables. The detailing on the seat looks like the rings inside a tree.


Mix and match these throw pillows as they come in five different designs and two sizes.


The sheer detailing on these fabrics adds texture and interest.


A versatile metal bowl that can be used for decoration or practical purposes. Apparently the ring in the side of the bowl denotes the designer’s nose ring.


These bowls have a rough edging but can still be used for snacks or just as ornamental pieces.


Most metal tables are cumbersome and awkward to move, not this one, it collapses so it is very easy to pack away when not in use.


These unique glassware pieces are all individually mouth-blown.



SVÄRTAN will be available in Ikea stores and online on September 1. The collection is time-limited however, and only in stores for a limited period.

All pictures courtesy Ikea.com

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