Click on an image to go to a slideshow of IKEA's first-of-its-kind Trendig collection.For many of us in the United States, IKEA is Sweden, and Sweden is IKEA. The big-blue-box retailer has brought Scandinavian design into American homes like never before.
But now, in a sharp departure that its design director says is "a starting point for a new behavior within IKEA," the company is looking farther afield for fresh inspiration.
The result, the company says, "is something totally new for IKEA."
Click on an image to go to a slideshow of IKEA's first-of-its-kind Trendig collection.Its limited-edition Trendig collection, rolling out now in American stores just in time for the Chinese New Year on Jan. 31, merges IKEA's now-ubiquitous Scandi design aesthetic with materials and motifs of Chinese design.
The line was produced as a genuine cultural collaboration between designers and artisans in both Sweden and China, "ping-ponging our ideas back and forth," says Marcus Engman, IKEA's head of design, in the video below. The collection playfully references this modern ping-pong diplomacy: A paddle decorates a vase, for example, and inside a dish, a "Chinese" lucky cat holds a paddle; plus, a marketing photo is strewn with ping-pong balls. Click here for pictures of them in our slideshow.