Hello design lovers!
Today we are going to talk about Ikea, who are giving us great satisfaction. With new collections and unexpected collaborations being revealed, I am all ears.
There's a particular collection that interests me because of the lovely story behind its production. It's called Eftertanke and shows calming grey tones, with touches of white and black to add freshness and warmth at the same time.
Eftertanke comes from a collaboration with the Doi Tung Development Project, a social enterprise with the aim of improving the lives of an entire community.
Meet the nomadic Hill Tribe people
The community lives in the mountains of Northern Thailand in an area of thick forests and ancient crafting techniques. Ikea worked with Doi Tung to support this tradition. It's a win-win situation where the Swedish brand provides customers with unique products. Meanwhile, they support people who would otherwise have little access to employment.
331 artisans created the 200,000 pieces of Eftertanke collection. It will be available from October 2017 at the UK stores in Lakeside, Leeds, Southampton, Tottenham, and Wembley. And I'm already looking forward to buying out my favourite pieces!
The first initiative that Doi Tung undertook was to introduce ceramic handicrafts in the region. The aim was to create beautiful hand-formed pottery which celebrates human touch. To achieve this goal, the artisans had to develop handicraft skills and invent new techniques.
The local red clay was originally mixed with a hardy species of grass. The recipe has then been refined so that the clay would withstand high firing temperatures, resulting in high-quality designs.
In this collection the imperfections were the most important thing, says Karin Gustavsson, creative leader at Ikea. In fact, slight imperfections make each piece of pottery unique and give the collection its outstanding natural look.
The Hill Tribe people of northern Thailand are well known for their colourful, intricately woven traditional clothing decorated with strands of beads, coins, and tufts of yarn.
In this hand-made collection, quality is a must. The high skilled artisans were able to make a series of super-soft woven fabrics, in the form of cushion covers, towels, and tablecloths.
The textiles have a modern and simple look. The warm and relaxing tones of grey make them perfect for creating a spa feeling in the home.
The last part of the collection is my favourite. You know that I have a soft spot for stationery... Well, this is a series of black and white minimal paper accessories: basically, my dream!
In 1995 the Doi Tung Development Project re-introduced the almost lost ancient craft of papermaking to the region.
They set up a reforestation plan to increase the number of mulberry trees. The artisans rediscovered the old craftsmanship and today they regularly make products such as boxes, note pads, and bags. Which I find extremely cute!
What do you think of these pieces? Are you feeling inspired by the natural, handcrafted and yet modern look?
All images © Ikea