While you might not think of IKEA as a destination for unique, artisan-made goods, the retailer's latest collection will help you see the brand in a new light. Called ANNANSTANS, which translates to 'elsewhere' in Swedish, the line was designed by Martin Bergström in collaboration with skilled artisans from four of IKEA's partners around the world, including Industree and Rangsutra in India, Doi Tung in Thailand, and Mesteshukar Butiq in Romania.
"The big question for me around the collaboration has been 'How can we bring our differences together, making them work in a collection?'" the designer shares in a press release. "So we've been pushing both our boundaries, mixing my ideas with [the artisans'] traditions and handicraft until we got just the right feeling to each and every item," he continues.
Inspired by the silence of remote islands, Bergström set out to create something you can't put into words. "Like daydream and memories existing elsewhere," he says, tying his vision back to the name of the line.
The limited collection includes cushion covers, scarves, bowls, handmade boxes, and handwoven baskets. Because each item is handcrafted, they're all just a bit different, so you know you'll be collecting something truly special for your home. However, that also means that when the products sell out, they won't be replaced.
"You can't just go out and buy a new one," says Bergström. "I want people to think of their pieces like new friends in their home. Someone you want to take good care of for a long time," the designer continues. Ahead, shop the special collection before it sells out.
The design found on this cushion cover was hand-drawn by Bergström before it was digitally printed to textiles. Then, craftspeople from the Indian social enterprise called Rangsutra decorated the pieces with traditional embroidery for a personal touch.
This basket is made from the dried stem of a banana plant for a raw, natural look. "My first reaction to the design was 'What is this?!' I thought it was very difficult, it appeared quite complex. But I love to try new things," says Mani, a master artisan at Industree.
"This is not only embroidery or stitching but a respect and importance to women who have not seen opportunity in their lives," according to Shimla Devo, an artisan for Rangsutra. The social enterprise that helps creates cushion covers like this provides a long-term livelihood for female artisans.
This handmade ceramic plate is truly one-of-a-kind and comes from the artisans of the Doi Tung social entrepreneurial initiative in Thailand. It offers a rough, imperfect look in rich hues of blue and brown.
A square cushion cover fit for standard size throw pillows, this unique piece displays a graphic black and white pattern with red stitching on one side and a turquoise print featuring the same stitchwork on the other side.
This practical tote bag features one of Bergström's bold prints. Bright blue polka dots punctuate the black and gray pattern. Use it to carry groceries instead of turning to plastic or paper bags.
For those unafraid of bright color, use this cushion cover to create a strong look on a neutral living room sofa. One side offers a black, white, and red print while the other displays a moodier gray and green color palette. Again, artisan stitchwork makes the pillow cover stand out.
If you're looking for a luxe accent bowl to act as a catchall on your console table or to hold fruit on the kitchen table, you won't find another like this handmade ceramic piece. "This collection is different from other products," according to Doi Tung artisan Thavorn Samart. "It took a lot of effort to perfect the processes for glazing, coloring, and firing the ceramics," he explains.
This is one of eight unique cushion covers featured in the ANNANSTANS collection. Not only will this lumbar pillow add visual interest to a bed or sofa, but you can also feel good knowing that your purchase helps to support artisans be independent and support their families.
Made of 100% cotton, the fabric of this sheer caftan is also found on the tote bag included in the collection. It offers a relaxed fit perfect for lounging at home.
This cushion cover features a dreamy, abstract design. One side includes a splattering of green, purple, pink, and yellow. Flip it over to give your space a whole new look with deep shades of purple, black, brown, and gray.