Do you ever wonder how IKEA names its thousands of products? We were curious, so we reached out to the retailer's team to find out once and for all. It turns out the Scandinavian brand follows strict guidelines of product and word category association. Some products (like lights, for instance) are named after Scandinavian islands. Others—chairs and fabric, respectively—are named after Scandinavian boys' and girls' names.
While the idea of naming a baby after a favorite IKEA product seems like a bit of a stretch at first, humor us. We scoured the site to find the cutest chairs and fabrics to see if the names were just as charming as their material counterparts, and they are! Get your notepads ready—you'll want to jot these modern monikers down.
Sofia is the Nordic spelling of the name Sophia, which was the third-most-popular girls' name in 2015. It's also the name of a pretty blue-and-white–striped fabric at IKEA. The name recently grew in popularity in Sweden, thanks in part to Princess Sofia of Sweden, who married Prince Carl Philip in 2015. With a stylish name that means "wisdom," it's perfect for your own little princess.
Jan is a variation of John with German origins; it means "God is gracious." While it's commonly used as a boys' name in countries like Denmark and Sweden, it's more commonly used as a diminutive of Janet or Janice in the U.S. It's also the name of AD 100 interior designer Jan Showers. At IKEA, a beautifully simple chair is called Janinge, a combination of two popular Scandinavian boys names (Jan and Inge). To us, it's the perfect gender-neutral name.
If, like most Americans, you like the name Emma, chances are you'll love its Scandinavian counterpart, Emmie (or Emmi). The adorable girls' name is also a pretty-in-pink striped fabric at IKEA. For the Americanized spelling, opt for Emmy, like actress Emmy Rossum. The name means "universal"—perfect for your mini traveler.
The name Bernhard originates from the German word Bernhardt, meaning "strong bear." While it was most popular in the late 1800s, we heard traditional names are making a comeback. If you're "feeling the Bern," why not try the Scandinavian spelling Bernhard, which also a sleek office chair at IKEA?
Dorthy is a short spelling of Dorothy, popular in Sweden. It's also a charming floral pillow at IKEA. The Greek variant means "gift of God," and it was popular in the U.S. at the turn of the century. If you're looking for a classic feminine name, this is it.
Reidar is a popular Norwegian boys' name. It's the modern version of the Norse name Hræiðarr, meaning "warrior from the start," and it's also a minimalistic IKEA chair with a boyish edge. We think Reidar has a nice ring to it—could it be the next celebrity baby name?
We all know the name Hermione, thanks to a certain student wizard, but what about its Norwegian counterpart, Hermine? The girls' name has risen in popularity in the 2000s, and we can only attribute its rising status to the Harry Potter franchise. In IKEA terms, Hermine is a lovely warm plaid throw with pink hues. The moniker means "to travel" and is ideal for your worldly babe.
Another name rising in popularity after the Harry Potter series is Tobias, after Tobias Snape, and it seems the Swedes have taken to the Greek name in recent years. The name is also riding the popularity wave in the U.S.m where it's currently rated #316. At IKEA, Tobias is also a clear modern chair available is a variety of hues. We personally love the pink version.
Elly—a variant of Ella, Eleanor, or Ellen—is an Irish baby name with a popular Scandinavian following. It's not surprising that IKEA picked a green hue for its kitchen towel of the same name. Meaning "light," the name may explain Ellie Goulding's single "Lights" back in 2010.
Gregor is short for the Russian name Gregorius (or Gregory, in English), and it's also the name of a pretty woven desk chair at IKEA. The name meaning "watchful" or "vigilant" is a great choice for your brave little man. We're saving this one in our list of traditional names that are making a comeback.
Not to be confused with "girly," the baby girls' name is Persian for "rose" and a common name in Denmark. It's also a light linen throw from IKEA, perfect for those warm summer nights. If you think that Rose is overdone, try Gurli instead.
Would you name your newborn after your favorite IKEA product?