Have you ever wandered the aisles of IKEA looking for an associate to help you locate the amazing rug you saw online, only to be caught incapable of pronouncing its name? Or worse, have you been on the phone with the retailer's customer service team trying to muster the courage to articulate the name of the product you can’t figure out how to build? We feel your pain—enunciating an IKEA product name can be as stressful as trying to order carciofi alla griglia on a first date.
To solve our pronunciation woes, we enlisted the help of the IKEA team in Los Angeles to teach us how to confidently say the names of our favorite products out loud and tell us what inspired the names to begin with. Get ready for Swedish 101.
After chatting with the IKEA team, we learned that all of its products are named after categories of words. For example, chairs are named after Scandinavian boys' names. This one is a combination of two names: Leif (meaning “heir”) and Arne (meaning “eagle”).
IKEA’s lighting is most often named after nautical terms or Swedish localities. It only makes sense then that this sculptural lighting fixture is named after the small Swedish coastal town of Södersvik (pronounced seu-ders-VEK).
Användbar (pronounced un-vend-BAHR) is a new collection of objects made of natural, basic materials and aiming to encourage a greener lifestyle. The collection includes planters, kitchen essentials, and this bench that has an integrated planter at the back. The Swedish word Användbar (meaning “useful”) was perfect for the task.
Rugs at IKEA are named after Danish places, and this tiny number needed a tiny spot on the map. Fårdrup (pronounced FOHR-drup) is a parish in the Slagelse municipality of Denmark.
Mysingsö (pronounced MEH-sings-uh) is a small locality situated in the south of Sweden. Considering the Mysingsö is a beach chair, we understand why the naming team found a spot on the map as close to the equator as possible.
Görlöse (pronounced yior-LOH-seh) being a rug, we expected to find it somewhere on a Danish map—and we did! Görlöse is located a short 30-minute drive from Copenhagen.
Krusning (pronounced kreus-NING) means “ripple” in Swedish. We couldn’t think of a more fitting nautical term to describe this wavy pendant light.
Salladskål (pronounced salads-SKOL) literally translates as “salad bowl,” but IKEA named its collection of indoor planters and watering accessories after the term. It’s perfect for growing your favorite herbs.
The Tillfälle collection (pronounced TEL-felle) is bold, bright, and inspired by Brazilian culture. The goal was to celebrate the many differences between Scandinavian and Brazilian design. Tillfälle (meaning “opportunity”) is a great name for it.
Sollefteå (pronounced so-LEFT-teh-oh) is a small riverside Swedish town off the Gulf of Bothnia. It’s small and simple, just like this timeless pendant.
Viktigt (pronounced vik-TIT) means “important” in Swedish, and the new collection is in collaboration with celebrated Swedish designer Ingegerd Råman. It features pieces made of handmade glassware, ceramic, and woven natural fibers. Given the scale of the collection, “important” was an appropriate name.
Lappljung Ruta (pronounced LAP-young roo-TAH) literally translates as “heath box,” meaning uncultivated land. It’s a MyDomaine favorite.