I Went to IKEA HQ and Tested All Its New Products—These Are the Best

We often look to celebrities and cool boutique designers to predict trends, but when it comes to which furniture will actually make their way into your home, few outlets hold the same power as IKEA. The ubiquitous Swedish giant is behind that sofa you bought for your first apartment, the photo frames adorning your friend's walls, and the classic white bookshelf found in almost everyone's home—IKEA's reach is so extensive that the retailer says a trend is in, it's in. 

So when IKEA invited me to Älmhult, Sweden, for a two-day total immersion in the brand and its products, I had mild heart failure. IKEA's annual Democratic Design Days event is like Disneyland for décor fans. We were ushered into trend workshops with MIT sleep experts; did "speed dating" interviews with product developers; quizzed designers; and—my favorite part—sat on, prodded, and tested every new product we could get our hands on. 

After seeing all the new product collaborations IRL and chatting with the designers who will shape the next gen of IKEA products, it's clear that a few key trends have emerged. We're calling it: These are the only home trends you need to know, according to IKEA. 

Curious to see what products are in the pipeline? Here are some photographs we took on the ground at IKEA HQ:

Which items are you most excited about from IKEA's upcoming collaborations?