Top 10 Finds in the New IKEA Catalogue
Start the car! From retro-revival furniture to high-tech home audio, our design expert is counting down the 10 best buys in the new IKEA catalogue.
1. Ekenaset armchair
If this midcentury modern stunner looks familiar, you can congratulate yourself on having an incredible eye for design—not to mention a brilliant memory. Originally released back in 1957, the Ekenaset is returning to the IKEA lineup as part of a limited edition collection of classics to celebrate the iconic brand’s 75th anniversary. It’s pretty easy to see why this Danish-inspired design was selected for a 21st century revival, too: Between the solid beech frame and luxe velvet upholstery, it really is a room-defining piece of furniture that belies its paltry price tag. Consider yourself warned, however: as a limited edition release, it’ll be snapped up faster than you can say “lingenberry.”
Ekenaset armchair, $399, IKEA Canada.
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2. Vadholma kitchen island
If you’ve ever embarked on a kitchen reno, you’ll know there’s not much you can do with a budget under $5,000, let alone a grand. Enter the Vadholma—the next best thing to a full-blown makeover, and priced at a mere $699. With this one piece of furniture, you get all the accoutrements of a proper chef’s kitchen, from the solid oak butcher block countertop to the pot rack overhead. Living in cramped quarters? Tuck two industrial-style stools underneath, and you’ve got yourself an instant dining table. Here’s hoping the inevitable success of this release leads to a white option in next year’s IKEA catalogue…
Vadholma kitchen island with rack, $699, IKEA Canada.
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3. Bjorksnas five-drawer chest
According to IKEA Interior Design Head Kathy Davey, there’s a new trend for wood tone in 2019, and it’s a little lighter than what you’re probably used to. “You’ll see a lot of blond wood in the new IKEA catalogue,” Davey says, citing the solid birch Bjorksnas suite of bedroom furniture as a particular favourite. Eye-catching finish aside, there’s an impressive attention to detail in the collection’s chest of drawers, including leather pulls (the natural oils from your hand will cause these to change colour over time, resulting in a charming “instant antique” effect) and rounded legs—a hallmark of classic Scandinavian craftsmanship.
Bjorksnas five-drawer chest, $349, IKEA Canada.
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4. Morgonte dishware
Another major trend from the 2019 IKEA Catalogue could trigger a sense of deja vu—although whether or not this one makes you feel nostalgic largely depends on how you feel about the ’80s. Pale pastels are poised for a comeback, says Davey, drawing attention to the mint green and powder blue hues of the new Morgonte stoneware. Although the colours may take you back to the decade of excess, the form of this dishware is decidedly contemporary, with the plates boasting a high rim that’s almost reminiscent of a pie plate, and the smaller bowl easily doubling as a mug.
Morgonte plate/bowl (set of three), $15, IKEA Canada.
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5. Kapaster throw
No matter how you feel about dusty pastels, there’s no denying they pair beautifully with blond wood and pale decorating schemes in general. Take the new Kapaster throw, for instance. Between its soft blush hue and exotic pattern (inspired by tree bark, of all things), the super-comfy jacquard weave is an affordable way to add heaps of character to an all-white bedroom.
Kapaster throw blanket, $30, IKEA Canada.
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6. Strandmon children’s armchair
It seems like every year, we single out the Strandmon for praise—but that’s only because the folks at IKEA simply aren’t finished tapping the potential of this design classic. Like the Ekenaset, the Strandmon was originally launched in the ’50s, but was revived in 2012 to satisfy our insatiable appetite for everything midcentury modern. In 2018, this majestic wing chair made our top 10 on account of its new price tag. This time around, it’s not the price that’s been reduced—but rather, the scale. Meet “Strandmon junior,” re-sized for children aged three and up, and tweaked to give it a bit more protection from the wear and tear that our wee ones tend to inflict on our favourite furnishings. The fabric in this kid-size version, for example, is ultra-durable polyester, and the seat cushion is affixed to the frame to ensure it stays in place no matter how active its occupant.
Strandmon children’s armchair, $129, IKEA Canada.
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7. Sandared pouffe
For whatever reason, IKEA’s never really embraced the pouffe. There have been footstools and ottomans in abundance, but never a proper big-blob-in-the-middle-of-your-living-room chunky knit pouffe on offer. That changes with the new IKEA catalogue, which introduces Sandared—a collection of three polyester yarn pouffes, ranging in price from $70 to $199 depending on size. These staples of small space living are as versatile furniture gets, essentially combining three functions in one. Slap a tray on top, and it becomes a side table. Pull it up to a sofa, and it serves as an ottoman. Invite too many people to your housewarming party, and you’ll find it invaluable as extra seating. In any case, it’s a long overdue addition to the IKEA lineup, and will likely go down as one of the best-sellers from this slew of new releases.
Sandared pouffe in beige, $90, IKEA Canada.
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8. Havsen apron front sink
Going for a fresh country farmhouse look? Start with the Havsen apron front sink, and the rest of your reno will fall into place. A bona fide kitchen classic.
Havsen apron front sink, $289, IKEA Canada.
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9. Eneby bluetooth speaker
There are many miraculous things our modern-day smartphones can do—but doubling as a boom box isn’t one of them. Sure there are a few wallet-friendly ways to amplify your smartphone speaker (popping your phone into an empty serving bowl, for instance), but that’s hardly a solution if you’re playing DJ at a pool party, or need a soundtrack to accompany your vacuuming. These are just two instances where a Bluetooth speaker comes in handy, delivering the desired decibels without cluttering up your living space with unnecessary cords. Making its IKEA catalogue debut this year is Eneby—IKEA’s first foray into the world of wireless speakers. Available in two sizes (one designed with portability in mind, the other ideally-suited for integration into a home entertainment centre), Eneby can sync up to eight Bluetooth-enabled devices. The sound quality in our advance sample was clear and powerful, and we loved the ease of operation—there’s just a single knob that serves as both power and volume control. Not surprisingly, the folks at IKEA have considered aesthetics as well as performance, and design aficionados will love the vaguely retro minimalist look of the mesh fabric-covered speaker (available in two colours). Just as predictably for IKEA, Eneby comes with a modest price tag, setting you back a mere $99 for the 30-inch square model (shown here).
Eneby speaker, $99, IKEA Canada.
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10. Dagdrom decorative balls
We all know you can’t leave IKEA without buying a little something, whether it’s a package of milk chocolate Daim (truly addictive!) or a chic accessory for your mantel. If it’s the latter you’re after, you can’t go wrong with the new Dagdrom decorative balls. Made from lacquered glass, these brass beauties give the illusion that they’re floating although they’re actually sitting stable on small soft pads. Aside from serving as stylish curiosities, their reflective metallic finish brings a welcome bit of sparkle to any vignette.
Dagdrom decorative balls, $15 (set of three), IKEA Canada.
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