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First look at SJÄLVSTÄNDIG – the new way to hack

Break the home-furnishing rules and express your own identity with SJÄLVSTÄNDIG, a new limited collection designed to set your style free!

A living room with brightly patterned cushions and rugs scattered on the floor.
A living room with brightly patterned cushions and rugs scattered on the floor.

Inspired by hacking, SJÄLVSTÄNDIG is all about standing out from the crowd and going your own way. ‘The colours, patterns and products are very proud and quite different from what we are used to,’ says IKEA designer Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä. Take the modular rug – the pieces can be arranged using hook and loop fasteners to create unique combinations of geometric shapes and colours to suit you and your space. ‘It’s a first for IKEA, and to be honest, I haven’t really seen it around,’ says creative leader Maria O’Brian.

SJÄLVSTÄNDIG is a way of expressing your identity in a home context. I think it’s kind of what you strive for in life and in work; you typically don’t strive to be a copycat

Maria O’Brian, creative leader

The collection pushed production boundaries to uncover new ways to customise your home. For example with the SJÄLVSTÄNDIG vases, every craftsperson on the factory floor was encouraged to squeeze and sign each one, making them totally unique. ‘I am so happy we managed to make a product that gives a voice to the co-workers on the factory floor, I like the idea of their fingerprints sort of being all around the world,’ says Maria.

SJÄLVSTÄNDIG is Swedish for ‘independent’, which plays into ideas of liberation, rebelliousness and creativity. ‘I think there’s a good opportunity to heighten a theme through the name,’ says Maria. ‘Independence is something that sets you free and has a confidence to it – we wanted this to be the aesthetic of the collection.’

We have a lot of research showing that people want the option to personalise items. The assignment was something like: “IKEA for the creative, what would that be?

Maria O’Brian, creative leader

This is a collection that can become whatever you want it to be. Ask yourself – do pillows and cushions only belong on sofas and chairs? Who decides that a rug has to be geometric? SJÄLVSTÄNDIG prompts you to question and dare – to try something new in your home and ignore the beaten path.

IKEA is always looking for new ways of doing things, so Maria and the team focused on how to design ‘unfinished’ products that would allow people to modify them. It’s not just about standing out from the crowd, when we personalise things to suit our style we build a closer relationship with those items, as well as sharing more of who we are!

SJÄLVSTÄNDIG goes on sale next month. It’s limited-edition so don’t miss out, set a reminder to go in-store!