Ikea 2016: Best of the Collection

It’s that time of year again. The new Ikea catalogue has landed and we’ve sat in a quiet room, large coffee in hand, to scour it closely. Here’s our rundown of the best of the Ikea 2016 collection.

When I was a kid, the Argos catalogue was my Book of Dreams. Hours were lost feverishly bookmarking pages with a turned corner in the hope they’d serve as ‘subtle’ reminders to my parents come Christmas. And then I became a parent myself and only one catalogue now triggers the same inexplicable levels of excitement. The annual IKEA catalogue.

If you’ve decorated a child’s bedroom or two you’ll certainly know your STUVA from your TROFAST (along with all the possible combinations and dimensions). But the cunning Swedes lure you back time and time again: just when you think you know the Ikea offering and have no more excuses to brave the North Circular for a cut price cinnamon bun, the new collection comes flying through the letterbox and you just simply must own at least 72 items in it.

So here are some of our favourites from the newly landed 2016 catalogue, which is full of brilliant design-led collaborations and plenty of colourful Ikea fun.  All of it is available now in store (or coming very soon). Just swerve the tea lights when you go through the marketplace. You really don’t need any more. No, really.

1. The ONSKEDRÖM collection


Ikea is increasingly known for its cutting edge, limited edition collaborations with leading global designers. This one has its roots much closer to home: Olle Eksell was one of Sweden’s leading graphic designers, famous for his ‘happy rebel spirit’ and his quirky, cheerful illustrations that make this new collection perfect for children’s rooms and family spaces.

The collection spans art cards and prints, kitchenware, rugs, bedlinen and fabric but our favourites are the simple black and white bird cushion (£3.50 and great for a monochrome scheme) and the simple stripe fabric (£4/metre), which – although multi-coloured – is decidedly more subtle than most of Ikea’s strangely garish textiles for kids.


2. VINDRUVA & SOCKER greenhouses


Kitchen gardens may be all the rage at the moment but remain a pipe dream for most urban dwelling families. Unsurprisingly, Ikea (patron saint of small apartment living) has devised a great small scale solution for allowing kids to get green-fingered. The plastic 3-piece VINDRUVA set comes in two sizes, perfect for kids to grow simple herbs or experiment with re-growing celery (and other vegetables) from leftover scraps, while the bigger (but still miniature) SOCKER greenhouse is the choice for germinating plants from seed. The simple white frame design means you won’t feel like you’re living in a makeshift allotment.

For those wanting to branch out onto rooftops or terraces, the brand new HINDÖ range has some great gunmetal grey weatherproof shelving too.


3. STICKAT woven baskets


If your house is straight out of The White Company playbook, look away now. But if bold colours are your thing (and we are definitely fond of a pop bright scheme if done with balance and subtlety), then the new STICKAT range of woven toy baskets (£7 for set of two) will be right up your street with their bright contrasting colours, durable woven finish and clever loop for hanging them on the wall at the end of the day. Mix and match or stick to one colour for a more cohesive look.


4. SINNERLIG dining table


The newly unveiled SINNERLIG collection (a collaboration with London-based designer Isle Crawford) sent the interior design blogosphere into rapture, making it one of Ikea’s most hotly anticipated collections to date. Launched at super chic Stockholm hotel Ett Hem, the range of 30 products includes lighting and homewares but the real excitement has been around the simple, pared back furniture made with natural fibres.

Ceramics, sea grass and bamboo all feature heavily but cork is the key trend in the range and we absolutely love the simple, sleek dining table (a steal at £250). With cork being naturally dirt-repellent and water resistant (and did we mention that it dampens sound too?) you can finally throw away that oilcloth and have a family dining table you love looking at.

And if you are going to Ikea anyway, have a look at the mouth blown water bottles (£6) and the bamboo pendant lampshades (£40) from the same range – they scream OKA but at Ikea prices.


5. SKOGSTA storage crates


There is no shortage of wooden toy storage for kids on the market, with personalised crates costing as much as £40 a throw. Although this new range of solid acacia crates and boxes is primarily aimed at kitchen and dining storage, like most things at Ikea, it can easily be repurposed for the playroom. It is sturdy, solid and untreated leaving you open to painting, stencilling or whatever you fancy.

With the simple solid sided boxes starting at £8.50 for two, vintage style crates for £11 and handled boxes (great for makeshift kids tool kits or craft supply holders) for £10, you can afford to get creative or leave them in their clean wood finish for storage in grown-up frequented spaces.

6. MÄSTERBY step stool


Not strictly a new release but a perennial favourite and now available in new colours, the MÄSTERBY step stool (£25) is stackable, light and one of those curious pieces of furniture that you wonder how you lived without. Kids seem to get endlessly creative with it – it’s a great makeshift drawing bench, a useful extra seat when friends come over to watch a film and, yes, a tool for gaining access to the cupboards you don’t want them reaching.

The grey and yellow tone really well together if you want a set.


7. SAGOSKATT soft toys


No round up of Ikea’s newest releases would be complete without a mention of the hilarious soft toys that are coming to stores soon as part of their charitable Soft Toys for Education campaign. Now in its 13th year, children aged 4 to 10 years old from across the world are invited to create the most fantastic and imaginative creatures. Ten are selected as winners and their creatures rendered into real life soft toys by the IKEA design team.

They have raised over €77 million for UNICEF and Save the Children since 2003. If you are looking for something a little more unusual than your standard Jellycat soft toy, these will definitely hit the spot (and all for a great cause too).

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 Kate Douglas-Hamilton is Mr Fox co-founder. A recovering lawyer, she now writes about food and kids technology. She has one son, aged 3. They spend an unhealthy amount of time in the Wembley Ikea. Find her on Twitter @katedh.