A Catalogue of Ikea Ideas

Distributed every August, the annual Ikea catalogue is currently on its way to most households. It’s like an early Christmas of sorts for homes as Singaporeans troop to the stores, catalogue in hand, bugging the salespeople on where they can find a particular item.

The Ikea 2012 Catalogue isn’t going to be any different, especially since the theme revolves around smarter options for small spaces. Yes, who doesn’t need more space and more storage now that apartments have become smaller, or that you’re stuck staying with your in-laws while scrimping to afford your own HDB flat?

“Our theme every year is decided by the head office in Sweden as our catalogues are distributed internationally. Creating solutions for small spaces is our global focus for 2012. Living in smaller apartments is a worldwide trend,” explained Peter Choo, Ikea’s manager of communication and interior design. “Even those who stay in big houses face constraints. Everyone can do with more solutions on how to better make use of the space available.”

With the 2012 catalogue, home owners will be able to seek inspiration on how to maximise their space by using movable, foldable, stackable and double-tasking furniture. New products are always a draw. Choo promises that 30 per cent of the items available will be new. Add-ons such as drawers and wheels are also made for existing product ranges to improve the functionality.

“Such furniture works very well for creating more space in your home. There’s more than one use for them; in terms of mobility you can easily push them around to wherever you need them.”

The creation of all these products wasn’t taken lightly. Home visits and surveys were done to examine the living situations, activities and needs of home dwellers. “For example, when you don’t have space or an additional room for a study, how do you create a study area within the bedroom? It’s about finding real solutions to everyday needs by being creative,” said Choo.

Choo advises using “hidden spaces” like under the beds and on top of cabinets, adding shelves to walls and hooks behind doors. And they don’t have to be messy if you keep your things organised in boxes.

Playing with colours, lightings and furnishings can further open up the space. Choosing light colours, fabrics and horizontal patterns will give the perception of an enlarged room; mood lighting like bedside lamps can give a cosier, more intimate feeling to a small room; curtains can work as room dividers for greater privacy if you’re sharing a space.

Besides smaller spaces, Choo sees trends like open-living concepts, more entertaining in homes, and people getting more involved in the decorating, which is a great development. “The whole point of the Ikea catalogue is about encouraging and inspiring you to take the ideas presented and do it in your own style. You can mix and match the furniture according to your needs.”

And there’s more than just the catalogue to get you started. A video on the Ikea website (www.ikea.com.sg/smallspaces) demonstrates how versatile your space can be. But before you log on, take a look at these photos to get your creative juices flowing.

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