India's bright bazaars

Art July 22, 2012 00:00

By The Nation on Sunday

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Ikea looks to India for its new True Blue collection


Swedish home-furnishings store Ikea focuses on the blue that Thais are so familiar with from their favourite indigo-dyed textiles, batiks and Chinese ceramics in its latest collection known simply as True Blue.
The collection features an armchair, room divider, cabinet, lamp, vase, decanter and candlestick along with a range of patterned textiles woven in Southern India while the metal and glass comes from the North. Cushions in pleasing shapes intermingle with rugs, bedspreads, curtains, sarongs and a hammock for relaxing moments. 
“We have worked a great deal with textiles and paper, because those materials are exciting and interesting. And also things that glitter! India is known for its brass for example, and in the Indian culture, there is much that glitters,” says Lars Dafnas, range strategist.
The Burgsvik tray table is made from hammered brass. The Bjerrede rag-rug is made from recycled waste and has been given a stamp in Hindi to show its origin. The Backamo table has a built-in cloth, and the Bohakan armchair is both austere and soft at the same time. 
”Jon Karlsson designed the armchair in metal, and I designed the seat cushion. I wanted several cushions to form one seat cushion and was inspired by the cushions at the factory,” says designer Nike Karlsson. “We found an embroidery machine in the factory, so we designed an embroidered pattern on the Blasklover cushion, which is inspired by the lively traffic in India’s cities. I created the pattern with Pratima Khagke, a local designer who travelled with the Swedish design team.”
The Betydande blue glass vase is inspired by the vessels traditionally used by the Indian people for carrying water. The vessels were originally ceramic, but nowadays they are made from easy-to-carry plastic and can be seen everywhere in India.
In northern India, Karlsson went to a factory that makes amazing things from paper. The patterned Babbla storage boxes are decorative and double as gift boxes.
“The boxes are like a Russian babushka,” he says. “A box in a box in a box … Paper is a material of the future, and is also eco-friendly as it can be recycled.”
The hanging Beslutande paper decorations are inspired as much by Swedish crayfish parties as the glitter of India. They look festive hung over the table, on a wall or outdoors in a tree.
Ikea is at the Mega Bangna shopping complex at Bangna-Trat Road Km 8. It’s open daily from 10 to 10. 
Call (02) 708 7999.