New cycle of design at Ikea

PHOTOS: IKEA SINGAPORE

Swedish furniture giant Ikea's much-anticipated annual lookbook is out. Here are five things to look out for

1 BUY FURNITURE... AND A BICYCLE

In addition to putting out new designs, Ikea charts new territory with the launch of a bicycle with a lightweight aluminium frame. Named Sladda, it comes in a 15kg version with 26-inch wheels and a 16kg version with 28-inch wheels.

It has a rust- and oil-free belt drive and a simple "click-in" system for accessories such as front and back racks, as well as a bike bag that can double as a backpack.

The award-winning bicycle, which requires self-assembly, costs $899, but Ikea members can buy it at $699. The accessories cost extra and range from $39.90 for a U-lock to $319 for a trailer. The bicycle will go on sale in October.


2 POANG ARMCHAIR TURNS 40

To celebrate a milestone, the Poang armchair (above) gets an update with a new frame and six slipcovers.

In 1976, Japanese designer Noboru Nakamura, who worked with Ikea, was tasked with creating an "armchair for life". The bent-birch veneer chair fulfilled the brief and has since been one of Ikea's most popular products, with an average of 1.5 million chairs sold a year.

The chair, with removable covers, can be paired with a footstool. Prices start at $109 for the beech veneer model with a black-and-white cover.


3 LIMITED-EDITION COLLECTIONS

Visit Ikea throughout the year to snag furniture and accessories from newly launched collections.

First up is the Svartan collection, a collaboration between Swedish textile designer Martin Bergstrom and Indian fashion students. This collection, on sale next month, is a different take on typically colourful Indian design. It features items such as bedlinen, rugs and glasswarein black, white and grey.

In October, check out Sallskap, a collection of furniture, textiles and kitchenware inspired by 19th- and 20th-century Scandinavian art.

The celebrated PS range - which offers products for design-savvy shoppers - returns with 60 items. They include marbled vases (above) by Ikea designer Iina Vuorivirta, made by re-melting defective glass created during production at the furniture giant's China facility. PS 2017 will be launched in February.


4 BIGGER MENU

A trip to Ikea is not complete without a chowing down on Swedish beef-and-pork meatballs dipped in delicious lingonberry jam.

But now there is more to choose from, especially if you are into healthier and sustainable options. Dishes include chicken balls with boiled potatoes ($6 for 10 pieces); vegetable balls with couscous and sour cream ($6.50 for 10 pieces); and sustainably sourced salmon fillet with wheat pilaf and Hollandaise sauce ($9.90, above).

Check out the Features pages in the catalogue for the Pulled Salmon Sandwich recipe.


5 IMPROVED IKEA APP

Ikea has tweaked its app for customers to help them navigate more easily.

To inspire viewers, the enhanced app also offers films, animation and cinemagraphs, showing how Ikea furniture is used in homes. It also lets users connect to Apple TV so they can browse the catalogue on television.

These features will be available early next month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2016, with the headline 'New cycle of design at Ikea'. Print Edition | Subscribe