IKEA explores craft through minimalism

Designer Ingegerd Råman holding a pitcher from her Viktigt collection for Ikea

Designer Ingegerd Råman holding a pitcher from her Viktigt collection for Ikea

After a few maximalist and pattern heavy collections, Swedish giant IKEA returns to focus on Scandinavian minimalism. The company's new limited-edition Viktigt collection, overseen by texture-loving Swedish ceramicist Ingegerd Råman, features pared down objects that focus on the barest essentials. Designed in Sweden and crafted in Vietnam, Indonesia and Poland, the collection will hit stores at the end of May.

While Ikea is perhaps best known for its mass-produced, flat-pack furniture, the Viktigt items are all made by hand from a limited palette of materials: glass, ceramic, bamboo, and woven fiber. The line's subdued set of colors is as limited as its material palette. Everything is black, white, rattan, or glass.

"Pieces made from natural fibers are as far from standardized design as you can get," explained Ikea designer Nike Karlsson. "It’s handmade. Every chair and basket is different." For more information www.ikea.com