IKEA, the home furnishings retailer known as the world’s largest seller of furniture in the 21st century, is mostly praised for giving the chance to people all around the world to decorate and transform their homes through simple design, at a decent price. Once famous for promoting Sweedish identity and values like functionality and clean aestetics, Ikea explored interesting collaborations in the past decade, making room for cultural dialogue.This time, they’ve decided to give a different spin to cultural identity and dived right into Middle Eastern traditions and customs.
NADA DEBS LJUV IKEA
Nada Debs is a Beirut-based, Lebanese designer whose work stretches across a wide range of forms and disciplines including furniture, fashion, and interiors.
Having grown up in Japan and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design in the United States, Debs has spent a large part of her life living in and traveling through different countries. Along with a strong universal emotional essence, Debs’ natural ability to fuse different cultures is evident in her work. Clearly, that’s why Karin Gustavsson, creative leader at IKEA, found her perfect for the project. And we couldn’t agree more!
IDENTITY & TEXTURES
The LJUV Collection – Swedish word for „delightful”- comes as a contemporary fusion between Scandinavian design and Middle Eastern patterns, symbols and identity warmth.
The designer herself has stated that, when crafting this project, all she could concentrate on was the Lebanese specific hospitality and family love, especially during Ramadan Feast.
Floor cushions, rugs, trays, ceramics, glassware and decorative lamps represent this part of cultural richness perfectly. Nada decided to give these cultural elements a contemporary vibe by combining opposal materials and colours.
The machine embroidery on the floor cushions is one of the ways she played in contrast to the traditional Middle Eastern hand embroidery. The hexagonal shape recalls the geometry which is common in the region, but also gives it a minimalistic appeal, which attracts the young public of IKEA.
Mostly used to combining all kinds of luxurious materials, Neda found it challenging to accommodate such project to affordable prices, but found comfort in combining unexpected fabrics to create, what we would call “ a cultural recipe for succces”.
Culture influences the matter in which we live and behave. That’s why Debs considers her work „emotional design”, as it reflects the emotional nature of the people in the region and it preserves craft and heritage.
Nada Debs’ collection with IKEA has just launched on the 12th of March, just in time so Middle Eastern families can get prepared for Ramadan. By crafting traditional inspiration into her work, she is gifting international visibility to the design world in her own country, Lebanon, and inspiring people from other countries to acquire oriental zest into their own homes.