Colorful and ingenious IKEA PS 2012 collection now available in the U.S.

new IKEA PS collection 2012

Pam asked me to dive into the IKEA PS collection, which she spotted in IKEA’s latest fall/winter catalog. The idea with our Ikea coverage is to: Spotlight those items that may become “tomorrow’s collectibles”… tomorrow’s classics…driven by both their beauty and durability. One big reaso, we like so much of this collection: Unabashed COLOR. This special line also includes some new products made from powder-coated steel — long-lasting stuff.

The PS collection seems to be a special design exercise for the company. There have been seven PS collections in the past 13 years, each with the goal to be:

… the design statement of IKEA… to strengthen a core business idea of being a design company. PS, meaning Post Scriptum, puts focus on cutting edge Scandinavian furniture design without losing sight of what makes IKEA unique – affordable, quality design for many people.

ikea ps collection 2012For this year’s collection, the company says:

…We asked our designers to find inspiration in more than 60 years of IKEA design history.

So you know we’re going to see some retro inspired creations.

Some of our favorites from the new IKEA PS 2012 line

IKEA PS lounge chairAbove: Designer Wiebke Braasch’s easy chair takes inspiration from an actual 1950s IKEA design, but strips the idea down to its essential parts. This reduces the materials needed to produce it and doubles the chair’s functionality by making it usable indoors and out. We love the flower power colors, too.

Here is another video with this chair’s designer — hey, these videos are great!:


Jon Karlsson, designer of the IKEA PS 2012 bamboo and aluminum dining table shown above, describes his contribution to the collection:

Functional furniture in hardwood, like teak, was modern in the 1950s. I wanted to find a design that was related to the style of the ’50s, but use materials that are much better for the environment. Bamboo is a material that grows quickly, and when it’s layer-glued it becomes extremely hard and durable. Plus, it resembles teak. IKEA PS 2012 dining table is a table that flirts with ’50s design, but is produced with concern for the future.

Of course, Pam always wants to know “where’s the Life Cycle Assessment” when it comes to making environmental claims — we need to ask IKEA for their data. And note: If you need to make a purchase, buying vintage locally and inexpensively is likely the most environmentally friendly of all, because you are not causing more mining, manufacturing, transportation or economic churn. But all this is … another story.


IKEA-PS-Chest-of-drawersDesigner Ehlén Johansson created the IKEA PS 2012 pine chest of drawers above. This piece would also be awesome if you painted the drawers in different colors — create a Mondrian color scheme (use an appropriate primer first, pine can be difficult). Or maybe, wallpaper the front, to, in a patchwork crazy quilt like Pam’s office. Johansson explains how this piece fits the collection:

Old IKEA catalogs are full of beautiful pine furniture and they made me want to design something modern using pine. The result is a piece of furniture which I think brings out the best in pine. The drawers are painted red inside and create an attractive contrast to the exterior with the visible wood grains that give the wood a natural pattern. IKEA PS 2012 chest of drawers is produced with fast-growing pine, which makes it possible for us to produce more material in less time and save sensitive forests at the same time.

IKEA-PS-Rolling-steel-coffee-tableOur recent story on powdercoated steel shelving available today contained a few examples from IKEA. This IKEA PS 2012 coffee table, designed by Ola Wihlborg fits right into the powder coated trend and is a very functional piece. Wihlborg explains her ideation process for this piece:

Old IKEA catalogs are filled with forgotten pearls and exciting furniture. I stumbled upon the tea trolley one day when I was browsing through catalogs. Tea trolleys feel old-fashioned, but there’s still a need today for mobile things. My goal became designing different solutions for the living room, not just a piece of furniture. Instead of being just a tea trolley, IKEA PS 2012 coffee table also works for storage. The casters make it easy for you to move the table about and, when you want, to choose a new way to use it.


The tray table above reminds me of the oh-so-popular Saarinen tulip table that seems to be on everyone’s vintage furniture want list. If you are unable to afford the real thing, and don’t have the patience to hunt down a vintage treasure and refurbish it, rest assured you can find your own little slice of cool at IKEA in this affordable SANDSKÄR tray table.

Ikea-Ps-Hat-and-coat-rackPam’s favorite piece in the collection is the colorful and ingenious hat and coat rack, designed by Francis Cayouette, who says:
My inspiration came from a simple coat rack, but instead of fixed knobs we decided to use the space between the planks in the panel. You can move the knobs up and down to suit both tall adults and small children. IKEA PS 2012 hat and coat rack includes two shelves – a large shelf for hats and clothes and a smaller shelf for things like keys and mobile phones. In spite of the simple construction, there’s room for most things with no problem. Simple can always be made even simpler.

The 2012 IKEA PS collection became available in the U.S. last month. There’s a ton of information on the IKEA website about the new PS Collection, including designer bios, inspiration information and fun, informative videos. For more information, check out this IKEA PS 2012/2013 interactive catalog. I’m interested to see some of these designs in person to assess their construction and comfort, though IKEA gets high marks from me on the color and design of this new line.

QUICK FACTS about the new IKEA PS Collection:

  • 46 products
  • 19 designers
  • 7th IKEA PS collection
  • Inspired by 60+ years of IKEA history
  • Designs innovate form, function, sustainability and materials
  • Materials like bamboo, recycled PET plastic, wood plastic composite and linen
  • Includes chairs, tables, lamps, bowls, textiles, pictures and more

Timeline of IKEA PS

Under the theme ‘Democratic Design,’ the first IKEA PS collection renewed the Scandinavian design tradition, created a stir and was a huge success.

A natural complement to the range, the second collection focused on keeping the high design value of IKEA PS while lowering prices even more.

Multi-functionality was key with the theme, ‘Bring the inside out. Bring the outside in.’ The collection was designed and adapted directly on factory floors.

This collection of ‘play furniture’ was about designing for unlimited play in all its impossible and possible forms. Play was built into these designs.

This collection challeged designers to think outside the box and experiment with new materials, techniques and ways of working.

This was about stories of our roots, empowering people, innovative ways of minimizing resource use and maximizing our responsibility for our world.

  1. Thea Montandon says:

    I wish the armchair 2012 in black could come in white! Is there a possibility in the future? Thanks for your response. Thea Montandon

    1. pam kueber says:

      I don’t know the answer to this, Thea. Alas, I was just looking at Ikea and I see that some of the PS 2012 products are already discontinued. They have a PS 2014 collection now!

  2. Rebecca Prichard says:

    Their Stockholm series is awesome. Totally 60’s Scandinavian clean design. It’s a better made series and therefore priced higher.

  3. Scott says:

    Although I still do find a few items that are good values and blend terrifically into a MCM home, IKEA pricing for the most part has gone into the stratosphere.

    Priced at over $500, the PS Pine Cabinet is a prime example. I found my Broyhill Emphasis low dresser with mirror for considerably less and have a stunning piece of furniture that holds more and will last a lifetime. A rudimentary unfinished pine chest that you have to build yourself just can’t compare.

  4. Alan says:

    I’ve always liked Ikea for the simplicity and thought they could do a huge amount of business selling preassembled furniture in certain parts of the world where there are people who appreciate the design by don’t have time or patience to actually assemble the furniture themselves.

    I really dig the pine chest of drawers, especially painting it in Mondrian colors. You could even do 3 or 4 drawers in a color and leave the rest plain. It’s a really practical piece of furniture for a kids room: you know how they have all sorts of small stuff (socks, underwear, t-shirts) that is overwhelmed by a standard sized drawer? This is perfect for that and then becomes a great crafts cabinet or oversized junk drawer once they grow up.

    1. Katie says:

      As far as I know, most IKEAs either offer an assembly service, or can suggest companies that will assemble the furniture for you.

  5. Steven B says:

    I have always loved Ikea furniture and have recently gotten into woodworking and designing furniture as a casual hobby.

    I keep hearing about Scandinavian design. Are there any books about this? I’d like to learn more about Scandinavian and general furniture design. Can anyone recommend any good books?

    On design shows and blogs, I hear hints of design styles. I’d love to read books explaining the difference between Federal and Chippendale style and explaining the traits of modern Scandinavian design and famous designers.

    BTW, for all those critical of Ikea, I love nearly their entire product line. I will agree that some of it looks cheap, but that’s because it is cheap. As others pointed out, they have both unique and high end products and unique and cheap products. In general, I have been pleased with everything I have ever found there. The furniture looked nice, the design was well thought out, and was well worth whatever I paid for it.

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