The happiest people in the world tend to live in Nordic countries, studies show, so when Swedish mega-brand IKEA makes a new collection focused on self-care, we have to check it out.
IKEA teamed up with Finnish design house, Marimekko, for the first time to create a new launch rooted in Nordic sauna culture, bringing the essentials for pre-, during, and post-sauna to everyone.
“Capturing the essence of Marimekko’s Finnish roots and its connection to the historic origins of sauna culture was a fundamental part of the design journey and the creation of the BASTUA prints,” Rebekka Bay, Creative Director at Marimekko, says.
The BASTUA collection, available this March, will bring 26 new products with four never-before-seen prints by Marimekko to the masses. With products ranging from glassware to furniture to robes and towels, the collection aims to promote joy and happiness with colorful prints reminiscent of a Finnish summer.
One print was inspired by rhubarb leaves which grow outside of sauna buildings in Finland; another was inspired by the log walls in the sauna cabin a Marimekko designer's grandparents had. The striped print was even meant to recall the wooden slats found on sauna benches. With bright and happy colors featured in every print, Marimekko brought its signature boldness to every pattern and colorway.
In Nordic culture, saunas are a place to relax, reflect, chat, or even be silent; they're a space for everyone. Bastua, which means "sauna" in Småland, the Swedish province where IKEA was born, is the uniting idea behind the collection. Even if you've never set foot in a sauna, this collection is meant to help you carve out the moments of self-care in your everyday and hopefully make them a ritual.
The idea of self care and self relaxation and so on has become popular not just in in Nordic countries, but all over the world now.
"The idea of self care and self relaxation and so on has become popular not just in in Nordic countries, but all over the world now," Henrik Most, lead designer at IKEA, explains. "I think it's more that this self relaxation is uniting us more."
The collection includes everything you might need to get started, like a sauna bucket or towel, plus anything you may need post-sauna, like a glass pitcher for entertaining or an iconic IKEA shopping bag to tote your sweaty items home.
"Everything is really functional and simple, but you shouldn't underestimate that part of just getting happy over a colorful print," Mikael Axelsson, IKEA designer, says.
Though you may not have the same love for the sauna, just taking a few moments each day for yourself, preferably in nature, is one way to bring some Nordic happiness to your life.
"I think people, maybe more than ever, long for that feeling of being connected to nature to some extent," Most says. "It's not always easy when you live in a big urban city to find these moments. If we can bring a little bit of joy into people's lives, then I'm happy."
Shop the collection at IKEA-USA.com or in stores starting March 1.
Helliwell JF, Layard R, Sachs JD, Neve JED, Aknin LB, Wang S., World Happiness Report 2022.