Anthropologie, Meet Ikea

Home Sweet

Worlds collide. Ikea, the design uber-store of efficiency, strategic space saving solutions and affordable home wares is hitting a home run with their new NIPPRIG collection – doing chic, boho furnishings with a global twist almost (?) better than Anthropologie, who has been on that train for years.

I can’t help but feel that the practical Swedes are doing a great service to those of us who want to add some flare to our space… by reflecting our obsession with travel and finds from abroad, and putting them smack dab in the middle of their well-organized showroom (or marketplace). At a fraction of the cost of Anthro, Ikea is on to something magical, especially because, as their site describes in their release of the new line it is,

“Designed and made as a collaboration between IKEA and local producers in Vietnam and Indonesia, NIPPRIG is all about using renewable materials like bamboo, rattan, seagrass, and water hyacinth, and working with their naturally durable qualities using traditional skills like handweaving. The result is a distinctive range of furnishings that showcase the warmth and beauty of natural materials combined with a unique look shaped and made by traditional craftsmanship.”

Sounds great to me. Let’s see ‘Who Wore Makes It Best’:

Ikea starts us off with a woven floor mat, which (at $29) is a steal even for a season, but hopefully with a mind to sustainability, this can be an indoor/outdoor piece that is simple and versatile.

Ikea starts us off with a woven floor mat, which (at $29) is a steal even for a season, but hopefully with a mind to sustainability, this can be an indoor/outdoor piece that is simple and versatile.

Anthro's Susila Rattan Ottoman $198.00, is pretty and practical, but not significantly MORE so than the Ikea collaboration designs.

Anthro’s Susila Rattan Ottoman
$198.00, is pretty and practical, but not significantly MORE so than the Ikea collaboration designs.

High-end end table from Anthropologie. Undeniably beautiful and unique. Agate End Table $498.00

High-end end table from Anthropologie. Undeniably beautiful and unique. Agate End Table
$498.00

Great shapes and interesting textures. This furniture invites you to drape fabric, or yourself, into these curves and add a whole whack of greenery.  Ikea (point)

Great shapes and interesting textures. This furniture invites you to drape fabric, or yourself, into these curves and add a whole whack of greenery. Ikea (point). At $79. This table is pretty sweet.

Moving further from my price point: Anthro's Looping Apasra Chair $228.00. Graphic and cool, but also considerably more pricey.

Moving further from my price point: Anthro’s Looping Apasra Chair
$228.00. Graphic and cool, but also considerably more pricey.

Lounging with all the nonchalance of paint peeling walls and a vision of summer haze. $129  Pricier than I'd like, but with the handmade aspect, I'll pay for it!

Lounging with all the nonchalance of paint peeling walls and a vision of summer haze. $129, Ikea.
Pricier than I’d like, but with the handmade aspect, I’ll pay for it!

Styled to perfection. Who wouldn't want to recline in a Susila Rattan Chair for  $998.00 (Anthro)

Styled to perfection. Who wouldn’t want to recline in a Susila Rattan Chair for
$998.00 (Anthro)

No doubt about these beauties. They are gorgeous and statement making. But not on a more modest budget. Harmattan Side Table $348.00 – $498.00

No doubt about these beauties. They are gorgeous and statement making. But not on a more modest budget. Harmattan Side Table
$348.00 – $498.00

At $198, this ANthro woven door mat isn't something I'd wipe my feet on. But it sure is beautiful.

At $198, this ANthro woven door mat isn’t something I’d wipe my feet on. But it sure is beautiful.

Saturated woven containers in bold hues. Ikea, $19.

Saturated woven containers in bold hues. Ikea, $19.

Kelly Green... or whatever shade, looks like a slam dunk to me in this retro shape that alludes to its exotic origins. Ikea, $79

Kelly Green… or whatever shade, looks like a slam dunk to me in this retro shape that alludes to its exotic origins. Ikea, $79

Anthro's Pari Rattan Chair $98.00. Why pay more?

Anthro’s Pari Rattan Chair
$98.00. Why pay more?

The whole look: lush and lovely. I would take this for the more expensive version, then I'd pinch myself and be glad I'd saved $1000 to look so effortlessly cool in my own backyard. Good job, Ikea!

The whole look: lush and lovely. I would take this for the more expensive version, then I’d pinch myself and be glad I’d saved $1000 to look so effortlessly cool in my own backyard. Good job, Ikea!

It is undeniable (as a high school students’ essay thesis) that the advantage lies with Anthropologie, when it comes to interest, originality and perfect detailing. Anthro is aspirational (for me), but poses as thrown together, effortless coolness – the kind of stuff you just happened to bring back from your travels to _____, _____ and ______ (no big deal). It’s luxury with a certain casual shabbiness and hand-made irregularity that makes it look like it is inherited glamour, not store bought. On the other hand, Ikea is hawking some pretty similar stuff – without the dreamy models in kaftans and ironically printed tea sets that make the whole things seem like it was taken out of a novel, or a scene from Eat, Pray, Love. Ikea is definitely doing this right, and imagine how many chairs you can pack into a cargo ship when you consider their design ethos of minimizing the footprint and saving on freight that comes with streamlined, stackable design. I’ll take some meatballs and a whole set of patio furniture. Anthropologie… I’ll see you in my dreams.

Check out Ikea’s whole line at:  http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/categories/collections/30430/

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