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Ikea’s 2018 catalog is here—and you’ll be surprised by the designs inside

Dark, moody, and sustainable: It's Ikea like you've never seen it before

Credit: Ikea

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By now, you probably know that the Ikea 2018 catalog is in stores and online. The Swedish retailers’s new slogan, Making room for life, is its way of expressing what we all want: to surround ourselves with things we love, whether we live in a tiny house or a mansion.

In Ikea's world of smart design, inexpensive accessories can make your house look like a million bucks, and clever furnishings come in cool shapes. But I also love how the catalog shows off those irresistible products in settings that inspire us to use our creativity to make it all work together.

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Credit: Ikea

Ikea encourages us to add interest to our homes using inexpensive, eye-catching accessories like this Tillsyn hourglass.

One improvement for 2018 is Ikea's emphasis on sustainability. The company turns recycled plastic, glass, and leather into products we crave. Its Odger chair, Backig dinnerware, and Osternes handles are examples of that commitment.

The new catalog is in U.S. stores now, and the digital version is available online. When you see it, look for these trends:

1. Embrace dark, moody colors.

Credit: Ikea

Ikea is using deep colors and images of nature to show off their products in the 2018 catalog. The rich green Nodebo rug is for sale. The peacock is not.

In this catalog, Ikea shocks by photographing its furnishings against deep green and rich blue walls. It's a surprising addition to the mostly white and gray palette you might associate with Ikea, and I like it. Black kitchen cabinets are a trend now, too, and they add serious drama to the busiest room in the house.

2. Accent with light, bright colors.

Credit: Ikea

Picture a pair of these yellow Koarp armchairs in a living room setting. If you have space in a bedroom, you can use a bright, comfortable chair like this to create a little reading nook for yourself.

Brilliant yellow chairs and accessories are like streaks of lightning, illuminating rooms that include them. If the backgrounds are dark, you need something bright for balance. The yellow Koarp armchair looks so bright and comfortable, it could be the focal point of your kid's playroom or your living room—even if that's the same room.

3. Glitz is good.

Credit: Ikea

Brass cutlery like Tillagd provides the finishing touch to a place setting, contrasting well with colored plates. Matte black cutlery, now available at Ikea, adds drama, too.

Dinner is going to look impressive when you serve it on glossy Backig black or pink dinnerware with Tillagd brass-colored flatware. Food might even taste better knowing that the dishes were made from recycled glass. Each plate has an organic square shape that looks very modern. If you're used to plating meals onto white dishes, either color is a big change, all the better to Instagram.

The curvy new Odger chair is an instant classic.

4. Comfortable chairs invite conversation.

Credit: Ikea

An instant classic, Ikea's well-designed Odger chairs can fit at your dining table or as occasional seating elsewhere. The stunning blue color holds its own in a dark green room, but the neutral brown and beige are quite versatile as well.

The curvy new Odger chair is an instant classic, with a bowl-shaped seat ideal for a dinner table or conference table. Made of a combination of wood and recycled plastic, Odger shows a subtle wood grain. Although it comes in versatile brown and light beige too, vote for the beautiful blue version, and find room for a couple of these in the living room.

5 Go to the walls for storage.

Credit: Ikea

You can fit storage into any space, is what Ikea is telling us here. The Myrheden frame hangs on the wall and can have multiple uses. Notice they painted the radiator in this picture bright yellow, which adds a pop of brilliance against dark walls.

Ikea brings storage pieces that go wherever you need it most, keeping everything within reach. If you're out of floor space, just hang storage on the wall. I'm in love with Myrheden, a brass grid with clips, completely versatile for organization and display. I can think of a dozen ways to hack it already, as an art gallery, family organizer, and recipe rack to start. You may want one for your kitchen.

6. Mix styles and periods freely.

Credit: Ikea

Romantic Victorian florals pop against a dark background on the Pristella serving tray. Mixing styles and periods will make your home look more attractive and interesting, so don't hesitate to use this piece in a contemporary room.

Here's an example of an unexpected dash of gorgeousness from an inexpensive accessory. Bold Victorian florals bloom on a black background to enhance Ikea's Pristella tray, adding a vintage feminine touch to any room—especially a very modern one. So, use it on your dressing table to hold makeup and jewelry. Serve hors d'oeuvres on it when the book club comes over. Lean it against the kitchen backsplash permanently. Think of a piece like this as a possible focal point in a bland room.

7. Nature is relaxing, so invite some into every room.

Credit: Ikea

A bird print on this Majbritt pillow cover serves to invite nature into a room. In a bedroom or living room, blush pink accents look soft and welcoming, and the color is neutral enough to complement many palettes.

Is someone at Ikea watching old Portlandia episodes? Because the retailer has put a bird (or several) on many of its items. Bird motifs provide a big lift to inexpensive pillow covers. Stuff them with pillows and toss them on the living room couch. It's better if they don't match any of the other pillows. To continue the avian theme, the Solbo lamp is a night owl that comes with an LED light. Use it in the baby's room, and you don't even have to turn it on to enjoy its cuteness.

8. Keep everyone cozy. Soft, colorful rugs are inviting in all seasons.

Credit: Ikea

The Krônge rug's color palette includes green, teal, gray, and yellow. A cozy, graphic rug like could provide a foundation for rooms where both kids and adults feel comfortable.

The Kronge rug is a handmade work of art, with a graphic stripes in teal, green, gray and yellow, coordinating with the colors in Ikea's new collection. You'll like the low pile and wooly texture. It feels comfortable whether you're walking on it or stretched out on it, watching TV. Ikea says that the weavers are paid fairly and work in safe conditions.

9. Kids and adults can enjoy the same room when you add something that reflects everybody's style.


The Solbo table lamp would make a sweet nightlight, but don't limit it to a kid's room.

If the kids are going to hang out in the living room, Ikea wants to make it easy to share the space. A charming detail like the Solbo lamp can delight everyone.

10. Elegant little details make a room.

Credit: Ikea

Osternes leather handles add elegance to any piece of Ikea (or other) furniture with drawers. It appears that Ikea is encouraging us to hack, so feel free to upcycle a dresser with these. Water won't ruin them, so think about adding leather handles to your kitchen cabinets or a bathroom vanity.

Created from leather scraps left over from making other Ikea products, water-resistant Osternes leather handles and pulls are going to add charm to the kitchen cabinets and dresser drawers. Hacking your favorite piece of furniture is easier than ever when the same store sells the dresser and the handles to customize it.

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