If you’re anything like me, you treat your beloved furry friends like actual children. They eat human-grade organic food, sleep in your bed, get bespoke handmade treats, go to a private pet-school and have play-dates with their fellow spoiled animal compadres.
It’s exactly this focus that led Ikea to create the comprehensive pet product range, titled LURVIG – which in Swedish means “shaggy”. Created by pet loving designers with great support and input from trained veterinarians, the range covers all the bases of our shared life with pets indoors and out, so you and your pet can enjoy your home together.
And although the collection is as Scandi-chic as you’d expect, what’s taken the world by storm is just how much LURVIG is the result of an incredible research and development process. Taking into account the typical needs and at times opposing personality-types of both cats and dogs – providing quiet warm places for cats to curl up, and open beds, cushions, and rubber balls that can accommodate dogs of all sizes – LURVIG is a collection that, although inspired by existing IKEA icons, is expertly repurposed for the particular needs of our furry friends.
The cat scratch mat with its sewn-in straps converts the ordinary table leg into a cat’s scratching tree, keeping those same paws from ripping our sofas apart … and all without filling more living space with the traditional eyesore cat tree! Additionally, the perennially popular KALLAX bookcase insert integrates a comfortable fabric sleeping space into the pre-existing square storage system, so pet owners don’t have to necessarily purchase an entirely new structure.
LURVIG is a rather exhaustive collection, featuring everything from beds, hiding-houses and lounges to pet carriers, slow-feed bowls, leashes, toys and other accessories. But the collection also marks another important milestone for this never-flagging innovator. Once one of the design world’s most reviled institutions, Ikea’s growing reputation as an environmentally-aware, socially-conscious brand in support of authentic design has taken the company on a journey to become an international champion for democracy and design.
Yes – in design circles, IKEA has traditionally always been synonymous with a very grey area of debate: is their product “inspired by” or is it “replica”? And to be fair, it wasn’t an entirely unfair question to raise. IKEA has spent years pumping out affordable product that has at times bared a shocking resemblance to existing original designs, particularly that of Scandinavian design houses like artek, where for example you can walk into any IKEA around the world and pick yourself up a few Stool 60s (or “Frosta Stools” ask IKEA calls them) for half the price of one original. Recently, however, design heavyweights including Tom Dixon, Jasper Morrison, Naoto Fukasawa, Patricia Urquiola, Walter Van Beirendonck, Studio Truly Truly, have all collaborated with Ikea’s design teams to widen the scope of democracy and intelligent, considerate design under the Ikea banner.
LURVIG – Ikea’s latest iteration of its growing influence – comes hot on the heels of a year of massive releases for Ikea: including a secret scent collaboration with high-end perfumer Byredo, and an incredible sustainable collection that has truly pushed the envelope for green approaches to furniture, finishes and accessories design. On a crusade to make design more accessible without contributing to landfill at the same time, Ikea continues to shake off its consumer-culture image for a new sustainable, democratic, humanitarian and now animal-friendly philosophy.
Although the range hasn’t quite hit our shores just yet, we’re all keeping our paws crossed that Australian pets can soon enjoy Ikea just as much as the rest of us!
Previously published in McGrath Magazine 4.11.2017