LJUV, the new Ikea Ramadan collection called designed by Nada Debs, launches today. The limited-edition collection is a mix of large and small decorative and functional items. It includes floor cushions, rugs, trays, ceramics and glassware.
Named after the Swedish word for delightful, LJUV combines traditional Middle Eastern patterns and symbols with Scandinavian design. Every piece incorporates Debs’ trademark geometrical patterns and an interesting mix of materials. The collection has been designed to make it easy to host many guests.
Debs says: “The Middle Eastern Ikea stores wanted to collaborate with a designer who understood Swedish design principles and Middle Eastern Ramadan culture. I grew up in Japan, and Japanese design and Swedish design is quite similar in its sense of simplicity and practicality. Being also from the Middle East, I understand the Ramadan culture of entertaining with family and friends. I was approached as the right designer to design this collection.”
From luxury to ‘democratic design’
However, Debs is more used to designing for the luxury sphere and so LJUV marks a departure for her. “It was quite a learning curve for me and the studio. We are used to designing luxury items; that means our pieces are very studied and crafted in detail. The collaboration with Ikea taught us to look at the essence of what we design and apply this in a simple, functional way.”
“In this collection, we worked mostly towards objects for entertaining in a Middle Eastern household, which often revolves around food. We have used brass and ceramics and incorporated our signature geometric pattern on them. We have used cushions, throws and carpets, which adds a soft contrast to the harder surfaces. A lighter sense of colour and degradation has also given the collection a modern touch.”
Taking a collaborative approach
On her approach to working collaboratively, Debs says, “I usually like to look at the essence of each brand and find the common element between them. I’ve always loved Ikea products and have bought them for many years. I especially love their tableware.”
Debs also brought her love of entertaining to the project: “For me, the main element of entertainment is mood and lighting. That means indirectly lighting, lots of candles and a play of shadow and light. I believe that once a mood is set, it is about having a comfortable seating arrangement where people can converse comfortably. After that, it is about home accessories that can be mixed and matched.”