I have strong opinions about IKEA: If I'm going to navigate that maze of room displays that culminates in an endless sea of stacked boxes, the trip had better be worth it. I'm never going to pop in for a few plates and plastic sandwich bags. (Mostly because one can not simply "stop by" an IKEA.)
So when the announcement came of the Swedish mass producer's collaboration with Rolf and Mette Hay, the husband-and-wife team behind top Danish design firm HAY, I got excited about the possibilities. Seems like something totally worth the trip (read: expedition)!
The entire collection, dubbed YPPERLIG, admittedly explores the beauty of basics, marrying a shared love of no-frills design with IKEA's smart manufacturing techniques and Rolf and Mette's penchant for architecture, fashion, and art.
And while you can see the chic, sophisticated results in all of the furniture and accessories — and even the reimagined iconic IKEA shopping bag — what really stands out the most to me is the YPPERLIG table, made of white-stained ash veneer, solid wood, and a metal frame.
Buy: YPPERLIG Table, $199
They took the traditional plank table, popular in Scandinavian design, and brought it into the 21st century with handsome steel accents. That steel runs underneath the tabletop for added support, so together with solid wood legs, it's durable and weighty. It's IKEA all grown up.
Rolf says he and Mette learned a lot from IKEA about making things better and less expensive, due to the brand's uncomplicated makeup, which is good news for all of us. The table is only $199 and it might as well be on display in a high-end showroom in a fancy-schmancy design center for $1000.
I'm currently on the market for a new dining table and the flood of options out there sort of make navigating through all of them a maze of its own. But I'd go through any labyrinth if I knew this one was waiting at the end for me (preferably already set with a mouthwatering meal).