A split image with handmade sketches to the left and IKEA product design developer Bonnie Yu to the right.

Storage units with a big heart

What started as an extensive collaboration with IKEA markets three years ago has now taken a beautiful shape in the form of the BAGGEBO. The storage range for the living room is now available in selected markets. We sat down with Bonnie Yu and Johanna Jelinek to know more about the range and how they brought together innovative designs and light materials to create a truly affordable family of living room storage products that suits all pockets, spaces and layout ideas.

Almost three years ago, IKEA product design developer Bonnie and her project team would get boxes after boxes full of furniture in her office. Within a couple of weeks, they had about 30 sets of living room storage furniture. No, no one was moving into their office!

They were receiving these boxes for a different purpose. It was to get inspired and understand what IKEA markets were looking for when it came to storage in the living room at the most pocket-friendly prices.

“What we did was that we asked all IKEA markets their wish for the price, how big or small the furniture should be, and the basic functions expected of the products in this range. We wanted to create a range that’s extremely affordable, functional and in a size that people would like,” says Bonnie.

Bonnie Yu, Product Design Developer.

The inspiration, clarity on price points, and designs needed have led to the creation of the BAGGEBO range, the first-ever complete living room storage solution developed by IKEA. The new, extremely affordable range includes bookcases, open shelves units, display cabinets, TV bench and closed storage units. All these products can be put together for a coordinated look as well as stand-alone storage units.

Being suitable for small space living too is also one of the main benchmarks for this living room storage solution.

So, how did IKEA manage to do all this? Bonnie, IKEA designers Johanna and David Wahl focused on creating lightness by combining metal and flatline products for the range.

Minimize costs, Maximize the design
Available in white and turquoise colours, the new BAGGEBO family range strongly focuses on affordability and functionality. Hence, innovative designs are at the core of this range, making the products not only good looking but highly functional too. For example, all dimensions are aligned, even the material thickness, so the metal legs and wood thickness look the same from the front.

“We went into every single detail to adjust, to rework and rethink, creating this affordable, unique family. Combining metal and metal mesh with other wood-based materials has created a versatile family for the customer to choose from and combine the way they wish. It will look nice no matter how you combine it because it is designed as a family. This is a unique case for this price range,” says designer Johanna, who worked on the flatline part of BAGGEBO.

One design and functional feature of BAGGEBO is the bottom shelf which is elevated from the floor. What it means is, all products share the same bottom line. This space gives the user the possibility to store even more. And it also makes it easy to clean and provides the product with a light look.

To minimize costs, IKEA has taken a few more steps. For example, there are stretched metal sides to minimize glass usage. Glass is heavy and can be bulky in transport, which adds to the cost.

“We share the same parts and fittings in several of the products to be able to lower the price for the customer. When designing a family, this is a great opportunity and a great benefit from a production point of view which normally only happens when we design big families like the kitchen system METOD or bedroom series MALM,” says Johanna.

Also, one can fill the shelf with different storage boxes to adapt the space.

The BAGGEBO range is available in Europe and the Asia Pacific from this month. It will be available in the North American markets from October this year.