The Relaxing New Marimekko Collection At IKEA Was Inspired By Sauna Culture

IKEA just dropped a limited-edition collection called BASTUA in collaboration with Marimekko, a Finnish design house known for its unique colors and patterns. The collection is all about "living boldly" and takes its inspiration from "nature and the self-care rituals of the Nordic sauna" (via IKEA). From spa-like kimonos to simple bathroom accessories, BASTUA is all about wellness at home.

Saunas are a part of everyday life in Nordic countries. The concept originated in Finland and has been around for more than 2000 years. The regular practice of taking a sauna soothes the muscles and leads to improved sleep habits, skin health, and circulation. This form of relaxation also reduces stress and can be a social activity with others. Here's more on the Marimekko and IKEA collaboration, featuring pieces that you can wear or use in any room in your home, this collection offers a way to relax and feel at ease without leaving the house.

The materials & inspiration

Sauna culture is strong in Nordic countries, but especially in Finland where most people have a sauna right in their homes. This might explain why the BASTUA collection centers on self-care inspired by the home sauna experience and is all about creating a calming atmosphere to take care of yourself. "You can have a piece of Nordic happiness with you, even without a sauna," says Marimekko designer Maija Louekari on the IKEA collection page. 

It's no surprise that wood is a main part of this collection because it has always been the primary material for saunas due to its great capacity for insulation, its antibacterial qualities, and its natural aesthetic. Some of the most popular types of wood used for saunas are cedar, hemlock, Nordic/European spruce, and pine, which are chosen for their ability to withstand high temperatures, little to no scents, and their beautiful colors, especially over time. BASTUA also incorporates bright colors and colors that reflect nature, which are known to lift the mood and increase feelings of happiness.

The collection

Not only does the relaxing Marimekko collection feature natural wood and bright colors, but it also incorporates strong prints inspired by natural elements like plants, water, and the sun. One of the main BASTUA patterns is a bright and fun illustration of the rhubarb leaf, a plant that commonly grows in Finland next to sauna huts. The collection also includes everyday pieces that you can take outside, like shopping bags and water bottles in the rhubarb leaf print.

Some mere functional parts of the collection include a crystal-shaped glass dish that is inspired by sun rays hitting a body of water, explains designer Henrik Preutz (via IKEA). Other elements of the collection, such as the bench, side table, mirror frame, and clothes rack are designed in raw, natural wood that imparts a warm feeling, while the LED lantern with its wooden handle, paper exterior, and soft light also makes a space feel warm and cozy.