If you’re like most design lovers, it’s probable that your taste woefully exceeds your paycheck. Fall in love with your dream rug only to be greeted with the budgetary death knell “price upon request”? We’ve been there. And so has Sabine Marcelis, a designer whose coveted candy-colored glass, marble, and resin work has been shown in museums and has even landed on ELLE DECOR’s cover. “At the end of the day, I also can’t afford my own work,” she confesses on a call from Rotterdam, Netherlands, where her studio is based.
So when Marcelis received a phone call from IKEA to develop a home decor collection, she jumped at the chance. “I’ve been approached by other brands, but it’s always been in the realm of ‘Can you make a cheap version of your other designs?’ And that’s just so not interesting for me,” Marcelis shares. “This [collaboration] is really opening up the opportunity for many different types of people to have something of mine.”
The resulting collaboration, which launches February 1, is a group of 20 ethereal home decor items ranging from glass barware to architectural light fixtures. Called Varmblixt (which, in IKEA lingo, roughly translates to “warm light”), the assortment is a celebration of materiality and light—all while exuding Marcelis’s minimal-cool aesthetic, of course.
“I wanted to be very considerate about material and resource use,” Marcelis, who teamed up with IKEA in 2021 on a limited-edition Lucio Fontana–inspired sconce, says. “I really wanted to use the least amount of material but with the maximum effect.”
One aluminum luminaire (which Marcelis keeps in her own home) takes the form of a simple line that appears to peel off a wall while bathing it in soft light. A serving bowl, made from amber-colored glass, has a pleasing doughnut shape that makes a frequent cameo in Sabine’s work. A backlit bronze-colored mirror, another Marcelis signature, casts a flattering glow while functioning as a work of art.
Other items that are sure to be fast favorites? Delicate-yet-dishwasher-safe Champagne coupes, a gold ombré rug, and a two-part drum-shaped cocktail table, manufactured employing the same processes IKEA uses to make cooking pots. And with Varmblixt prices beginning at $2, there’s no reason you can’t take home more than a few of Marcelis’s creations.
“There are some people who just stand out among the crowd of designers and Sabine is one of those,” says Henrik Most, the brains behind the flatpack giant’s collabs with Virgil Abloh, Marimekko, and others. “I’m just happy that we had the opportunity to do this at the stage where she’s still available!”
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