The idea of a ‘smart home’ has been touted to us as the new in thing in the world of lifestyle, design and technology. Question is, bluetooth speakers and smart TV aside, how many of us can truly claim that our home is ‘smart’? At this point in time, remote-controlled lighting, while readily available in the market, doesn’t seem to be catching on as fervently as sci-fi fiction would like. Maybe it’s the hassle, or the old practical mentality that we don’t really need them for our lives to function well. Still, this IKEA x Sonos collaboration, of smart lamps and speakers, makes a very compelling case for the smart home.
Perhaps to cater to Singaporeans’ growing desire for a fully integrated home system, IKEA has expanded their range of Home Smart items, now with the SYMFONISK range of products. These bring together the expertise of IKEA’s home furnishing, with Sonos’ experience in sound and technology, in order to make high-quality sound and aesthetic appeal readily available to us all.
“The partnership is the first of its kind. IKEA is always looking for new ways to improve life at home, and we realised that integrating technology into home products has potential to positively affect life at home. Hence, the SYMFONISK range was born — smart furniture items blending into homes seamlessly, yet producing great sound that makes it stand out in any room.” says Leonie Hoskin, Regional Selling Manager of IKEA Southeast Asia.
SYMFONISK Table lamp with WiFi speaker, white, $299 ; SYMFONISK Table lamp with WiFi speaker, black, $299
A practically-named Table Lamp with WiFi speakers is really a beautiful lamp disguised as a high-tech gadget. Inspired by the idea of a fireplace that gives us both warm light and sound, the lamp similarly casts a soft light to its surroundings, while also filling the space with sound, thanks to the powerful speakers hidden within. You’ll be able to set the mood for all sorts of occasions. A romantic date night in? Use the lamp as the room’s sole light source for some moody interiors, while controlling your Spotify playlist on your smartphone. Or maybe you’re all for a dance party. Whether for one, or more, you’re able to fit the lamp with one of IKEA’s coloured light bulbs, and watch it change colours while you’re grooving to Gaga.
At the IKEA store, we were privy to a full demonstration of IKEA’s Home Smart capabilities, starting with smart lighting that can be controlled remotely via an app on the phone, along with the FYRTUR smart electric blinds which can be rolled up or down with zero fiddling. Combined with the new speakers, we saw how the whole integrated experience is a very seamless one.
Elsewhere, the WiFi Bookshelf Speaker is a sleek monochromatic number that can easily fit into various parts of your home. The beauty of this one is that you can mount it on the wall so it functions as a floating shelf or bedside table, creating a piece of furniture that also doubles up as a convenient speaker. Fit it into a bookcase so it camouflages right into its environment, or integrate it into your kitchen by hanging it on a rail — it’s highly practical sound that doesn’t draw attention to itself, while making it convenient for whenever you need it, mood music or self-help podcasts.
A couple of points to note for the SYMFONISK collection:
- Integrates with all Sonos products.
- Controlled via the Sonos app.
- Supports all of the major music streaming subscription services.
- Compatible with Airplay 2.
- Streams music, podcasts and radio via WiFi without interruptions from phone calls or notifications.
- For stereo sound, use two identical speakers.
- Create a multi-room system by connecting two or more speakers.
- Each speaker is controlled individually, so you can play different sound in different rooms, or play the same throughout the home.
NEW & UPCOMING COLLECTIONS
There’s quite a bit to unpack here, but we’re summed up the new and upcoming collections here succinctly with these points. In general, you’ll notice how IKEA is banking on the IKEA brand itself, with an apparel line and collaboration with LEGO, choosing more sustainable food options with their new Plant Balls, all while continuing with their ethos of functional, affordable living.
1. PLANT-BASED MEATBALLS
With so many restaurants now offering plant-based meat options, it’s no surprise that IKEA will be bringing us the Plant Ball, a sustainable and meat-less alternative to their very well-loved meatballs. It’s said to be equally tasty, while having a climate footprint of only 4% of the original — therefore, this one’s not just for vegans, but those who are environmentally-conscious too. In fact, IKEA has committed to having 20% plant-based foods by end 2022.
Available from 12 October.
2. NEW / UPCOMING FURNITURE COLLECTIONS
You’ll find a lot of upcoming furniture items in their newly-launched 2021 IKEA Catalogue, though a particular favourite of ours has to be this RAVAROR collection. Fully intended for small space living, this one’s a multi-tasking series that allows you to convert any space you have into something that fits your lifestyle. If there’s anything this year taught us, it’s that our living room can also be a workspace, as well as a chill-out zone after work, an entertainment lounge when friends come over, or a place to occupy the kids. Most tables, sideboards and racks are mounted on wheels for this new fluid life, to serve a room’s functions at various times of day. The design is also kept trendily Scandinavian with durable finishes and a real wood veneer.
Available in-stores and online now, $25 – $399.
This partnership with LEGO represents a world of creative possibilities, and is especially commendable seeing how IKEA furniture’s such a hit with young parents and their children. Combining both play and storage for a series of boxes and special-edition LEGO brick sets, you’ll even get a kick from spotting a unique hotdog LEGO brick, inspired by an IKEA Food Hall favourite. More on the collection here.
Launch date TBC, likely to arrive at IKEA SG early 2021.
IKEA Singapore will be bringing in their popular pet furniture collection here soon. You can take a look at the range that’s now on the US site. Created by pet-loving designers with support from trained veterinarians, the LURVIG range caters to cats and dogs, whether it’s a little igloo house for your ice princess, cushions and bowls, or a scratching mat you can attach to your existing table legs to protect your furniture, while allowing your cat to stretch and sharpen its claws.
We’ve talked about this IKEA apparel collection before, when it was announced by IKEA JAPAN earlier this year, and are pleased to announce that you’ll be able to get your hands on these items come December. The urban EFTERTRÄDA collection includes hoodies and t-shirts, alongside practical accessories such as tote bags, umbrellas, and water bottles, where you’ll notice the blue-and-yellow IKEA branding front and centre. Another fun fact: the barcode graphic references their iconic BILLY bookcase!
Available 12 December, prices TBC.
4. MORE AFFORDABILITY
The next time you’re at IKEA, or flipping through their catalogue, spot the orange ‘Even lower price’ labels. These signal the brand’s commitment to offer good quality and functional products at even better prices — this year, they’ve introduced 268 new lower prices, mostly to home essentials such as food storage, kitchenware, textiles and decor. A food storage container now retails at $3.90 instead of $4.90; you can get an OFTAST plate for just 90 cents, while the popular VARIERA box is now $2.90.
5. HOME RENOVATION — IKEA x Livspace
Getting a new house may be an exciting journey — but we can understand the feeling of daunting dread too. There’s just so much to do, all while worrying about busting our budgets at the same time! Thankfully, you can now get a refreshing home makeover with Livspace, IKEA’s interior design and renovation service partner. Whether you’re furnishing a new space, or revamping a current one, home owners can now seek professional advice for their living situation, with full renovation packages starting from $9,900. These take care of everything from design to installation, and are perfect for budget-friendly BTO owners.
Find out more here.