STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Mixing and matching patterns is becoming popular in fashion bedding, with companies like Blissliving Home coming out with beds featuring multiple prints for spring 2008, and the trend is proving its staying power by popping up in other home textiles areas as well.
Swedish company Bemz, which designs and manufactures slipcovers to fit some of IKEA's best-selling sofas and chairs, introduced a mix-and-match slipcover collection at the end of October. Available only at bemz.com, and not in IKEA stores, the collection includes six pre-coordinated patterned palettes for slipcovers that fit IKEA's Karlanda sofa and chair and Tomellia sofa. Other models will be introduced in coming months.
"We haven't found any other manufacturer that has the market share that IKEA does," said Lesley Pennington, Bemz founder and chief executive officer, explaining the company's choice to cover only one brand of sofa. "IKEA is one of the only global furniture manufacturers." Bemz has no formal relationship with IKEA.
Although all of the company's slipcovers tend to be more expensive than the slipcovers IKEA sells for its sofas--some of the mix-and-match styles are more than $350--Pennington said business is growing.
"Our customers have told us they're willing to spend a little more to get a quality design product," Pennington said. "We know we can't compete with IKEA on price, so we're focused on quality and keeping on top of trend."
Palettes for the mix-and-match line range from black and white and muted neutrals to romantic pastels and bold stripes.
"We really watch design trends," Pennington said. "We saw some sofas at recent shows where the cushions were covered with different fabrics from the frame, and realized designers are playing with patterns in textiles. We spent a lot of time developing the palettes, finding things that reflect the trends and Scandinavian design that would appeal to a variety of people." -- Christine Bockelman