Whether it’s literacy-, labor-, light bulb-, or lovin’–related or pertains to its quest for world domination, cinnamon roll-peddling Swedish export IKEA gets a fair amount of attention from me. But rarely, with the exception of LED light fixtures, do I actually blog about the one thing that the eco-minded mega-retailer is most famous for: reasonably priced home furnishings and accessories that aren’t exactly known for being of heirloom-quality but do boast superior hack-ability.

Over the past several days, the design blogosphere has been positively abuzz over the 2012 installment of the  IKEA PS (Post Scriptum) collection, a curated, design-centric line of products that’s been released every three years since 1995. Now, I’m normally not one to gush over IKEA product launches, but the 2012 IKEA PS line-up — it consists of 46 new products from 19 designers and will hit North American IKEA stores in August —  officially unveiled to the public last week at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan looks absolutely fabulous.

Essentially, the 2012 IKEA PS collection finds the 60-year-old company reinventing numerous classic IKEA products to make them more sustainable on the materials front. Additionally, several of the old/new pieces have been revamped to be more suitable for small spaces. Says IKEA U.S. Design spokesperson Janice Simonsen in a press release announcing the collection: 

At IKEA, we never stop looking for better ways to do things. For the IKEA PS 2012 collection, we looked at our history for inspiration, and challenged our designers to bring their designs forward with innovative products that belong in the future. And of course, we asked them to do it all with affordability, as we believe good design belongs in real homes — everybody’s homes.
Highlights of the collection include Nike Karlsson’s three-seat couch that’s inspired by tube sofas of the 1970s and filled with "pocket springs, which are easier to recycle and come from the mattress industry;” a “majestic ballerina-like” LED floor lamp from Wiebke Braasch; Marcus Arvonen’s “sunflower-inspired" bowls made from recycled PET and wood composite; polka dot line duvet covers by Maria Vinka; classically styled wood plastic composite armchairs designed by Marcus Arvonen; plant stands galore and numerous pieces incorporating bamboo and recyclable steel including a 1950's-inspired dining room table with two foldable sides making it a great piece for space-strapped apartments.

My favorite 2012 IKEA PS pieces? Lisa Widén and Anna Wallin Irinarchos’s delightful TV bench inspired by “old-furniture with drapery.” That's it pictured up top. I’m saving up my pennies for this one (it will retail for a not-too-shabby $179). I'm also liking Ehlén Johansson's chest of drawers (pictured at bottom) which, according to Johansson, is made from fast-growing pine that "makes it possible for us to produce more material in less time and save sensitive forests at the same time.” 

Says 2012 IKEA PS project leader Peter Klinkert of the retro-influenced collection: “In the design world, it’s sometimes fashionable to talk about vintage and release new products in old styles. We always said that we don’t want to relaunch old things. It’s not IKEA PS. It’s not new and developing IKEA onward. Instead, we can find inspiration from the past and innovate products that belong more to the future.”

Take an extended look and learn more about the IKEA PS 2012 collection here and let me know what you think in the comments section. See anything that you’re wild about?

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

IKEA goes a little bit green, a whole lot retro for 2012 PS collection
For the show-stopping, seventh annual IKEA PS collection, a group of 19 designers are tapped to pay homage to the Swedish company's past while relying on sustai