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TRAVEL – Sweden

Discover the originals! Sweden reveals the Swedish nuggets behind IKEA’s quirky names.


Bolmen, Järvfjället, Skärhamn, Kallax and Toftan. For years, everyone has been amused by these unpronounceable IKEA product names. But what people don’t know is that behind these many names of the Swedish furniture giant’s products are real places in Sweden. The country is now inviting the world to discover these fantastic places, sometimes associated with surprising products, from door handles to toilet brushes.

Every day, countless people curl up on the Ektorp sofa, drink coffee on the Ingatorp table, wrap themselves in the Himleån bath sheet and light a Hemsjö candle to create a cozy cocoon during the long autumn evenings. These sometimes very funny Swedish names for well-known products don’t come out of nowhere! There’s a whole world behind them, or rather a whole country: Sweden.

With the « Discover the Originals » campaign, Sweden wants to draw attention to the real-life destinations behind the names of several well-known, everyday IKEA products*.

« In Sweden, we are proud of IKEA. In a way, we can say that by borrowing Swedish place names for our products, IKEA has helped us to make them famous. Now we want to present these real places with a touch of humour and show the country as a whole, » says Nils Persson, Marketing Director at Visit Sweden.

The « originals »: 21 unusual destinations, including Bolmen – much more than an IKEA toilet brush!


With its varied and spectacular natural environment, free access to nature, rich culture and long history, Sweden offers an assortment of memorable destinations and experiences. The countryside features 21 places to visit: lakes, Viking monuments, quaint towns, castles, a silver mine and more; with activities ranging from whitewater rafting to dog sledding, fly fishing and ice water swimming.

One such place is Lake Bolmen, located in the idyllic Småland landscape not far from Agunnaryd, where IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad grew up. Here, visitors are offered excellent opportunities to enjoy the beautiful surrounding nature through canoeing, hiking and biking trails as well as berry and mushroom picking.

As part of the campaign, Bolmen is launching a new slogan: « Bolmen – more than just an IKEA toilet brush ».

« We are pleased that our beautiful lake has inspired IKEA to name one of its products and that Visit Sweden is drawing the world’s attention to it. But today we would like to show everyone that Bolmen is much more than an item you clean your toilet with. It is an incredibly beautiful place, much appreciated by the locals themselves. We would like to invite visitors to spend time in our wonderful, well-preserved nature, taking the same care of it as we do and enjoying its crystal-clear waters, » says Magnus Gunnarsson, Chairman of Smålands Sjörike and member of Ljungby’s municipal council.

Other examples of places highlighted in this campaign include Järvfjället (gaming chair), an idyllic outdoor destination in Swedish Lapland, where you can go hiking and cross-country skiing to discover unique wildlife. In the small fishing village of Skärhamn (doorknob) on the island of Tjörn, enjoy a tasting of freshly caught seafood before heading to the Nordiska Akvarellmuseet to view art.

From the coastal town of Kallax (the famous shelf) in Norrbotten, sail between thousands of small islands under the midnight sun, and participate in one of Sweden’s most « aromatic » culinary traditions: the annual fermented herring festival.

And on Lake Toftan (a garbage can!) in Dalarna, take a free canoe trip before heading to Sundborn to visit the former home of artists Karin and Carl Larsson, known and loved for their influence on Swedish design.The 21 places presented in the campaign, from north to south
North: Järvfjället (gaming chair) and Kallax (shelf) in Lapland, Bodviken (basin) on the High Coast.

Center: Laxviken (closet door) in Jämtland Härjedalen, Voxnan (shower shelf) in Hälsingland, Höljes (hanging light) in Värmland, Toftan (trash can) in Dalarna, Norberg (wall table) in Västmanland, Björksta (framed photo) near Uppsala, Ektorp (sofa) near Stockholm, Askersund (kitchen front) near Örebro, Vrena (worktop) in Sörmland, Rimforsa (workbench) in Östergötland.

South: Skärhamn (door handle) in West Sweden, Ingatorp (extendable table) and Bolmen (toilet brush) in Småland, Mästerby (step) on the island of Gotland, Misterhult (bamboo lamp) near Kalmar, Himleån (bath sheet) in Halland, Hemsjö (candle) in Blekinge, Stubbarp (furniture leg) in Scania.

* Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, also developed the IKEA product naming system. The different product categories are named according to different criteria. Bathroom items, such as the Bolmen toilet brush, are named after Swedish lakes. Chairs and sofas, such as Järvfjället and Ektorp, are named after Swedish towns and villages.

CP photo credits:
Bolmen, Olle Kirchmeier
Bolmen i Bolmen, Marcus Hägglöf
Kallax, Mihai Novac
Toftan, Mikael Svensson/Johnér

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