Last fall I was lucky enough to visit IKEA’s global HQ in Småland, Sweden and go behind the scenes of the IKEA catalogue. Ever since that visit I’ve been fascinated with how the brand styles and shoots their lifestyle imagery. I try and spot the studio areas I visited to see if I might have stood where the shot is or see if I can work out how they pulled a shot together. The truth is, I’m beaten every time because the team create the most inspiring scenes that strike just the right balance between aspirational and achievable. This story is a nod to the company’s Swedish roots, particularly to the province of Småland which is where IKEA started. (You can check out a bunch of interesting stats in this IKEA infographic I made after my visit!). As part of the transition into fall and to prepare for the icy Swedish winter in the countryside, Smålanders would get together to preserve their harvest right at the end of the summer. This has totally inspired me to attempt to can and preserve some locally grown ingredients of my own – it would be a really rewarding weekend activity, don’t you think? Do you have any fun plans, friends? Have a brilliant and colourful one!

// Photography by IKEA


Will Taylor

Will lives in NYC and is an interior design author and content creator. He's been blogging about his love of design, style and travel since 2009. His #MakeYouSmileStyle approach to decorating and dressing has inspired over one million Instagram uploads to the hashtag from followers across the world.


  1. What beautiful images, Will. I have to admit I get zero enjoyment from being in the kitchen! I’m OK at cooking – I get plenty of practice as I have 3 hungry kids to feed, but I won’t be joining you in preserving anything 🙂

    We’re heading into Spring on this side of the world, and I’m so excited. Spring and Autumn are favourite seasons. x

  2. Ooh, fall! I don’t really have any transitional traditions, but would love to start some. Bon weekend Will!

  3. lovely, cozy garden kitchen! These folks at IKEA are just so creative. So jealous you got to see how all these happened behind the scenes.

    Can’t wait to read about what you have preserved this weekend. Have a top one friend!

  4. How fun to go behind the scenes with the Ikea creative team, Will! So not ready to think about autumn/winter, but these pics do inspire. Love the wholesome feel about them 🙂 Have a lovely weekend, Holly

  5. I’ve never heard the word smålanders before, love it! 😉 My granny used to preserve veg, fruits aand berries like this. It’s very nice but it takes a lot of time! I use to try to make some jam, that’s quite enough for me 😉

  6. Jocelyn Casey Reply

    I just bought sweet potatoes, does that count as a transition into FALL? LOL! I have to say, the Fall season is my favorite in the kitchen with all the lovely spices and yummy soups that can be created 🙂 Ikea always does a great job giving customers inspiration to create their own authentic interiors. Thank you for sharing 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  7. I lurve it Will, and it’s the same here, back in the day they’d get together and salt the fish (to last all winter) make pickles, preserves, jams and that. How smart. I just made my first batch of blackberry jam – utterly scrumptious – and so easy to do. I was astounded I could do it. Happy weekend and thanks for sharing more amazing Ikea 😉

  8. I definitely find myself getting ready to nest for fall and winter. I love see how the Swedes do it. Now bring on the fall harvest – I’m ready to start canning!

  9. A good country kitchen never gets old. My kitchen needs an up date so badly. But as a renter it’s not easy. At least I can do some preserving without permission. ,)

  10. Fun plans? Sure!
    I’m designing fabrics.
    No need to warn you on how addictive that is. 🙂

  11. love the colors!!! i ease into fall with the last bit of fresh berries over crusty baguette and goat cheese!!!

  12. Beautiful photos Will, and what a lovely tradition this is as a transition to fall. Looking forward to seeing what you prepare. Have a good week x

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.