Toftan is much more than a cute IKEA rubbish bin for your bathroom.
It’s a glittering lake in Dalarna County in Sweden, where lovers of art can visit the home of legendary Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson.
IKEA products are often named after popular destinations across the country and a new tourism campaign is reminding people of just that.
‘Reclaiming’ its names
Visit Sweden, the country’s official tourism board, has launched a campaign to reclaim the many names IKEA has borrowed from the motherland.
Järvfjället, for example, isn’t just a gaming chair. It’s actually a mighty mountain where visitors can go hiking and cross-country skiing.
Unfortunately for Järvfjället, its Google search results return with listings, photos and reviews of the gaming chair from IKEA.
Founder Ingvar Kamprad developed the system for how IKEA names its products.
Bathroom items, for example, are named after Swedish lakes while chairs and couches are named after Swedish towns and villages.
“In Sweden, we are proud of IKEA and in a way you can say that they helped us make Swedish places world famous through the names they borrowed for their products,” Nils Persson, Visit Sweden chief marketing officer, said.
“Now we want, with warmth and a twinkle in our eye, to show the originals behind the product names and invite the world to discover the whole of Sweden.”
More than a toilet brush
As part of the campaign, aptly named “Discover the Originals”, Visit Sweden has selected 21 locations.
The aim is to make them as popular as their IKEA namesake.
One of these places is Bolmen, which you may know better as the … Bolmen toilet brush.
It’s sleek in design, but the humble IKEA toilet brush doesn’t exactly live up to its namesake.
Located in the Småland province in the south of the country, Bolmen is a sparkling lake known for its crystal-clear water, swimming and boating.
“We do appreciate that IKEA has named a product for our beautiful lake and that Visit Sweden is bringing global attention to this,” Magnus Gunnarsson, chair of Smålands Sjörike, said.
“But now we would like to show the world that Bolmen is so much more than an item with which you clean your toilet.
“It is an incredibly beautiful place, much loved by us locals.”
The 21 destinations in Sweden that want to reclaim their names are:
- Järvfjället (or an IKEA gaming chair) is a mountain in Västerbotten County
- Kallax (or a shelf) is a village famous for its very smelly fermented herring
- Bodviken (or a countertop sink) is a town north of Stockholm, the country’s capital
- Laxviken (or a door front) is a village surrounded by lakes
- Voxnan (or a shower shelf) is a river with rapids and waterfalls
- Höljes (or a pendant lamp) is home to one of the world’s most iconic rallycross tracks
- Toftan (or a rubbish bin) is a lake in Dalarna County
- Norberg (or a folding table) is a small town in the Västmanland region
- Björksta (or a picture with the frame) is a village packed with Viking history
- Ektorp (or a sofa) is a region in Stockholm
- Askersund (or a cabinet door) is a small town home to the Örebro Castle
- Vrena (or a countertop) is a village near Sweden’s east coast
- Rimforsa (or a work bench) is a small village in the east of Sweden, known for its delicious mushrooms
- Skärhamn (or a door handle) is a small village on Sweden’s west coast and a fishing harbour
- Ingatorp (or an extendable table) is a historical village that boasts Sweden’s oldest wooden buildings, dating from the 13th century
- Mästerby (or a step stool) is a former battlefield on the island Gotland
- Misterhult (or a bamboo lamp) is an archipelago consisting of 2000 islands
- Himleån (or a bath towel) is a river in western Sweden
- Bolmen (or toilet brush) is the 10th largest lake in Sweden
- Hemsjö (or block candle) is a village surrounded by forest and lakes in southern Sweden
- Stubbarp (or cabinet legs) is a town south-west of Stockholm.