Move over IKEA: Utilitarian and ubiquitous, this globally recognizable Swedish design brand started out innovative, even exciting – now it’s getting a bit ‘same old, same old.’ And aren’t we all sick of flat pack furniture that does the job but takes ages to put together, makes you feel inadequate (and frustrated), and just lacks personality? So step up – A2 – MADE IN SMÅLAND.
A2 is a Swedish family-run furniture and interiors brand. Established in 2008, its design mission is the creation of unique objects and furniture produced by local craftsmen and artisans.
From their website: “We simply want to challenge the interior world with new and long-lasting, high quality products with a strong identity.”
“Our vision is to be a new, young and brave brand that dares to realize interesting and ‘a bit different’ objects. It was a crazy idea already from the beginning and maybe we were even crazier to believe in it. We have realized part of our dream and now we continue our work to surprise with new interesting A2 objects. Our roots and history are important to us. A2 was started in Småland, Sweden. We design and produce everything in Småland and it is here we belong.”
A2 is designed and managed by Sara Larssen, together with her architect sister Anna Larssen, and aided by family and co-workers.
A2’s No. 24 cabinet gets its name from its “24 white and dark grey fields.” Designed to hold folders, documents, magazines and books it looks great at home or in the office – well, if your office is pretty damn cool.
Graphic and fun without being throwaway, A2 furniture and artifacts lift up your space. They’re strong, sturdy, built to last. Contemporary, yet in typical Scandinavian manner, with a mid-20th century modern feel.
Over the table, (pictured above) Square is a wall-panel with sound absorbing qualities. It looks pretty good too.
Combining oak with colored MDF, the No Secrets cabinet comes in two colorways – grey, and “the crazy, green one.” The green one (pictured above) has a graphic pattern and comes in a limited, numbered series of 99 cabinets.
The Hug Flower pot is designed to embrace other flower pots. Bottomless and fashioned from tampsa leather, then finished off with a big metal button, it wraps around boring old plastic or earthenware pots.
A2’s Street modular units house plants, books, magazines. Thinking “outside of the vase,” the A2 design team finds a way to present flowers and plants that surprise and amuse.
“We are happy when we can surprise with interesting combinations of design, fine details, functionality and carefully chosen materials,” says Sara Larrsen.
She also makes a promise: “All products are, and will always be, produced in Smaland, Sweden.”
You have to hand it to the talented Larssen family; so far they’ve come up with winners every time, and there’s nothing flat, flat pack or throwaway about any of them.