Everyone is talking about Sabine Marcelis' donut light design IKEA – here's why it's gone viral

The Dutch-Kiwi designer is a master in contemporary material innovation – so, of course, her collection with IKEA is going viral

Sabine Marcelis donut
(Image credit: IKEA)

IKEA has announced a collection in collaboration with Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis – and inevitably, it's taking over the internet. 

The limited-edition VARMBLIXT series includes 19 retro-style lights and glassware that explore the interaction of light in sculptural design – and pay homage to Sabine's signature motif – the donut. 

Sabine Marcelis first tapped into interior design trends in 2022 when she collaborated with Swedish powerhouse Hem to create a donut-shaped Boa Pouf – a bold, sculptural form that makes a statement with its chunky geometry. This innovative piece markets for approximately $2000 – but VARMBLIXT will no doubt allow you to play with Sabine's iconic motif for a fraction of the price. 

Sabine Marcelis

Sabine Marcelis is a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, and her work has been celebrated across global design festivals and throughout international publications. Her practice is process-driven, and her designs emerge through extensive experimentation with ideas and materials in her Rotterdam studio.

Sabine's basic approach? To get us to rethink lighting, taking it beyond the functional to sculptural. 

'I wanted to take an unexpected approach to explore the idea of how lighting functions within the home and to inspire people to consider new shapes and elements which blend into and highlight different types of interior spaces in new, bold, and artistic ways,' Sabine says.

More than that, though, Sabine wanted her lights to offer that inimitable, inviting warming glow that many lighting designs simply fail to, but which are so vital to how we feel about home.

Sabine Marcelis donut

(Image credit: IKEA)

Sabine Marcelis's Boa Pouf comes in four striking shades, including Cotton Candy and Sulphur Yellow – but in contrast, her lighting ideas exhibit an inherently warm color palette. In particular, the VARMBLIXT LED lamp, in its curved style, is enhanced when it catches the light. It's also a refreshingly versatile item – it can be wall mounted or displayed as a focal point on a sideboard or coffee table

'When the light passes through the orange glass, it makes the soft doughnut-like shape shine with a warm glow,' she says. 'It's a magical sight that catches the eye – regardless of whether it's on a table or hanging on a wall.'

Sabine Marcelis donut

(Image credit: IKEA)

Beyond the LED lamp, Sabine is set to dominate lighting trends with the VARMBLIXT LED wall mirror designed with a semi-transparent glass panel and light strip. The designer created the light as a sculptural object when it's turned off – and a magical display of light engineering when illuminated.

'Our vision was to continue building off the idea of blending design with sculptural objects in the creation of VARMBLIXT,' adds IKEA's creative leader Henrik Most. 'It's a collaboration connected to the functional aesthetics of our space while inspiring people to add purposeful and versatile objects to the home.'

Sabine Marcelis donut

(Image credit: IKEA)

We admit, there is already a craving for a sculptural, chunky decor – whether you're going large-scale (such as Sabine's Boa Pouf) or slightly smaller (Matilda Djerf's bubble plates, we're looking at you). However, VARMBLIXT lands in IKEA stores (and online) in February, so something tells us that the demand for donuts is about to reach a whole new level...

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.