Bolmen, Järvfjället, Skärhamn, Kallax and Toftan: for years, these names have been associated with IKEA products but, what most people don’t realise is that the furniture giant often names its products after places in Sweden. Visit Sweden is now using this to create a marketing campaign to help tourists discover the landmarks behind the product names.

What does a toilet brush and a beautiful Swedish lake have in common? They both share the same name – Bolmen.

For years, Bolmen has perhaps been better known as a toilet brush sold by IKEA, instead of the picturesque lake in southern Sweden it was named after. Through its tourist board, Sweden is now campaigning to educate travellers on the wonderful sights around the country that have been an inspiration to the furniture giant.

To help travellers see beyond the household items, the tourist board has launched new slogans like: “Bolmen – more than an IKEA toilet brush” to inspire people to travel to visit the lake.

Visit Sweden selected 21 iconic places across Sweden that inspired the names of well-known furniture and household items but are unusual opportunities to explore the country.

Jarvfjallet in Lapland and its equivalent IKEA product (Photo : Marte, Visit Sweden)

Nils Persson, chief marketing officer, Visit Sweden, explains: “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. 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.”

The 21 selected places are:

  1. Bolmen, a large lake in the Småland region of southern Sweden (toilet brush)
  2. Järvfjället, a mountain in Swedish Lapland (gaming chair)
  3. Ektorp, a suburb of Stockholm (sofa)
  4. Skärhamn, a fishing village on the island of Tjörn off the coast of West Sweden (door handle)
  5. Stubbarp, a manor house in the Skåne region of southern Sweden (cabinet legs)
  6. Kallax, a coastal village near Luleå in Swedish Lapland (storage shelf)
  7. Höljes, a forest in the Värmland region (pendant lamp)
  8. Hemsjö, a village in the Blekinge region (block candle)
  9. Toftan, a lake in the Dalarna region (waste bin)
  10. Mästerby, an historical battleground on the island of Gotland (a step stool)
  11. Voxnan, a river with waterfalls and rapids in the Hälsingland region (shower shelf)
  12. Himleån, ravines in the Halland region (bath towel)
  13. Laxviken, a rural village in the Jämtland Härjedalen region (cabinet door)
  14. Ingatorp, a village in the Småland region that is home to some of Sweden’s oldest wooden buildings (extendable table)
  15. Misterhult, an archipelago of 2,000 islands near Kalmar in the Småland region (a bamboo lamp)
  16. Vrena, a village near the east coast in the Sörmland region (countertop)
  17. Björksta, a village close to Uppsala (picture with frame)
  18. Norberg, a small town in Västmanland region (folding table)
  19. Askersund, a small town near Örebro in central Sweden (cabinet door)
  20. Rimforsa, a small village in the Östergötland region of east Sweden (work bench)
  21. Bodviken, a mountain lake of the High Coast in northern Sweden (washbasin)
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