Moving off the grid can often mean sacrificing comfort and style for practicality. But Swedish furniture company IKEA hopes to give homeowners an abode that is equal measures chic, sustainable, functional, and affordable with its new tiny house.
IKEA partnered with media company Vox Creative and Wisconsin-based tiny home and RV builder ESCAPE to design the 187-square-foot dwellings. Unlike the assemble-it-yourself furniture that the Swedish company is known for, these tiny homes come prebuilt and are constructed on a flatbed trailer, making it easy to tow your digs anywhere (and with on-demand water and solar energy, you can really do some proper social distancing).
ESCAPE modified its existing Vista Boho XL model to add renewable, reusable, and recycled materials throughout the quarters, including kitchen surfaces that are made from repurposed plastic bottles (you’d never know!) and sustainably grown pine-paneled interiors.
Beyond being low-impact, the design choices are intended to be multifunctional. Designers made use of the vertical space for storage and to stash items not in use away to make the space feel larger. Both the queen-sized bed and couch have built-in storage spaces underneath, for instance. Similarly, the kitchen table works double duty when it is collapsed into a desk, or if you need to free up space, it can be folded down and stored away entirely.
Studies have shown that by nature tiny homes have a smaller environmental footprint than an average house. They need less electricity to power, require fewer materials to build, and take up less land. The IKEA tiny home takes it a step further with solar panels, composting toilets, light bulbs that use approximately 85 percent less energy, and faucets that are designed to reduce water consumption by nearly half when compared to their traditional counterparts.
Just because the space is unfussy and serviceable, it doesn’t mean it’s not cozy — in fact, it oozes all the hygge you’d expect from a Scandinavian home goods company. Designers used neutral colors, blond wood, and minimalistic style accents to craft an inviting Nordic aesthetic.