IKEA has always been known for its no-frills designs, but one new product takes that simplicity a step further: a 187-square-foot house.
The Boho XL Wide is a compact, high-tech trailer home from IKEA, Vox Creative, and Escape, a company that specializes in building “tiny homes.” It bears all the hallmarks of IKEA design– cozy furniture, recycled materials, pine panelling– and you don’t even have to build it yourself.
“How I started was really listing out all the needs for the space,” Abbey Stark, an interior designer on the project, explained in a promotional video. “Like, how do you design around a wheel well and the mechanics of the home? So I wanted to source renewable, reusable, and recycled materials when possible to make the space functional as well as beautiful.”
The home features a kitchen, a living room, a bedroom with a queen-size bed, and even a bathroom with hot running water.
In typical IKEA fashion, almost every piece of furniture is equipped with some mechanism for adding storage space – desks collapse on hinges to make more room, and cabinets are tucked into every nook and cranny.
The home also reflects IKEA’s “eco-friendly” ethos. The kitchen cupboards are made from recycled bottles, and IKEA says all the pine panelling comes from sustainably grown trees. The bathroom uses a composting toilet, and two large solar panels sit on the roof.
“The time is now,” Stark said as she introduced these green features. “We need to act, we need to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The whole house covers less than 190 square feet, and sits on a flatbed trailer that can be attached to a pickup truck. It can be yours for a not-so-tiny $47,550.
Tiny, off-the-grid homes have gained popularity over the past decade, to the point where some are calling it a movement.
“Over the past couple of years we started seeing what I would go as far as to say amounts to a tiny, admirable home craze,” said Armando Turco, senior vice president of content at Vox Media.
But as Americans increasingly find themselves stuck at home during the pandemic, one wonders whether this is the right moment for less space, not more.
If that question has occurred to IKEA, they appear to be undeterred.
“The IKEA Tiny Home is just such an exciting way to live,” Stark said, “and it has brought sustainability, affordability, and small space living together to build a beautiful home.”