Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IKEA Loves Small Homes

If you've received your copy of the 2012 IKEA catalog, you may have noticed a theme. We at Istockhouseplans were thrilled to read the phrase on the front: "A HOME DOESN'T NEED TO BE BIG, JUST SMART."  Bravo IKEA, bravo!

The first couple of pages immediately show some ideas that the IKEA design team put together.  They created a space for 6 friends to live in within 430 square feet.  The solution consists of curtained bunkbeds at the edge with a large table in the middle.  All other space is communal.

Their second challenge was a 75 square foot kitchen.  IKEA was able to get an island and plenty of storage in the small space. Other layouts are shown starting on page 112.  If these still aren't inspiration enough, you can go to IKEA's website and use their kitchen design software.

The next challenge was a 118 square foot living-slash-bedroom-slash-playroom.  The central feature is a loft bed for the grown-ups.  Another variation is shown in a 107 square foot living room that is essentially a showcase room for a chaise lounge.

The final design involves a 29 square foot bathroom - with laundry space and a spa tub.  There must be some smoke and mirrors here because no good ol' 'Merican spa tub would be less than 29sf itself, right?

To see videos showcasing all of these ideas, visit IKEA-USA.com/smallspaces.

The coup de grace of all of this for us was the new Lillangen single bowl sink.  One of our favorite things is to make secondary rooms (powder baths especially) as small as possible.  Building code dictates some minimum sizes needed around fixtures.  At some point to get smaller, the fixtures need to shrink.  We can specify a smaller sink only to have the contractor turn it down because of cost.  (Why are smaller appliances, fixtures, and doodads so much more expensive anyway?)  IKEA's previously mentioned sink is less than 11" in depth with a side faucet (faucet sold separately).  Price for the ceramic, $49.99.  Price for faucets starting at $39.99.  Less than $100 to reduce the size of the house, or give that space to another use.

Of course this is all good news for our line of tiny homes.  If you try to design a tiny home as a mini-McMansion you will fail.  But with IKEA and a little ingenuity you can make anything happen.

*Full disclosure: IKEA has no idea I wrote this blog post.

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