IKEA is no stranger to clever design for small spaces—but the furniture giant recently took on a tiny living challenge unlike any other it’s faced with The IKEA Tiny Home Project, a design/build exercise that fits outsize style into a 187-square-foot, off-grid home on wheels.
Guided by the company’s People & Planet Positive sustainability strategy, the Tiny Home Project prioritizes low-impact design. IKEA tapped Vox Creative for the partnership, who contracted RV and tiny home builder ESCAPE for a custom build of the company’s Vista Boho XL model that’s fitted out with solar panels, a composting toilet, and an on-demand RV water heater for off-grid capability.
"It was a natural pairing," says ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski, who completed the build in less than 60 days. "We feature many IKEA products in our various tiny home designs around the country as they mirror the renewable, reusable, and recycled materials we incorporate into the actual structures."
IKEA senior interior design leader Abbey Stark turned the interior into a showcase of IKEA’s sustainable, multifunctional, and energy-efficient products.
"How I started was really listing out all the needs for the space," says Stark in an Explainer Studio video. "Like, how do you design around a wheel well and the mechanics of the home? I wanted to source renewable, reusable, and recycled materials when possible to make the space functional as well as beautiful."
"Thinking multifunctional in the space is essential," continues Stark, who placed a NORDEN gateleg table at the heart of the home, where it functions as a workspace and dining table with built-in storage; it can also be folded down when not in use.
The design and build process for the Tiny House Project began in late 2019 and was completed in April 2020. IKEA initially intended to take the tiny home on a nationwide tour across the U.S., but plans were cancelled due to the pandemic. Vox Creative has instead helped pivot the project into a fully digital campaign with a virtual walkthrough of the tiny home.
ESCAPE is currently accepting orders for BOHO XL models that start at $47,550, with additional options available.
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