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IKEA explores new solutions for small space living

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA is developing multifunctional furniture designed to transform from one function to another to adapt to changing needs throughout the day and night.

Some of the solutions are planned to be sales started on a small scale during 2023 in two IKEA markets, Poland and Hong Kong SAR. Depending on the result of the pilot, IKEA is looking into the possibility of making the range available globally.

The world is becoming increasingly urban, says IKEA. In 1960, only 34% of the world’s population lived in cities. In 2020 the urban population exceeded 56%, and it continues to grow fast. As urbanisation is increasing, living space is shrinking.

With emerging urban small space living, the focus is shifting to how liveable the home is rather than how large it is. Research from IKEA shows the increasing need for solutions allowing flexible use of space, where a room or even a piece of furniture can be used for different activities to help make the most of limited living spaces.

To respond to these needs, IKEA is exploring and developing multifunctional furniture that is transformable and adaptable to suit different activities and moods throughout the day using the same space.

One of the solutions revealed is the foldable bed/desk solution that can transform one’s living or working/study room into a bedroom, creating the environment for a good night’s sleep. The solution includes a foldable bed and a large desk for working, combined with storage below the desk, storage inside the bed, and shelf space above and on the inside.

“With more than half of the world’s population living in cities, homes are getting smaller and smaller. And with living space becoming more limited, we need even more smart solutions to adapt to our ever-growing needs. IKEA is always looking for ways to improve people’s life at home. Small space living, and the challenges that come with it, is one area that is very close at heart for IKEA. In this project, we are exploring multifunctional furniture solutions inspired by the challenges of making a small space multi-functional, easy, and fun to live in. We hope these innovative solutions will greatly contribute to people whose everyday life happens in small spaces”, says Mauricio Affonso, Innovation Development Leader at IKEA of Sweden.

From 15 December 2022 to 3 September 2023, the prototypes of the new range will be shown at IKEA Museum as part of the ”Existence Maximum – Big ideas on small spaces” exhibition.

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