Furniture giant IKEA is joining the sustainability bandwagon with its Tiny Home Project – a 187-square foot, off-grid home on wheels that is “stylish, sustainable, and affordable.”
The company designed and built the tiny home in cooperation with brand studio Vox Creative after being inspired by their “shared commitments to sustainability, inclusivity, and innovation.”
Their goal is to prove that anyone can live a more sustainable life anywhere. “We built a sustainable tiny home from the ground up to better educate and inspire consumers to bring sustainability into their own lives,” according to the project’s website.IKEA partnered with ESCAPE, an RV and tiny home builder,
to create a custom build of the brand’s Vista Boho XL model. With low-impact design as its focus, the dwelling was fitted with solar panels, a composting toilet, and an RV water heater for off-grid capability.“It was a natural pairing,” ESCAPE founder Dan Dobrowolski said.
“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.”
ESCAPE spent about 60 days going through all the items IKEA wanted to include in the home. The whole project took about four months to complete, including the time spent building the base Vista Boho XL model. Abbey Stark, the senior interior design leader of IKEA, showcased the company’s sustainable, multifunctional, and energy-efficient products in the home’s interior!
“How I started was really listing out all the needs for the space,” she said 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.”
The tiny home’s interior is lined with sustainably grown pine painted white to give the dwelling a more spacious feel. Stark thought that including multifunctional furniture in the home was essential, so she littered the space with them.
The NORDEN gateleg table, which is located in the center of the structure and serves as a workplace and eating table with built-in storage, is one example. When not in use, it can also be folded.
The kitchen has a solid wood and veneer SKOGSA countertop that was manufactured from the entire tree, including the branches and twigs, resulting in minimal waste. The cupboards are fashioned from bottle tops that have been repurposed.
A VILTO towel stands produced from 100 percent renewable materials, a low-flow HAMNSKR faucet, and NORDRANA hanging storage baskets crafted by Vietnamese craftsmen under fair-trade circumstances are located next to the kitchen.
The walk-in shower is equipped with a water-saving BROGRUND thermostatic shower head. The team started working on the Tiny Home Project in late 2019 and concluded in April 2020. IKEA had initially planned to take the tiny home on a nationwide tour across various sustainable events in the U.S. to let people explore the space. However, they had to change plans when the coronavirus pandemic struck.
In place of an actual physical tour, IKEA and Vox Creative—together with Curbed—launched a digital campaign offering an in-depth virtual walkthrough of the structure. Aside from showcasing the home’s exterior and interior, the tour also provided viewers tips on how they can make their own homes—whether tiny or normal-sized—more environmentally friendly.