The world is becoming increasingly urban. 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. Yet the human needs remain the same – everyone needs a place to sleep, eat, cook, relax, entertain, and even more so now, the home has also become a place to work.
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. Meanwhile, people seek to make their spaces expressive, want to reflect their lifestyle, and dream of surrounding themselves with what they love even in small space.
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. The essential feature of these solutions is their versatility. These solutions will also help to make room for both togetherness and privacy. People living in small spaces often have to compromise on sleep and privacy, which are closely connected to their well-being.
Foldable bed and desk
One of the solutions revealed today 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. The product will enable you to quickly personalise the space for work, study and sleep.
“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.
Starting on a small scale
The project is still at the product development stage, where 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.
Read more about the development of multifunctional furniture
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.
IKEA offers well-designed, functional and affordable, high-quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. There are several companies with different owners, working under the IKEA Brand, all sharing the same vision: to create a better everyday life for the many people. IKEA was founded in Sweden in 1943.
About the IKEA franchise system
The IKEA retail business is operated through a franchise system with franchisees that are authorised to market and sell the IKEA product range within specified geographical territories. Inter IKEA Systems B.V. is the owner of the IKEA Concept and worldwide IKEA franchisor, who also assigns different IKEA companies to develop the product range, supply products and deliver communication solutions. Today, 12 different groups of companies have the right to own and operate IKEA sales channels under franchise agreements with Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
About Inter IKEA Group
Inter IKEA Group includes Inter IKEA Systems B.V., IKEA of Sweden AB, IKEA Supply AG and IKEA Industry AB related businesses. Inter IKEA Holding B.V. is the holding company for the Inter IKEA Group.