Earlier in the week, a guest post from Mr. Frugal highlighted the benefits to living in a small space. Many people mentioned the novelty of the small demo spaces at Ikea in their comments. I’ve been thinking about this myself; do the demos at Ikea really work? What does it look like with people living in such a small space? (Since viewing them empty gives the illusion of more space).
A quick search revealed that Ikea has a section on their website dedicated to small space ideas. They highlight how the room was organized maximizing the space and offer photos of families “living” in the room. The rooms used in the videos and photos are still the model rooms, but seeing pictures of people in the room, “living” in that small space, gives a better idea of its functionality.
In my opinion, the photos of many of the rooms are a bit cramped once you add a family of 3 or 4, but one or two people could definitely live somewhat comfortably within the small square footage. Yet, most of the ideas Ikea offers for maximizing space can be used in any size of a room. For example, using glass-front cabinets that extend up to the ceiling allows for more storage, but still keeps an airy, open feeling through the use of glass. Or using two chaise lounges that you can move around the living room for more or less space is a great idea.
I think their kitchen ideas are the most flexible and would work for any sized family. Cabinets above the door and hanging utensils, pans, plate racks, etc. save counter space and also add an aesthetic quality (as long as you’re a neat person and not a slob). Their Scandinavian design also keeps the look simple and utilitarian, which is very popular these days.
However, some small space ideas seem a bit ridiculous like having a bunk bed in the living room with only a curtain to pull around an adult couple. It might work for a single couple, but throw in a couple of kids and I’m not sure how comfortable I’d feel about that. In my defense, I don’t have kids so maybe I don’t understand that privacy goes out the window. (Any parents want to comment on this?)
Their small space website really cemented the idea that creatively utilizing all areas of a room (floor to ceiling, loft sleeping for guests, cubbies and cabinets) saves floor space, hides toys effectively and items which are rarely used, and allows more room to move around. Ikea’s space saving ideas can come in handy in any household.
How do you effectively utilize your space?
*photo credit: Ikea