Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

IKEA Bets Big with Small

Consider this: IKEA is the world’s single largest consumer of lumber. In 2012, they sold $37B of furniture across their 349 stores in 43 countries. Love em or hate em, odds are, at some point in your life, your butt has sat on a chair whose name has an umlaut in it. So when this furniture behemoth throws its might into small space living, it’s a big deal.

IKEA has already given considerable energy to small space living. Many of their showrooms feature mockups of small apartments to show what’s possible with their furniture. However, it can sometimes seem like they are shoehorning big furniture in small spaces. Now, they’re going further, designing their PS 2014 collection specifically for compact digs.

The collection is called “On the Move,” so named for the urban, mobile customer it’s designed for–customers who might lack a big space and budget, and for whom the ability to port his or her furniture from one apartment to the next is a big plus. The collection’s promotional video (above) shows young folks carting their furniture around by foot, pedal and public transport.

There are a number of pieces such as the leaning kitchen rack and wire wardrobe that are both lightweight and ideal for spaces with minimal or no builtin closets (a common scenario for many apartment dwellers).


Beyond being lighter to move from place to place, the collection’s skeletal designs seem to rely less on the clunky, warping, delaminating particle board that is the hallmark of IKEA furniture. In its place is more metal and solid wood, which we imagine will hold up a lot better over time–a good thing even if the typical buyer of this stuff might not be thinking longterm.

NEW_TRAY_TABLEIt’s easy to dislike the idea of a big multinational corporation homogenizing our global interiors. But when that same corporation brings good design and quality to large populations at reasonable prices, it deserves to be taken seriously. We think the PS 2014 collection is pretty cool and will work for the way a lot of people live nowadays. It’s set to release in stores April 1.

Let us know what you think.

  • Christopher Tilley

    I think that it’s a great idea for Ikea to create a small space line. Not sure I’d buy any as I didn’t really like any of the designs in the advert.

    I do think that ‘full’ size pieces can look great in small spaces. I saw this yesterday, which shows a Ikea huge sectional sofa in a 300 sq ft apartment and I think it looks great.

    The video is about 12 minutes long and the space design part starts at about 4 minutes into it.

    There’s some good ideas in the video, like using masking tape to block out space on the floor / walls where you’re looking to place furniture to see if it’ll really fit. Also using bookcases of different heights so that the place doesn’t feel claustrophobic.

  • Tor

    I admit to owning quite a few Ikea pieces. I also like CB2 for their fresh design without high design prices. They seem to offer quite a few “smaller living” items, as well.

  • Maggie

    Welcome to the world of ‘small IKEA’.

    In Hong Kong, IKEA’s mattresses are 189cm long!

  • Ali of Dualiti

    The design is good, but it is the quality that concerns me. Many items and furniture. designed for small spaces have more moving parts and are used more heavily. I know the price is right, but I would like people’s thoughts as to whether it’s better to spend a little more to have items built to last?

  • malaikainjapan

    These are perfect for apartment dwellers in Tokyo where living spaces are multi functional, very small, and people typically carry their stuff since owning a car is nearly impossible (especially for expats). Thanks for a great article!

  • Sagefemme

    These pieces are small and spare looking but really not the best use of space e.g. the easel like dish shelves, if they were conventionally rectangular the storage space would be tripled. As it is, they barely hold a dish service for 6 no glasses, no cutlery. the desk has no drawers, and is shallow, which makes it pretty much useless when they could have added som inner small drawers at the top and a drawer across the bottom with hardly any loss of design sensibility. If you are living small form must follow function.