Ikea is out with some incredibly practical advertising, offering suggestions on how to make the most of small living spaces with clever, compact approaches to interior design.
Instead of a bed, use kitchen cabinets as a platform for your mattress, squeezing more storage space out of your tiny room. Use pegboards to hang some clothes, and layer rolling racks in front of them to store more. A rolling blind is a projector screen, and one of the drawers in the kitchen cabinet can double as a bedside table when pulled out.
Those are some of the clever ideas in the furniture chain’s how-to video for a couple sharing a tiny bedroom. There are also clips for a family living room, a kitchen for two, and a kids bedroom shared by a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old.
They’re all impressively clever, at least at first blush, and from the brand’s perspective, have the advantage of packing tons of its products into miniature demos.
Whether they’d hold up under practical scrutiny is a different question. While the young couple might be able to maintain the intense degree of discipline required to keep such a tight space immaculate, even that scenario is questionable given the real pace of city life. It’s certainly doable, and it helps if everything has a designated place, but even the best-designed systems are only as good as their implementation, and those with little or no margin for error can often end poorly.
Add a couple of unruly, high-energy kids and overworked parents into the mix with all those complex moving parts, and you’ve got a recipe for sheer chaos. (Just take Coca-Cola’s great Argentinian ad from a couple years back, for example.)
That’s not to say the proposed designs are impossible. In theory, they’re very reasonable. In practice, they would seem to take on an optimistic quality at best, if not the sort of fantastical air captured in German hardware brand Hornbach’s “Infinite House.”
Plus, there’s always the question of whether you’re better off spending a couple months rent decking out your space in full Scandinavian chic, or putting that cash toward a slightly larger space and sleeping on the floor curled up in a giant, inevitable pile of clothes.