Along with stocking up on affordable furniture and Swedish meatballs, Ikea may soon become a place to shop for uber-affordable real estate.

In a partnership with Vox Creative and Wisconsin-based tiny home and RV builder Escape, the furniture giant revealed a 187-square-foot structure. While the Ikea Tiny Home Project was revealed last fall, the eco-friendly and transportable structure has been making the rounds on the internet this week — the solar panels, composting toilets and heated water supply powered by the trailer have led some to jokingly propose it as a solution to both the pandemic and the housing crisis.

The project was a one-off meant to show what a customized Escape Vista Boho XL could look like with an Ikea aesthetic of neutral tones and collapsible furniture — it took around 60 days to customize and viewers are invited to virtually tour the tiny home. But the house is still available through escape and starts at $47,550. Unlike the furniture sold at Ikea’s stores, the home requires no assembly.

Josiah and Steph Photography (Ikea)

“How I started was really listing out all the needs for the space,” IKEA senior interior design leader Abbey Stark said in al video on the project. “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.”

Tiny homes have been rising in popularity as a potential solution to the high costs of real estate in coastal cities like San Francisco and New York since at least 2015. While often praised for their sustainability and affordability, criticisms include that living in such a small space may be a solution for young people but not a viable long-term solution.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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