Whether it's for study, work, love or just budget, moving and adapting to a new home is something that has become a part of life for many of us. It makes sense then that our furniture should be able to easily move with us.
That's why IKEA product developer Ina Klepper and designer Henrik Preutz looked to create a bed that could move from home to home multiple times and adapt to any decor or room size while becoming a double or a single just as easily. It seems like a big task, but for Ina, Henrik and the rest of the design team behind UTÅKER bed, it was just a question of drawing inspiration from their own lives.
Whether you love or hate the word "millennials" it's no secret that life for many people born in the 80's and early 90's is different from earlier generations. One home, jobs and neighborhoods are just not the set paths they once were, as people travel more, look to gain meaningful experiences, and seek to have a lighter environmental footprint. Falling into this age group herself, Ina found that traditional beds didn't fit her or her friend's lives in the way that they could. "A lot of the time beds and daybeds can be pretty heavy and are not so easy to move from one space to another," Ina says, "and to be honest you probably only want to put them together once." Not exactly ideal for people who might be moving often, or who might have changing living arrangements. "So we came up with this idea of a stackable bed, which could be easily assembled and taken apart again for moving, while also being made from solid wood so it would be long lasting," Ina says.
The design floor at IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult is nothing if not busy. Amongst the buzz and energy of new products taking shape, the UTÅKER design team managed to tape off 269 square feet of floor space to stand in as an apartment, and came up with two people called Dieter and Hanna to live there, while they worked out what would be good for them. "We had the idea that she lived in this small apartment while he was travelling a lot and they were only together on the weekends," Ina explains. "To fit that lifestyle we designed the bed to work as a single with both bedframes stacked on top of each other during the week to save room, then sit side by side to become a double when Dieter came home." For friends or colleagues the bed also can be separated to make two single beds just as easily.
"Our second thought was that since they only had a small place they couldn't fill it with too much stuff," Ina goes on. "We wanted the bed to fill as many furniture roles as possible," She says. "So we made sure that it could work as a sofa, seating for casual dining or if you have a weird shaped room, you can just move both pieces around to fit into any combination as you like." Lastly was the idea that the bed could be adapted to fit any decor or personality. "We tried to keep the bed as minimal as possible and not waste any material when making it," Ina says. "It's really functional without any frills so you can adapt it how you want. You could paint it as bright as you like, or keep it clean and stripped back. If you wanted to add a leather handle or something just go for it. It's your clean canvas to do what you want." So for those moving to small homes, in (or out) with partners, or who just want to add personality to their furniture, we hope UTÅKER bed helps you live and move easier.