IKEA, which has been researching the tiny home movement, may be nearing launch of a movable system of sliding room divider panels. Products, which would likely use sliding hardware, are aimed at rapid repurposing of living quarters in multi-unit homes, where square footage in apartments and condominiums continues to decline.
Space-saving sliding doors don’t require the clearance of a regular door, and are far simpler to install than that other familiar sliders: pocket doors.
Near its global headquarters in Malmo, Sweden, IKEA has built a laboratory apartment and tested it on families, reports the Wall St. Journal. The effort is a response to the gorwth in multi-unit dwellings, coupled with a decline in the square footage inside.
In its home base of Sweden, two room apartments have declined 13 percent in square footage, to an average 580 square feet, according to figures cited by WSJ from sonstruction firm Skanska AB. Figures from a U.S. residential market analyst, Axiometrics, shows a decline of around 20% in the past decade in Boston and San Francisco.
Hardware offerings for sliding doors and panels have been on the rise, with Hettich and Hafele placing particualr emphasis on it. Murphy beds and convertible home offices built around sliding hardware are rising in popularity.a
Following its franchise acquisition at the end of 2013, CEO Bob Lewis sees growth continuing.
“We’re seeing a lot of potential for the company’s future as a result of downsizing trends in the housing market,” explains Lewis. “Boomers are looking to use their spaces more creatively as they make arrangements to age in place, while millennials are flocking to smaller dwellings in urban centers, expanding the market for space-saving solutions.
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