By Mark Baratelli
August 15, 2011
IKEA took me on a tour Wednesday of six of their seven new room layouts (one wasn't complete yet) at the top of the escalator in their Orlando store. The tour, like last year, coincides with the release of their catalogue. This year the theme was maximizing space and using their furniture in non-traditional ways. In the space of what is normally five room layouts, they were able to fit seven, using their space-maximizing ethos.
In each room of the seven room designs, you'll see usage of space from floor to ceiling. For example, in this room, notice the cabinets on either side of the bed. Those serve as closet space, shelving for storage and nightstands.
In that same room, by placing large stand-alone storage units a few feet from the wall, a closet and changing area is created. On the wall at left is a mirror and hanging units and on the right, the storage units. Those purses are hung horizontally using kitchen mug holders screwed into the unit.
In one room, they showed how six friends could live together in a 215 square foot space using kitchen shelving for closets and bunkbeds as mini-rooms.
Here, bare wooden shelving units meant for kitchen storage are put in the middle of a room to create a wall divider and closet space.
Ever stayed in a hostel? Then the site of these six bunkbeds doubled up and placed end to end will be familiar. Attached to the wall next to each bed are examples of shelving and storage, ways to customize each roommate's bunk space.
An example of their products being used in non-traditional ways is this drawer pull hanging upside down providing instant hanging clothing space.
Placing a couch underneath a bunk bed utilizes all that vertical space in rooms we typically don't use in Florida.
After the rooms tour, they showed this orange wall-mounted clothing cabinet and described how someone here in Orlando covered an entire wall with them and use them as a giant wall-sized file cabinet.
Their catalogue is only available in stores or by mail unless you were one of the first 25 guests to show up at the Hot in the City party Saturday August 13, 2011 at Alchemy. We provided the swag bags which included goodies like the IKEA catalogue and a coupon for a free coffee at their upstairs restaurant.