IKEA aktiv - Tiny House Blog

IKEA aktiv

The new “aktiv” house by ideabox has all you love about IKEA…with no assembly required. While this pre-fab home is not tiny, it’s under 1,000 square feet and is designed with open, airy living in mind. The 745 square feet aktiv was created by ideabox and IKEA designers from Portland, Ore., built with contemporary corrugated steel and fiber cement and is delivered with everything (except furniture) included.

The one-bedroom, one-bath home comes with all of the closets, cabinets, countertops and flooring installed. Both the kitchen and the bathroom contain IKEA appliances which includes an induction cooktop and convection oven, a counter depth refrigerator and dishwasher, a two sink vanity and a front load washer and dryer. Buyers can select their own wall and floor colors and, of course, they can fill it with IKEA furniture.

The aktiv is just over 53 feet long and about 14 feet wide with sliding glass doors. It’s priced at $86,500 which does not include delivery or utility hookups.

Photos courtesy of IKEA and ideabox


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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David - March 26, 2012 Reply

Does it start to break about 3-5 years after you buy it like all their furniture? 😉

    michael - March 26, 2012 Reply

    the allen keys still work =)

    Fran - March 26, 2012 Reply

    I have furniture from Ikea that is now 15 years old. And they are in PEFECT SHAPE and NOT FALLING APART.

      Elisa Tammela - March 27, 2012 Reply

      Yup… it is not “made by Ikea” that makes your furniture fall apart, it’s “choosing the cheapest furniture” whether it’s Ikea or somewhere else. We have a gorgeous solid-wood Ikea bed which is good as new after 20+ years, Ikea side tables, Ikea bookshelves and a 20-year-old metal Ikea desk you could Riverdance on. They are all perfectly functional. Just skip the fibreboard stuff and no problem.

    VikiGodess - July 6, 2012 Reply

    I love Ikea
    i sleep in the same bed .. same matress i bought in 2002 in ikea and i coudlnt be happier

    Marilyn - December 26, 2012 Reply

    I love our ikea kitchen. The cabinets are perfect after two years and have a 25 year warranty. We beefed up our ikea dresser drawers and they hold a heavy load well. Our ikea Poang chairs are workhorses and our bookcases hold a ton of books and cd’s well. Our ikea appliances have 5 year warranties. I won’t badmouth ikea.

      Katie - July 4, 2014 Reply

      I’ll bad mouth them ! I hate that when I am in the store, I can’t leave with just one thing. It’s a conspiracy I tell you! (yes, I am joking, everybody, just calm down) Ikea like every other store has price point items for a reason. Instead of getting the good, think about getting the better or best item available. Just a thought for the guy who’s furniture falls apart.

Thomas - March 26, 2012 Reply

Very nice layout…I like this…

Lora - March 26, 2012 Reply

awesome if i could afford it

Angie - March 26, 2012 Reply

I like looking at the layout and getting ideas; but for $86,000 I’d want a lot more for my money.

But thanks for showing another layout and furniture/appliance layout for a little house.

Angie - March 26, 2012 Reply

Looking at the dimensions, that’s about the size of a 1960’s mobile home 14′ x 55 or 60′. Or nice travel trailer or airstream.

Nice amount of windows.

Zer0 - March 26, 2012 Reply

It’s nice but I don’t want to pay more than $50,000 for a house.

    Natisha - March 26, 2012 Reply

    Have you thought about maybe using straw or earthbags! I know we are looking at purchasing land shortly and are considering one of those two options!

    Rob - March 26, 2012 Reply

    Perfect Zero, Ideabox has thought of that and created the minibox.

    Still to much? maybe a cube model more to your budget and needs.

Liz - March 26, 2012 Reply

Seems like a lot for what you get, and only one bedroom for that amount of square footage! There are old houses in my neighborhood that are <800sf with to bedrooms, and they are adorable to boot.

    Angie - March 26, 2012 Reply

    You must live in an expensive area of the country. I would not call that a lot for the money. Especially with have to move and provide hook ups.

    But I still like the layout and windows.

      Angie - March 26, 2012 Reply

      Oops. I’m sorry – I read that you thought you got a lot of living for the $$ not a lot of $$ for the amount of living space. I think we must be thinking more alike than I thought when I first read your posting.

    Lisa - March 31, 2012 Reply

    I have a big gripe against the greed motive in all of this. About a decade ago, hobbit houses and berme houses were introduced. You could build a wonderful home for yourself under ten thousand dollars. I even knew of a group of people who were planning on creating a community of berme houses on an island in the Chesapeake Bay. Then the commercial professionals got into it. One architectural firm in particular got into the berme market and homes that used to go for under ten thousand dollars suddenly became over one hundred and ten thousand dollars (land not included). Tiny homes started off with affordability in mind;; now they are some kind of fad with prices that would blow your mind. I’m really sick of all of the greed in this country. We need a major and fundamental change.

      Kris - March 31, 2012 Reply

      NO KIDDING, Lisa…the greed in this country is pathetic. Small houses started about being affordable and condusive to the land, but now it’s not a ‘new’ idea anymore, everyone’s got their hand out..gotta come up with something new and what…not share it?

      Echo - April 25, 2013 Reply

      yeah, well welcome to supply and demand… it’s like anything else. it’s low cost when only the fringe wants it but let it gain in popularity and the cost goes up and up.

      Tracie - December 23, 2013 Reply

      I’m with you Lisa when I started looking at tinyhouses one known company said they would make and deliver one for under 20 grand now it has tripled. He or they got greedy. I’m a disable d woman and have aleady friend who used to build places but she is disabled now too and trying to fix her own houses. i need one that will be put together rather fast and a place to put it any ideas. I’m ready to start another storage and gathering things I can get off the web, garage sales, giveaway stuff whatever. I do know I need a good foundation though a good base to start. I want to help as much as I can too. I asked this one company for a scholarship to just send two disabled women to his seminar to help us get started , well to no surprise no reply. Greedy, can’t even help us to help ourselves. I asked a family member who runs a water fire repair construction business to help me by getting my products at his discount, and helping with blueprints, (that is his speciality) again no reply, gee thank bro, a Christian to boot. I am not giving up this is my only hope. and dream and I’m not letting it die either. do you know of any companies in Nor/cal that does this I have found a place in Petaluma that once I get the green light I’m calling and hope maybe they can help me. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I keep asking, I read lately in a book to keep knocking ondoors and one will finally open, so I am. any replies send to capopppy47@yahoo.com

Adela - March 26, 2012 Reply

A little minor tweaking(mostly in the bathroom end) and you have something that would be fully wheelchair accessible and feels like a normal home.

tj - March 26, 2012 Reply

I love this design — I want to put in on a float. Seems like the kinda thing you’d find in Seattle or other harbor community towns.

Aaron - March 26, 2012 Reply

Is this just a high priced housing market thing? For the Midwest I can’t see this as a better option than hiring local contractors to build a similar style home.

    gmh - March 26, 2012 Reply

    Aaron, I think it is partially a function of location. The I-5 corridor is a more expensive market than the Midwest, heck it’s more expensive than eastern Oregon or Washington as well.
    The other thing is that with homes, the size and the price per square foot often have an inverse relationship. Smaller has to have all the amenities of larger- and the puzzle pieces have to have a better fit. The design, the amenities, the fixtures, the appliances… all have to work in the scale of a small house. Sometimes, the fixtures and appliances are a step above what the regular homebuilder would use- this is to entice the buyer into letting go of some square footage.
    In the long run, one of the reasons I want to have a smaller home isn’t totally about initial cost. It is so that the costs to clean and heat and maintain the home are less.
    I love this house design and the whole Ikea idea, but I need a two bedroom. (and I need to sell this monster house I currently occupy…)

      Aaron - March 26, 2012 Reply

      I’ve definitely seen that price to sqft relationship here as well with new and remodeled small homes. I assume there’s a lower limit for quality details that you can’t avoid without making sacrifices or finding some nice salvaged materials. Here, fortunately, $115/sqft is a fairly reasonable limit for the house and lot combined, easily less if one didn’t want a concrete foundation.

Michael - March 26, 2012 Reply

This gives me just 3 thoughts:

I didn’t know IKEA sold mobile homes…
Is the Allen wrench the size of a crowbar or is it even bigger.
Sadly it looks like they are trying to make it appeal to everyone which makes it for nobody.

    Laura - April 26, 2012 Reply

    LOL @ The allen wrench, I agree, it must be HUUUGGGEEE!!

Barb - March 26, 2012 Reply

I like that Ikea is reaching out to the smaller house market. They have some great ideas.

My first home was a tiny “two” bedroom home (one of the bedrooms was actually the dining room. You had to walk thru our bedroom to get to the bathroom. I didn’t like that layout at all – all visitors traipsing thru my bedroom! Now that I’m much older and wiser – or may just older – it probably wouldn’t bother me as much.

    Phoebe - February 2, 2013 Reply

    Old or young, that’s where Ikea lost me on this house design! I don’t want company etc…cutting through my bedroom to use the bathroom. A half bath of the kitchen, near the back door, would of sold me!

      VintageRoze (Roze Jackson) - September 18, 2014 Reply

      I am maniacal about the privacy of my bedroom. I would never own or even rent a home where the only bathroom accessability were through my bedroom. It’s a deal breaker.

Dawn - March 26, 2012 Reply

Definitely reminded me of the mobile home I grew up in back in the 1960s. Which of course made this a total turn off for me.
Especially for the $$$

Stan - March 26, 2012 Reply

Everyone I know that buys IKEA just plans on replacing it every few years since that is as long as it lasts. Do people that buy this IKEA house plan on getting a new house every few years?

et - March 26, 2012 Reply

Where do you hang the coats?

    Emilian - March 26, 2012 Reply

    in Ikea 🙂

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - March 27, 2012 Reply

I love the idea of an instant house and ideal square footage too, if not a bit much. But for where I live, that’s pricey. For the designers in Portland, that’s an awesome deal because older homes there go for insane prices.

Rebecca - March 27, 2012 Reply

I like the layout and look of the house but, as others have said, it’s just too pricey for most of the country. Where we live now, $86,000 will buy a 3-bedroom home on a good-sized lot; out where we are building our tiny house, we could still get a 3-bedroom for the money, but it would come with at least 10 acres.

    Lisa - March 31, 2012 Reply

    What state are you in, Rebecca?

Tanja - March 27, 2012 Reply

One of the things that I love about the tiny house movement in general is that most people seem to be environmentally conscious. Although I like the layout of this house and the minimalist decor, I am not sure that IKEA’s manufacturing practices are socially and environmentally responsible. I much prefer the Tiny Texas Houses salvage approach which leads to a socially and environmentally responsible house with a lot of character!

    Angie - March 27, 2012 Reply

    I love the Texas Tiny Houses, with the style and reusing of materials. Also Phoenix Commotion, also in TX.

    But this gives a good idea for layouts.

      Tanja - March 27, 2012 Reply

      True. Thanks for the link!

Mina - March 27, 2012 Reply

Looks like they got the idea here! http://tinyhouseblog.com/pre-fab/cargotecture-by-hybrid-architecture/

In any case, it’s a nice looking home and good publicity for small-scale living.

    Caroline - April 23, 2012 Reply

    Mina, I thought it looked just like the Cargotecture house, too!

alice h - March 27, 2012 Reply

I like the open feeling of the layout but having the bathroom and kitchen at opposite ends isn’t ideal, nor is going through the bedroom to get to the bathroom. I’d put the kitchen and a smaller bathroom back to back with the bedroom behind and living room at the other end. The washer and dryer can be in a closet in a tiny hallway leading to the bedroom. As much as I dislike hallways I’d rather see a small one than this layout. Not sure how much you’d save on plumbing pipe but there’d be less of it to freeze in cold winters and you could use one water heater for kitchen and bath without a long wait for hot water to travel or needing two tankless ones.

    Angie - March 27, 2012 Reply

    Very good points.

Gabriel - March 27, 2012 Reply

Nice price for a designer-quality home. For such a size, however, I would place the restroom+bath on the other side of the room, to make it accessible from the living room instead. That would make the design more flexible and allow to add modules in the future.
The restroom is close enough to the bedroom, so placing it outside will not compromise convenience yet will make access easier when the other restroom is busy.

Sharon - March 27, 2012 Reply

Not to be contrary, but Rocio Romero does basically the same thing at half the price; plus, she’s been around for a while and has built a number of these units. If this type of design appeals, I would definitely check out her website.

Benjamin - March 27, 2012 Reply

What’s the big steel thing on the counter in the middle of the kitchen photo? Kinda looks like a fridge, but if so, why the vent to the ceiling on top of it? And if not, where IS the fridge?

    Anne B - March 27, 2012 Reply

    The big steel thing is the stainless steel backsplash behind the induction cooktop. Above and in front of it is the cooking hood with vent to outdoors.
    According to the floorplan, the refrigerator is to the left of the double sink, which would place it out of camera range in that picture.

    I agree about the placement of the bath and kitchen. It is more economical and less wasteful of energy to have the water usage in one cluster. I like the expanse of glass on one side, but I would like a back door that entered next to the bath/laundry area. I hang my clothes on the line so that is a feature I would plan for!

Josh - March 27, 2012 Reply

This looks beautiful, and very chic and modern, but too much so, I think. On the one hand, it looks very professional and coordinated, but so sterile and cold. My initial thoughts, both because of the IKEA name and also the entire look and feel of the place, were to start playing the scene from “Fight Club” in my head where Edward Norton’s character is describing all the things from IKEA in his apartment and sort of portraying just how devoid of personality and character his life was. This reminds me of what I would expect of an overpriced apartment or condo in a very trendy area in a big city to look like – the kind of place where people go out to dinner every night and never have more than a couple bottles of water, some mustard, and maybe some leftover Chinese food in the refrigerator!

Cephus - March 28, 2012 Reply

Actually looks like a one bedroom overpriced modular home to me. On the other hand the layout is not too bad. I would switch the bedroom and the bathroom around, which would still provide some privacy when guests need to use the bathroom and as noted in previous comments keeps all the plumbing clustered in one area, reducing cost and making it more efficient.

Samuel - March 28, 2012 Reply

This is not a bad price considering the prices in the area. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find land in the area without a house already sitting on it.

Marsha Cowan - March 29, 2012 Reply

This is actually a response to the article about convincing your spouse to live in a tiny house. I didn’t see a place to comment with the article. Anyway, my husband Is adamant that he will not live in a home the size of a “large walk in closet”. So I am building one sfor myself in our backyard. I a paying for most of it myself with my substitute pay, but he did buy the used trailer for me. My original plan was for a 14′ trailer, but because of welding problems with the trailer, it has turned out to be a 10’home. My husband has become more and more interested in it as I go along, and though I don’t think he would live with me in this tiny house, he seems to be more open to living In a longer one. In the meantime, this will be my get away in the backyard and a place where my grand kids can spend the night (one at a time). I will keep you posted as to te progress of my husband’s attitude about living in a tiny house.

JO - March 29, 2012 Reply

Completely laughing so hard…my dad had a single wide mobile home with nearly the exact same dimensions and configuration…soooo original not! You want original check out Jacque Frescos’ designs.

Dumbfounded - March 30, 2012 Reply

I see so many problems with this. It costs more than what’s already out there. Did you read the fine print? Installation and plumbing not included. It could end up costing well over 110-120k. Plus where do you plunk this thing? The land alone will cost well over 120k here in California.

Lee - March 31, 2012 Reply

I have been looking a lot at prefabs as I am planning to move to the mountains in southern New Mexico. My problem with them is they all tend to be contemporary designs. I hate contemporary, though, I think it has become more popular–but, not with me. This one here looks cold and sterile. I also feel this is too pricey even though I think “quality small” tends to be more per square foot. I will keep looking and, still considering building “on site” .

Charlie - March 31, 2012 Reply

This seems more expensive than the European models I’ve seen. When I inquired, they said they had no plans for selling in the U.S.

Lisa - March 31, 2012 Reply

The problem I see with this is that the initial cost of this home is 85K. What with the price of land being totally out of the realm of reality these days, by the time you buy this tiny house, you have paid more than you would have if you just bought a traditional house. Also, like so many things today, the quality just isn’t there. I can just see this place looking like a rust-bucket in five or ten years and your 85K down the drain. Better to build out of straw bales than go for this teaser.

Cindy - March 31, 2012 Reply

I don’t think Ikea will find much of a market for those looking for small and cozy living. Too bad they didn’t come up with a prefab more in keeping with a tiny house price range too.

Luke - April 17, 2012 Reply

layout reminds me of my manufactured home I live in now, except mine costs less.

Soldierzgirl - May 1, 2012 Reply

agree with @Luke. it appears to be alot like a souped up modular.

Sven - July 14, 2012 Reply

‘aktiv’: Swedish for ‘trailer’.

Tiny Houses | England House Plans Blog - August 3, 2012 Reply

[…] Here is a ‘bigger’ tiny house, maybe a little more like a full sized tiny house that I thought was pretty awesome and a good size for a couple to downgrade too if they were worried about claustrophobia. with one bedroom and one bathroom. […]

D Whit - August 11, 2012 Reply

Another haha home.
Good for IKEA, bad for you.

Maybe they should join forces with Lexus or Accura and market it with an overpriced “green” hybrid so you can write one check and be ever so smug and fashionable at having a name brand style of living with one purchase.

Valerie - August 21, 2012 Reply

Geez. I’m old, but not that old (55). Sure looks like a mobile home floor plan to me.

You’re Half Way There « The Red Ashleaf - October 17, 2012 Reply

[…] Ikea Aktiv: The aktiv is just over 53 feet long and about 14 feet wide with sliding glass doors. It’s priced […]

Dude - January 27, 2013 Reply

All particle board like all the stuff in their store? Made in China and shipped here ready to plug in? $86k sounds real expensive to me. How think are the walls? Insulation? Does it meet the Energy Calcs for CA??
Interesting to say the least

Echo - April 25, 2013 Reply

love the layout but i would prefer to have the bathroom off the living room. don’t really want guests or whoever to have to traipse thru my bedroom to get to the bathroom.

Dee - May 18, 2013 Reply

“IKEA has not launched and is not selling prefabricated homes in the United States. Any reports saying otherwise are not accurate,” IKEA said in a statement.

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/05/ikea-not-selling-86500-prefab-home-but/#Vfvj3IXORduv2JUI.99

staci - May 31, 2013 Reply

One thing I LOVE about Ikea – and there are many – is that they post the square footage of their vignettes. I’ve always thought that they (or anyone) should built and equip little houses using the strategies they use for display. I think it’s brilliant how they can organize and fit so much living into such small footprints. Their little two bedroom floor plans are totally livable and my DH and I are quite *ahem* large people. Maybe I should shut up and begin my own planning of a walkable community springboarding off Ikea stores example floor plans… hmmm.

Ikea’s brilliant, I tell you! 😀

Joe - July 25, 2013 Reply

$86,000? No way. $10,000 is more like it. But thanks.

Elizabeth Burke - August 10, 2013 Reply

Stupid design. A guest would have to go through your bedroom to use a toilet. Reverse them, and make the bath walk-thru (sliding pocket doors). Otherwise, I like Ikea, but this is too much Ikea. It’s like living in a hotel where every window on every floor is the same size with the same sill treatment. Visually awful.

John B - December 21, 2013 Reply

Great idea, nice layout, I like it. Love Ikea stuff, my bed is holding up very nicely after several moves/years, disassembling, reassembling, etc. Great products!

Lola - December 23, 2013 Reply

I love it a lot. But to me it seems very expensive.

palebeachbum - April 14, 2014 Reply

This reminds me a lot of the iHouse made by Clayton Homes. It had a starting price around $90k with about the same square footage. They came out with it just a couple years or so ago and already no longer offer it due to the lack of interest. I foresee the same thing happening with this Ikea house, which isn’t as nice, attractive, or functional as the iHouse. At $86k, it’s quite pricey too. In my area a typical new home including foundation, but not land, will run you$90-$100/sq ft. This Ikea house is well over $100/sq ft. Pricey.

Lilyelgato - June 6, 2014 Reply

Seen Ikea’s delivery prices? I’m guessing the house will cost another 80k to deliver.

    Kimberly Savage - July 8, 2015 Reply

    Plus to pay the land, also

Ryan - July 13, 2015 Reply

IKEA is always overpriced. This is surely no exception, and I would be willing to bet the delivery price is way too much too

Lack Ikea Bookshelves Living Room | Useful Info - October 3, 2017 Reply

[…] IKEA aktiv – 1 – Tiny House Blog – IKEA aktiv. The new “aktiv” house by ideabox has all you love about IKEA…with no assembly required. While this pre-fab home is not tiny, it’s under 1,000. […]

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