On the occasion of the 2nd II edition of the Madrid Design Festival and the participation of Ikea in the conference of La Casa Encendida, ** Evamaria Rönnegard, design director of Ikea and Olov Hedlin **, the head of values and culture at Ikea took advantage of their assistance for visit two homes in the center of Madrid.
These visits to real homes by those responsible for Ikea They are a habitual practice of Ikea that is carried out in all the countries of the world. In this way they check how we live, study our needs closely and this allows them to continue designing products that solve our main shortcomings. They are also able to discover solutions of some cultures that can be exported to the rest of the world.
You can know more about these visits and their conclusions here lifeathome.Ikea.com
In this case, and because of the proximity to La Casa Encendida, the visit took place two floors from the center of Madrid.
Accompanying Evamaria and Olovwas also Lorenzo Meazza, head of interior design at Ikea Spain
The selected households corresponded on the one hand to a study that did not reach 40 m2, in which a young girl (30 years old) resides, and a family formed by a couple and two small children living in a two-room apartment.
Both visits took place in a very relaxed environment. Evamaria, Olov and Lorenzo chatted amicably with the owners, interested in the details about their habits and customs and especially the characteristics of their homes. Questions like What are you missing?,or What would you do if they gave you money to invest more at home? They were repeated in both homes and, despite the different profiles of the inhabitants and their homes, the answers had many points in common.
According to Evamaria, the Design Director of Ikea, I had already advanced during the morning talks. "There are not so many differences in the way of life between the different countries of the world. Perhaps the biggest difference is between those who live in big cities and those who do it in small towns."
VISIT TO THE FIRST HOUSE. A STUDY OF 38 M2 IN CHAMBERÍ
For the first visit we were directly in the portal of a very central apartment, close to the San Antón market, which actually turned out to be the study of a girl as charming as the floor.
The study consisted of an open space in which the only independent room corresponded to the bathroom.
Despite the few meters, the good distribution (with the bed on the far side of the door and the window) and the decoration with low furniture, made the studio cozy and comfortable and that nothing will be missing . After all, the space included a kitchen, a dining table for four / six people, a chaise lounge and a double bed in perfect harmony. To separate the bed from the sofa area, the mythical Kallax I was a bookmark / bookshop.
The floor, as it could not be otherwise, had several recognizable Ikea furniture (a Pax wardrobe module, the lack coffee table, the dining table ...), most of which, as he confesses, had been left by the former tenant.
This studio is smaller than his previous home and during the move he decided to get rid of many things and live with the essential. Although he does not have a storage room, he does confess that in his parents' house (in another city) he has many things that he does not need on a daily basis.
Your needs? More space in the kitchen to make Batch cooking (cook one day for the whole week) and to recycle. She also complains about space to be able to live with her boyfriend (they both fit, yes: but not both and their stuff… besides he has four guitars).
Advantages of the floor? Light and silence despite being in the center. Little expense on heating.
Y, What would you do or would you invest in if you had extra money to invest in the house? Well, bet on more plants, to change the bland furniture of the "television" that by the way - does not have it and replaces it with the screen of a computer - with a vintage-style wooden furniture (60s, legs out). He would also love to have a better audio system and permanently place a projector to see the films projected on the wall.
What he likes most about his house, or what he would take are some author's prints that decorate one of the walls, his board games and his small collection of vinyl records that rest on a Bekvaem wooden stool at the foot of the bed.
We finished the visit and I think we have all had a good feeling. She is lovely and Evamaria tells her that if she was 30 she would also love to live there (the truth is that me too).
VISIT TO THE SECOND HOUSE. A FAMILY APARTMENT IN THE CENTER
For the next visit we approach a street near the Atocha station. It is located in a residential building and there, on the seventh floor, two beautiful children welcome us with joy and hospitality. Together with his father, (the mother was working) they make an exhaustive tour of his house. A house of those in which without looking much make you feel good quickly. They invite us to see, touch and enjoy the entire floor.
The owner tells us that he and his wife bought it just two years ago. It is an old floor with high ceilings that was in very bad condition because it had been uninhabited for 20 years so they have made a reform by changing the distribution.
The reform has only saved the interior doors, those so old that give personality and character to the house and an old rocking chair that was in the house when they bought it and that they promised to use if they left it, as it has been.
Upon entering the floor you reach a small hall that leads to a long hallway (with a window to an inner courtyard where you can hang clothes). The long corridor is fully exploited with two Hemnes shoemakers and some Svalna shelves. The rooms are first accessed through the hall; that of the children first, that of the parents later. Also a small room for the washer and dryer and where they also store cleaning supplies and another door on the other side of the kitchen, the bathroom. Only one but big and complete.
The hall ends in a bright and spacious space where the kitchen, dining room, living room with two sofas and a work area for the whole family live together.
The key to this house is the amount of space needed to work there: a desk for the father (telework) two for children and the multifunction console for the mother (who occasionally uses it).
This family has chosen give more meters to the common areas and less to the rooms that practically only use to sleep and store clothes. They also combine many Ikea furniture (the full kitchen, the Svalna shelves or the cabinets) but they add special pieces, such as an antique cupboard or a trunk from your grandmother.
The whole and the effect between the new and the old, between the meaning and usefulness of things generated very good vibrations in that house. Evamaria and Olov (sitting in the rocking chair) also confessed it. They said they feel very good in that house, it feels like home.
What are they missing? Meters When the children grow up, the house will stay small. But being more practical: shoemakers who fit more shoes, places to store books and solutions for a small master bedroom (there is no room on one side for a bedside table). They also dream of a home theater: a good projector.
In both houses, therefore we have been told the same. In a city like Madrid, meters are a problem, the space to store too ... nothing new on the horizon. But yes some clues. I see Evamaria and Olov take a mental note. If in summer the first speaker system will be the result of your collaboration with Sonos, who knows if the projectors screens or even projectors with a good quality / price ratio are next? Time to time.