Published on April 10, 2019

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photo courtesy of IKEA

New Yorkers, rejoice: The highly anticipated IKEA Planning Studio in Manhattan’s Lenox Hill neighborhood is nearly up and running. Set to open to the public on Monday, April 15, the urban living–focused outpost—the first of its kind in the US—is out to change the way city dwellers organize their tiny apartments

Spanning just three floors and 17,000 square feet, the Swedish retailer’s Third Avenue store is a far cry from the palatial warehouses that customers have grown accustomed to, and that’s exactly the point. Customers will still find the perfectly assembled floor plans that make shopping at IKEA utterly enjoyable and effortless, but in this case, the picture-perfect rooms have been designed to meet the unique needs of, say a couple in a postwar apartment or two roommates sharing a pint-size kitchen. On the main level, living and kitchen scenarios have been strategically mapped out with grids so shoppers can get a real feel for how rooms can be measured for maximization.

“We’ve curated a range of products and solutions that are very specific to small spaces,” says Amy Singer, retail design manager for IKEA. “Over at the Brooklyn store, you’ll see all kinds of solutions—there’s something for everyone. Here, we’re really focusing on people who are in the city.”

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photo courtesy of ikea

Both geared toward small-space solutions and planning services, there’s also an entire basement level dedicated to consultations. Whether you need help customizing a closet or picking finishes for kitchen cabinetry, an IKEA employee can walk you through every step for free. 

We recently got a sneak peek inside the brand-new NYC planning studio and, suffice it to say, we’re feeling inspired. Here are four small-space ideas to watch out for on your next visit.

A dining room that’s also a bedroom

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photo courtesy of IKEA

When you only have one room for sleeping, dressing, entertaining, and literally everything else, you have to throw out the floor-plan rulebook. In this 300-something-square-foot apartment, a small bed can serve as a sofa when guests come over, while a nearby dining table can double as a desk or nightstand when they leave.

Renter-friendly shelving

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City dwellers who have made a habit out of moving once a year knows that IKEA’s Pax systems weren’t exactly designed for frequent transport. Luckily, the Elvarli units are. Craft your dream closet or pantry without worrying it will all fall apart when you pack up and move house in a year’s time.

A perfectly planned living room

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photo courtesy of Elisha Holmes for IKEA 

When your entire apartment is half the size of the average American living room, 10 inches can make a world of difference. If you’re having a hard time mapping out your space in your head or are straight up bad at math, this gridded living room is a prime example of how smart measurements can play out. Mounted shelves of all shapes and sizes leave plenty of room for Tom Dixon x IKEA’s modular Delaktig sofa, a plush area rug, and a woven accent chair.

Universal kitchen cabinets

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Who said your kitchen cabinets only have to hold pots and pans? In this tiny pretend studio apartment, custom wood cabinetry is used to display objects and disguise other odds and ends that have nothing to do with cooking. The streamlined living room sofa can be pulled out and made into a bed when nighttime rolls around.

Located at 999 Third Avenue, the IKEA Planning Studio is open seven days a week from 10 am to 8 pm.

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These Clever IKEA Hacks Will Transform Your Bedroom

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