Aktiv: The IKEA House

Aktiv: The IKEA House

Pre-fabricated dwelling debuts in the Pacific Northwest

Are you in love with IKEA? Does a trip to the Swedish manufacturer's showroom fill you with joy as you envision all the ways in which you might transform your own home to be more stylish, more efficient, more Scandinavian? I'm not really sure I understand you if so (trips to IKEA terrify me more than they excite me. I think it's the maze-like interiors that inspire the fear that I'll never escape from the endless, well-decorated limbo) but hey, good for you. You can now buy your whole house from the Swedes if you're so inclined.

I don't mean everything in your house, either. I mean the actual house itself. IKEA US has teamed up with an architectural firm in Oregon called Ideabox to release its very own pre-fabricated house onto the market. Now, when I think pre-fab houses, I think those little sheds that make me laugh when I see them strapped onto a truck on the highway, but per IKEA's aesthetic standards, this one's a little more stylish than that. It's designed for Portland types, after all.

The single-story one-bedroom house comes outfitted with green appliances and fixtures, as well as IKEA-brand cabinets, floors, and wardrobes. It's built to be both environmentally friendly and inexpensive, with fiber-cement siding and corrugated metal for the exterior. You'll be able to pick one up for just around 80 grand when it hits the market. Not at all bad, assuming you don't have to put it together yourself.

Ideabox claims they designed the Aktiv house with the active lifestyle of northwestern folks in mind. I guess that means there's space to store your mountain bikes and you don't mind living in an IKEA-stamped box because you're out climbing mountains and jogging in your Vibrams most of the time. They do offer the opportunity for their customers to choose the colors on cabinets and floors when they order, allowing you to get a little more creative with the interior look of your house than you might be during a traditional purchasing experience. All that customization without the hassle of expensive home improvement sounds pretty cool, actually.

The floorplan of the Aktiv looks about on par with a decent city apartment, with a small kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom. It's certainly nothing fancy, but if you're looking for cheap, clean home ownership in Oregon anytime soon, the Aktiv may just be a great option. Hopefully it's a little sturdier than your average IKEA purchase.