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Flexible furniture pulls the kind of double duty needed in pandemic

In a year marked by a raging pandemic that forced people to work from home, flexibility became essential. Ikea recognized this and introduced Ravaror, a furniture collection designed to be multifunctional while making the most of space and not sacrificing style.

The Swedish word “ravaror” means fresh produce, quality ingredients you combine your way. Everything in the collection pulls double duty.

There is a bench on casters with open storage that can slide under a table. A rollaway coffee table is a storage box. A food tray with folding legs lets you carry items, eat in bed or use it as a laptop stand.

All shelving units and wardrobe racks in the collection have wheels for extra mobility and versatility. Marrying the concept of Scandinavian design and flexibility, the items are crafted from materials like steel, wood, denim and wool, and are meant to be easily moved or taken from one dwelling to the next.

“The great thing about Ravaror is that you don’t have to live a nomadic lifestyle to use it,” said Barry Reidy, country interior design manager at Ikea U.S. “Anyone who has ever lived in a small apartment or tight quarters knows that every room is a flex space and having furniture that can roll away when not in use makes every square foot go that much further.

“You’re living large in a small space. And living with less helps the environment and your personal well-being. It’s easier when every piece of furniture in your home can do more than one thing because every day is different.”

Reidy said each piece within the Ravaror collection has multiple purposes. Flexible furniture enables an area to become a classroom, an office or a reading.

One room can serve multiple purposes with furniture that can be moved. And many of the pieces come in different colors including beige, black, brown, blue and gray.

“There is a rolling bench with a storage shelf that can slide under a table,” he said. “The lightweight wardrobe on castors works well in small spaces and can be moved when rearranging a room making yourself at home in the smallest of spaces.

“One of the more popular items is the daybed. It is both a sofa for socializing and a comfortable bed for sleep. The durable denim cover wears well and matching denim carry bags hold bed linen and can become extra cushions. It is all crafted to reflect the beautiful simplicity and function of Scandinavian design.”

Another popular item is the rolling wardrobe rack. The rack has rails for hangers and space for stacking storage boxes to hold folded clothes and accessories. The steel construction offers stability and strength, transforming into a transport cart when it is time to move.

That simplicity extends to the ease of assembling the furniture or taking it apart.

“When the furniture was being created, our goal was to have smart design that was flexible,” Reidy said. “We know people change living situations, and if they own any Ravaror pieces, they will find the pieces can be easily transported. And because the furniture is multifunctional, if the piece was in the bedroom in your old place, it can now be placed in another room like the hallway or kitchen.”

Within the design industry, flexible furniture is a global trend and has become popular across the board appealing to both single urban buyers and young families. That appeal includes being able to easily rearrange space as needed.

“People are asking more of their space, especially now since we’re working from home,” Reidy said. “We’re seeing it everywhere but more in urban areas where apartments and other living spaces are smaller. There is a need for smart furniture that is multifunctional and flexible.

“Think of a studio apartment. It’s a living room, an office, a bedroom and a place to socialize.”

At the same time, he said, “Families like the furniture because it’s strong and durable, and they like it for their children because they can move the furniture from room to room as the children grow.”

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