Ideabox is a "hip and green" prefab housing design studio in Salem, Oregon. IKEA is, well, IKEA; they make nice stuff that sells at low prices with a style that a lot of people love. So Ideabox built a prototype prefab for a Portland Home show and described it on their website:
the first in a new line of houses designed by ideabox and appointed by IKEA. Swedish inspired, wide open living, functional, no wasted space, and full of personality! It’s a house designed to live in… with all the fun. function, and practicality found in every ideabox!
It is rather nice, if you like the idea of living in an IKEA showroom. And it seems a lot of people do, because the story got picked up on design blogs around the world, suggesting that IKEA was now selling houses in the USA. Time Magazine's headline said "Forget Bookcases: Now You Can Buy an Entire House from IKEA" Gothamist asked Would You Live In This IKEA Prefab House?
Except it wasn't true. Sustainable Business Oregon clarifies:
Responding to rampant, false reports that it was getting into the prefabricated home business, Ikea issued a press release Friday aimed at snuffing the rumors and setting the record straight.
"Ikea has not launched and is not selling prefabricated homes in the United States. Any reports saying otherwise are not accurate," the statement read.
Huffpo had to issue a retraction:
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that IKEA plans on selling prefabricated homes in the United States. It does not. The home featured below was appointed by an IKEA store in Portland, Ore., but is available for sale from IdeaBox.
When IKEA started producing BOKLOK housing in Europe, it was to fulfill a societal need, the lack of affordable housing for single moms in Sweden. Other BOKLOK projects have been part of urban renewal initiatives, providing dense affordable housing, in partnership with substantial real estate and engineering companies. I suspect that when IKEA builds in North America it will not be standalone prefabs, sold without land, but more along the European model.