When I was younger I loved the concept of IKEA, maybe it was the way they market the products in individual vignettes, or maybe it was the weird Swedish food we always got when we went there. Now I admire IKEA for what they have done. They have basically changed the furniture buying market upside down. Where furniture used to be a struggle to find the right piece, IKEA offers hundreds of solutions under one roof. When arranging a delivery and setup used to be an issue, now you can take it home yourself, flat packed in your mini-van and struggle with building it for hours. IKEA really has filled a section of the market with independence more than anything. People are now free to design it themselves, build it themselves and all while staying on a college budget. IKEA has shown us what someone with a 150 sq foot shoe box of an apartment can do to survive, and have the place be functional, they really are the innovators of design on the cheap.
Being a design snob, yes, part of me is always saying buyers should at some point rise above the IKEA price point, get into some high quality well designed furniture as they mature, but the other part can’t help but accept IKEA’s role in the market share. Usually as long as you don’t have too many parts left over when you’re done, you will have something that will last through college and into your first apartment.
This brings me to my real reason for today’s sprout. There is an incredible website I recently stumbled upon, and can’t get enough of. It’s called IKEA Hackers http://www.ikeahackers.net/ and it is AMAZING. It is exactly what you might surmise from the title. People post projects where they have tore apart IKEA products and rebuilt or reused them to create incredible spaces. It’s everything you wanted IKEA to be, just never had the guts to cut up your new table and make it. Projects range from the simple decoration, to an entire office built from random IKEA parts. Imagine IKEA warehouses as giant bins of LEGOs, now you can take them and build whatever you wanted; Ugh, it’s so liberating from the confines of Swedish directions!!!!
Here are a couple cool examples of projects I found, but please for the love of cam-lock attachment check out the site and upgrade your IKEA shopping experience. You’ll never see this stuff the same again!
Using a shelving system to divide the room. see it here
Awesome use of wood kitchen countertops as a bathtub surround.
Here are a few simple, smart ones, equally exciting for the weekend do-it-yourselfer.
See how to hide your remote here.
Wait, you’re telling me I can hang my shirt or jacket over the back of a chair, and not take up that footprint? I love!
see the build here.
See the instructions on back lit frame sconces here.