Small Projects + DIY

Got design dreams but no funds? Ikea Hackers is here to help

By Virginia K. Smith  | July 8, 2014 - 12:59PM

It takes years (and years...) to fully transition your decorating budget from Ikea to West Elm, and in the interim, a lot of us get tired of life in a place that's a re-mixed version of the same pieces in your friends' apartments.

Enter Ikea Hackers, a site full of reader-submitted projects that "modify or re-purpose" products from everyone's favorite purveyor of Swedish meatballs and affordable home goods.The site has been around for a few years now, but has gotten an extra publicity boost in recent weeks after its namesake retailer threatened a trademark lawsuit, which may result in founder Jules Yap taking "Ikea" out of the site's domain name (and has already resulted in a massive outpouring of fan support).

The site's archives range from beginner-level projects--like this vanity mirror or the use of kitchen cabinets as living room toy storage--to more serious projects geared toward power tool-owning DIY buffs, like this "trunk" bar made from two basic bookshelves, or the full-scale re-working of a studio apartment into a one-bedroom with the help of sliding cupboard doors (pictured above).

As Yap pointed out in a recent interview, "Ikea already built into the system this ability for you to play with it whether mixing and matching," and many of the site's "hacks" take that concept to the next level. Not a bad way to rework some of the city's most ubiquitous furniture (even if it ends in yet another lost afternoon wandering the aisles in Red Hook).


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