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One of the things regarding IKEA that I get most excited about is IKEA hacks, which means taking an inexpensive, sturdy, basic piece of IKEA furniture, and up-styling it. The methods and combinations are as endless as your imagination, but I am going to share some of my favorite tricks and results.
IKEA Hacks: Examples
Probably one of the most hacked items from IKEA is their children’s play kitchen, Duktig. The kitchen unit sells for $99, but for not much more you can personalize it for your child. (Accessories are extra.) I am planning on hacking a Duktig and donating it to a charity auction and I can’t wait! Here is the original and some ideas for redesigning.
A very complicated (but cool) hack is using IKEA kitchen cabinets to make a platform bed with tons of storage. This isn’t something a novice should try–but Mamakea could help make it happen!
Although I have dreamed of doing IKEA hacks since our St. Louis store opened, I only recently discovered some great ready-made resources to help with the job. There are three different companies I discovered that exist only to support IKEA hacks!
Custom Slip Cover Resources
The first is a company from Germany called Bemz. They offer slip covers for just about every model of IKEA upholstered furniture, in about a million different options. Seriously, start with the Nockeby sofa, and then decide what style and color you want to cover it. For example, on this model Bemz offers almost four hundred fabric options, including the newly added velvet collection. Here is a side by side of the original Nockeby and the velvet options. I love how it completely changes the look.
The site is very easy to use. It is categorized by item type (chairs, sofas, headboards) and then within each type it has each IKEA model, and for each model it has the fabric offerings. This allows you to see a preview of your item in your selected fabric. Delivery is quoted as approximately four weeks. In some cases you may pay more for the cover than the original item, but the total will be economical compared to custom upholstering of other comparable quality furniture. They even have covers, including velvet, for beanbags!
So I have to find customers that want me to do this for them, because I don’t have enough room in my house for more furniture. This is amazingly cute, and super easy. Mykea (love the name almost as much as Mamakea!) offers decals to customize IKEA furniture. The site is organized much like Bemz where you can search within IKEA furniture models and then choose from about 100 different designs. My personal favorite is the poppys, but it is hard to choose. Honestly, they are inexpensive enough and removable, so change your design each season.
Of all the hacks resources that I am sharing, O’verlays is my favorite. I think the potential impact, the endless possibilities and the ease of completion make this a DIY’er’s dream. This company isn’t solely supplying for IKEA furniture, but they do have a section dedicated to IKEA models. The beauty of this hack is that you can make whatever combinations you want from their wide variety of patterns and add your own paint. The designs are laser cut wood and can be applied on top of any existing surface. For this illustration I am starting with the IKEA Rast dresser which is an incredible bargain at $34.99! It is untreated wood so it is ready for whatever color you want to use as a base, and then you can add the overlay which you can paint to your choice also. Here’s how it works:
Select Surface: Select Overlay:
Paint overlay and dresser, glue overlay, and Voila!
Here are some of my favorites:
IKEA Hacks: Your Imagination
I have provided some easy inspiration and execution ideas here, but everyone should consider what might work best for them. Or find a piece at a furniture store or flea market that you love, but don’t love the price, and figure out how it can be hacked. IKEA has the basic materials, just find the simple resources to help copy your favorite design. There are stencils, fabric, wallpaper and all of the previously mentioned resources to make it happen. And Mamakea is looking forward to making as many of these as possible become a reality!
Renovating a kitchen is a big step no matter how you approach it. But I am a big fan of IKEA kitchens and I am sharing ideas on how you can make a remodel less painful–and maybe more functional and beautiful in the end.IKEA Kitchens–Benefits My fanaticism of IKEA Kitchens is based on all of the things that IKEA is known for: design, price, and availability. The offerings in the Sektion line of cabinets is as broad as any custom kitchen you can imagine. The choices start with 24 different finishes, including their signature sleek/modern designs and more traditional finishes. Base … Continue reading →
After spending the past year embedded with IKEA, I thought I would share some of my IKEA favorites. You already know my favorite foods (see blog), so let’s look at household items and all sorts of furniture—beds, chairs, sofas, and consoles. Any my favorite IKEA favorite thing of all —kitchen cabinets. (Shown Right: HEMNES console, KVAVE table lamp, KVARNVIK storage box, RIBBA frame gallery wall) IKEA Favorites: Decor Obviously my business is based on the furniture, but as I have become familiar with IKEA through the furniture I have discovered some … Continue reading →
Even if you have never been to IKEA, you have undoubtedly heard of their Swedish Meatballs. I know people who wouldn’t agree with me, but for the most part I think they do live up to the hype—they are pretty tasty. But the IKEA restaurant offers so many options that you can have an inexpensive, nutritious meal any time of day without meatballs showing up on your plate. IKEA Restaurant Breakfast Fare I believe IKEA is one of the smartest managed retail establishments in the world, and one of the great things they do is open the restaurant 30 minutes … Continue reading →
IKEA corporate has a charitable arm called IKEA Foundation. Their mission is big but specific, described by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA’s founder: We all share basic needs: a secure home, good health, a regular income, a desire to keep our children safe, to see them get a good education and succeed in life. That’s why the IKEA Foundation has decided to focus our funding on these key necessities. The foundation began in 1982 and initially focused on interior design. It quickly transitioned to problems of child labor and focusing on the root causes. At the same time, the Foundation partnered with major charitable … Continue reading →
Due to Ikea being a recent addition in St. Louis, not everyone is familiar with the wide selection of products they offer. Everyone knows about their inexpensive furniture choices (that require Mamakea’s assembly services), but there are many other product lines that may surprise shoppers. Ikea Home Decor Most people are aware that Ikea offers home decor items in addition to furniture. They have an incredibly wide range of lamps, rugs, baskets, vases, and picture frames; you get the idea. All of these items are just as stylish and affordable as the furniture. As an example, the Eivor Cirkel rug is 6’7″ by 6’7″ … Continue reading →
Dorm living has changed a lot since my matriculating days. One common thread, though, is making the most of the space that is dedicated to living, studying, bathing and hanging out. Ikea is a dorm-dweller’s dream because of the loft beds, desk, storage, organizing and décor options. I am sharing some of my favorite ideas here, but there is so much more, including a Pinterest board dedicated to Ikea dorms! And of course remember, for those of you heading to college in the St. Louis Metro area, Mamakea can shop, deliver and assemble at your dorm room for you. Ikea … Continue reading →
I intend to write in the future about unique or unexpected items that can be found at Ikea, but this article is specifically about a DIY project that can be made from Ikea fabric. So first, did you even know that Ikea had fabric? They have a wide range of sheer white fabrics and colorful, graphic prints that are reasonably priced—from $1.29/yard to $8.99/yard for plastic coated fabric. I chose a black and white graphic fabric ($5.99/yard) to make three panels to hang in my Ikea and antique-inspired living room. Since this was so easy and I am very pleased with the … Continue reading →
I truly have a passion for the assembly of furniture–especially Ikea assembly. I appreciate the design and engineering of the items, and I think their instructions are very expressive: all with no words so they are multilingual. I do realize, however, that I am not necessarily in the majority, so I am going to attempt to share some of the more meaningful tips for successful Ikea assembly. A couple of days ago I was contacted to assemble a Brimnes bed. After providing my quote the customer felt it necessary to tell me the following: “full disclosure– I’m sorting out a … Continue reading →
The basic need for understanding the Ikea St. Louis store is that there are three levels. The first level is just for parking/loading, but even for this there are “secrets.” The first is, don’t forget about the covered parking. I think it is missed by shoppers unfamiliar with the store and often there is much closer parking in the covered area than on the main parking lot. I also find it easier to navigate out of, as the garage exit discharges you directly to the parking lot exit nearest the highway. Because it is less crowded undercover it is typically … Continue reading →