Wednesday, 31 January 2007

kitchen units turn home office

i've always thought that the ikea kitchen system could double as a home office system too. jennifer proves it for me here with the leksvik kitchen units (can't locate it on ikea's website). (update: jennifer wrote me on an error - it isn't the leksvik but the liljestad kitchen system.)

"we've used them to create an office area at the end of our dining room. we added a worktop from another store as ikea didn't have one in the right colour. the trick with the base units is to attach the blocks but not the legs - if you put the legs / plinth on too then they become too tall. the blocks alone ensures the doors can open easily (clear of floor) and the worktop is the right height for a desk. we do still need to add a strip of moulding along the front to hide the downlighters, it must be said."

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

just2cool's jer-la-pita

so, the furniture is hacked. it's only fitting that it gets a new name too. just2cool posted a modified jerker table with a lack shelf propped up by capita legs. hence 'jer-la-pita', coined from the jerker, lack and capita.

"when i entered my junior year in college, i decided that i wanted a nice desk for my apartment - a lot of depth and width, but i wanted to keep the cost down as well. so, i originally looked at the jerker that came with a shelf, but felt that it wasn't wide enough for my liking. then, i looked at the table-style jerker, but i didn't like the fact that it didn't have a shelf for the monitor.

so, after spending some time at ikea looking at all kinds of crap, i noticed a nice shelf (lack) that was a tad bit bigger than the table jerker's width. then, i saw 2 slanted aluminum legs (capita - couldn't find the link to the slanted ones) that i felt would be sufficient to hold it up. and after drilling a few holes, the rest is history." link.

neat. i think it goes really well with the set-up.

Monday, 29 January 2007

how to put up a floating lack shelf

lisa who previously submitted this hack, sent me a link to her "how-to-install-a-floating-lack-shelf" instructions. it's not a hack, but i've decided to post it because it's just so useful.

"i bought the ikea lack shelf a few years ago and i was freaked when the box didn't come with the shelf hardware. i had no idea what to use to put it up securely. a search on the internet had not helped, there were loads of horror stories of shelves crashing in the middle of the night and precious belongings being ruined. so when i finally did take on the task, i decided i was going to document it so i could help someone else. here is that post on my blog, feel free to use it if you think it can help your readers."

thanks, lisa.

Friday, 26 January 2007

quick and easy toy storage solution

kdzic emailed this toy storage idea. not really a hack but useful if you're looking for new ways to organise your child's collection.

take the $79.99 expedit bookcase and turn it on its side. pick up some industrial parts sorting bins from (items 53114 and 53115) and slot them into the shelves. 20 minutes work and no more toys sprawled out on the living room floor.

and the expedit is turning out to be highly hackable.

Thursday, 25 January 2007

expedit goes retro

here's yvonne's second hack - an expedit pimp.

"i use it to file all my favorite magazine's back issues. i pinned retro kitchen wallpaper to the back of the bookcase to give it a fun backdrop."

retro rules!

don't forget to check out yvestown. she even makes detergent look great and cleaning fun. link.

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

woo! a cath kidston skruvsta chair

yvonne from netherlands, who runs the amazing yvestown blog sent me two hacks. and they are GORGEOUS, major gorgeous.

the first is the skruvsta swivel chair, which has a nice shape but hardly inspiring fabric. with yvonne, it didn't stay that way.

she writes, "it's in cath kidston fabric. this way it suits my interior. the red fabric of the original chair is still under it so i can have it both ways. the slipcover is machine washable. so, great for pets and kids.

i made two covers, one in a cheap plain white sheet fabric to fit, pulled it apart and cut the flowery fabric using the white fabric pattern i made. then i stitched the white fabric and the flowery fabric together (to protect the red of the chair shining through the new cover) and that's it. i can wash it, make another cover for when i get sick of the flowers and it's matching my interior." link.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

painting the norrebo a shade darker?

"i'm debating buying a norrebo shelving unit - i love the style, but the pale wood is going to clash horribly with the rest of my (dark, funky, Victorian) decor. i'm wondering whether i could either paint it right over the surface (veneer?) or sand it down and stain it darker. has anyone tried either of these things? thanks. - sarah

i think the norrebo is solid birch with clear lacquer. you could sand it down to strip off the lacquer and then stain it with a dark glaze, such as the behandla glazing paint. i've never tried it but it should work.

any other ideas?

Monday, 22 January 2007

marker proof your kid's table

this is such a great hack from sara. it reminds me of those good old days when we were kids. we'd draw on walls, on chairs - on every blank surface we could find. used to drive mom crazy till she and dad created an "art contest" for us kids, with a sparkly pencil and pen set (yeah, kids were easy to please then) up for grabs. catch is, only art on paper. it was a close fight, but i'm proud to say i won. and we never drew on walls again.

okay. enough chatter. this is what sara did for her boy.

"here is a svala children's table i hacked for my son - i didn't have the time to paint or stain it as i was heavily pregnant, but was driven crazy by the marker stains he was leaving all over it (and the fact I like things decorative).

my solution was to cover a sheet of white paper in pictures of his favourite things - cars - and then give the back of the paper a light spray of adhesive and place it it on the table top. then i placed a piece of perspex (AUD$20) over the top - rounded corners for safety and screwed it on. the screws are counter sunk 2.5cm in from each corner - countersinking helps with cleaning and seems a bit more professional and 2.5cm places the screws in the centre of the legs so the table top won't crack. now it looks cool (he especially likes the crashing stock cars), hides dirt and is easy to clean!"

update: lol! my sister wrote and told me that i didn't win the art competition. i took 2nd spot. and my other sister won $5 for her effort, not a pen & pencil set, which i did win for scoring the best grades in my exams! haha. well, so much for my memories.

Friday, 19 January 2007

storm mood lamp

mood lamps back in rage? here's another, not unlike this one. tobias converted an ikea storm floor lamp using the powerRGB circuit and the tiny RGB firmware.

i don't quite understand the wires and circuits but it looks simple enough. click here for pictorial instructions.

related hack:
> another mood lamp

Thursday, 18 January 2007

light up with this room divider

coralie wrote me some time ago and told me about her ikea dunker project and i've been waiting to see the end product ever since.

the dunker is this big flat lamp with a fabric shade, which does double duty as a room divider of sorts. at first glance, it ain't much but should you give it some love, the dunker can turn into a quite a looker. (interestingly, you can connect up to 3 dunkers to form a large divider, with a light dimmer when you need to turn down the mood.)

coralie wrote, "i bought this lamp, the dunker, from ikea and quite liked it, except for the fact that it was rather plain and looked kind of stark white sitting there next to the couch ... so i covered it. i got the fabric, one of the annabella hemmed fabric range, also from ikea.

i used the same technique they used for the plain cover with the top piece shaped, then having it pulled tight underneath with velcro.

initially i was thinking i'd cover the whole thing, but when i draped the hemmed fabric over it as it was, just to see if it was going to work, i realised it looked quite nice with the sides being uncovered. the bonus was that it was much easier to make since there were no sides needed."

nice. a really nice touch.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

help! can't find karlanda 'add on unit'

"i purchased a karlanda couch and 'add on unit'. the couch came, the add on unit never did. after waiting for almost a year for my order to come in i was informed it would not ever, as it was discontinued.

so, now i have a couch and what i need is a sectional. also note, my couch is a slipcover, not leather. i have looked everywhere. perhaps readers of this site can help?" - darcie

not sure what you mean by a 'sectional' but i am assuming that it is kinda like an extra big footstool that you can place against your sofa to extend it. if it's discontinued, you may want to try craigslist or ebay for a used one. or perhaps try some of the other footstools such as the arild for size?

but i am more inclined to go without a 'sectional', since it would be difficult to find a perfect fit. how about adding an armchair if you require more seating or the ever popular poang plus footstool if you need to put your feet up. anyone else?

> view other hacker help questions

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

expedit grande

seena's furniture designer boyfriend, randall finally made her a bookcase after she threatened to "just rent a car and go to ikea herself!". anyhow, he still chose to start with the expedit as the base. it's hard to resist ikea some times, isn't it?

randall used, as he says, "some leftover 2" square mild steel tubing from a prior project and a bit more, cut and welded the base. the expedit is anchored to the wall, and brackets were welded to the frame below the bookcase, which allowed for screws into the expedit bookcase. the beauty of the thing is that the 2" tubing, is the same width as the frame of the expedit, and the black patina finish i used complements the dark brown finish of the expedit. so, in a sense, they look like they were made to be together."

not bad, for a bookcase put together in an incredible 4.5 hours. i like how the ceiling height is exploited. the extra height makes the bookcase delightfully grand and though i don't know how the rest of the room looks, i would think the bookcase makes a pretty strong focal point.

the 3 cubes are from bed bath & beyond (can't find the $99.00 version randall got, which are knock-offs from the ones at room & board).

check out randall's modern steel furniture designs too. am loving the benches.

Monday, 15 January 2007

the knappa floor lamp

more lamp hacks. this time, it's the knappa, which i think is quite a pretty pendant lamp. it all started when maya moved and couldn't find a spot for the flower like lamp. but as luck would have it, she did need an over-the-sofa light.

"so we combined it with the very cheap lersta floor lamp ($9.99). used its base and put the knappa shade on. it is a perfect fit! you can change the angle, and then the real beauty of the knappa comes out ... the different angles are pretty nice but there are only two stable angles (flower on top, and flower leaning down)."

a quick and easy switch between blooming and wilting moods. :)

comment moderation on off

urgh. i've been comment-spammed. which sucks big time. worst thing, i can't delete the offending comment using blogger's comment system.

this leaves me no choice but to switch on comment moderation. i've put that off because i didn't like the time delay between commenting and it appearing. but i guess i just have to before more shit spam happens.

so if you drop a comment, know that i'll try my best to get it cleared within a day.

update! silly me. so it is possible to delete comments on blogger. well, i learn something new everyday. so, i've put comments moderation off again. and if the spammies come near, i'm ready with my big delete button.

comment away, everyone!

- jules

Thursday, 11 January 2007

the tord coffee table edition

it is hard to believe that this chic looking slate top coffee table is hacked from a file cabinet. jason scavenged a tord file cabinet (which i'm not able to find on ikea's site) from the 'as-is' room for $9.99 and used the base as legs for the coffee table. he then cut a piece of plywood to fit the base and laid six 12" slate tiles (or any other stone of your choice) over the plywood.

classy and very effective hack, jason.
for his tord coffee table instructables, click here.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

ikea spotting!

hey, some mid-week eye candy. nicole [thanks!] did some ikea spotting and spied this on apartment therapy. pretty little space with nice use of the docksta table and gilbert chair. doesn't look like it cost less than $350, does it? and can anyone place that gorgeous media unit?

go here to see the flickr set.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

bonde lighting

if you need to light up your bonde bookcase, this hack will do it for you. aj used the trettionen interior lighting strips inside his bonde bookcase to shine a little light on his barware.

"i've recently put up some bonde cabinets and i did a minor hack: i drilled holes through the upper corners of each cube with a 1/2" bore bit and installed the trettionen lighting strips inside the 4-cube sections fronted by frosted glass/aluminium doors. it really makes the whole piece seems 'lighter', pun unintended. i then ran all the power cables to a series of adapters housed inside an older, low bonde cabinet, wiring access handled with a 3" hole saw."

lighting it right makes a huge difference, doesn't it? link.
see aj's flickr photoset for the interior life of designers pool.

Friday, 5 January 2007

some times it works better upside down

eric of modernself sent me this lovely hack on the alang table lamp, deftly modified into a pendant lamp. i must say it is simply perfect - the alang table lamp has a textured paper shade which is a gorgeous match to his room. and at $29.99 a lamp, it definitely delivers a lot of bang.

here's how he did it. "first you unscrew the base of the lamp and the little wing nut on the side. then you have to cut the electrical plug on the end, or you won't be able to get the wire out. but since you are going to hardwire this, it won't make a difference.

next you will need to remove whatever fixture in the ceiling that you will be replacing. but make sure you turn the breakers off first! when you remove the old fixture there should be a few wire nuts up there to use with your lamp. after you have removed your old lamp from the ceiling there will probably be a big nasty hole left behind, so you will want to cover that up with a Lamp Holder Cover. remember that for when you go to the hardware store, because they will know what it is.

i cut a hole in my lamp holder cover right in the middle to let the wires come out. because i needed two pendant lamps i used a wire cover cut to the right length to give them just enough separation. finally you need to tuck everything away so that it looks neat."

eric used 50W Reveal Spot bulbs to give a downward focused light which lends to the moody ambience. besides that, he also gained a nice byproduct from this hack - a set of classy tealight holders from the table lamps' base.

and i'm sure the fantastic geometric wall design caught your eye too, as it did mine. i almost couldn't believe that it was diy and not wallpaper. rub your eyes and look again for it is! check out how eric and friend painted the wall here.


Thursday, 4 January 2007

an eat-in wardrobe

don't know about you but i'm just as guilty as the kersteins when it comes to tv dinners. so, i'm keeping this great idea for when my pax wardrobe wears out.

"some years ago, we purchased two ikea stand-up pax armoires - one a double wide and one that was regular width to provide more storage space for clothes in our small apartment. they worked great. well, eventually it was time to move and the small, skinny unit held up just fine. unfortunately, physics was not kind to the wider unit and it broke during the move.

not the type of people to give up on something, we decided that we'd reuse the parts. and reuse them we did. soon after moving in, we realized there was a lack of comfortable eating space upstairs in our rumpus room. sure there was the couch with the coffee table, but eating while watching tv was a bit messy.

so we came up with this:
our answer to good old american-eating-while-watching-tv-goodness. the ultimate in entertainment hedonism. we have shelves on each side to hold dvds, videos, napkins, coasters and such. there's room for two chairs so we can sit and eat as well. it's perfectly placed behind the couch, so our mothers should be proud that we�re not sitting too close to the television.

some quick measurements, a circular saw with a wood blade, some brackets and wood screws-and we were good to go! the perfect life, or should i say, ikea hack." link.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

oak stained sideboard

happy new year!

here's a nice one, spotted on curbly to kick off 2007. a pair of akurum kitchen wall cabinets turned into an elegant sideboard. urbanmark wrapped two 30" ikea akurum wall cabinets in oak plywood cut at home depot and stained them dark brown. the cabinets are hung from the wall using the akurum suspension rail.

"i assembled the cabinets, hung them and then installed the doors (avsikt frosted doors). the only tricky part about that was that the doors normally install with the hinges on the bottom and lift up. for this installation you need to drill new holes and install the hinges on the bottom so the doors fold down. once that was complete i took the measurements to completely cover the white cabinet with 3/4 inch oak plywood that i had cut at home depot. i veneered the cut edges, stained it with a water-based custom dark brown stain, applied a couple coats of polyurethane and then glued the plywood on top and around the installed cabinets. i was quite happy with the results so i ended up making another set to hang above my desk in my office!"

great idea when you're bored with ikea's range of whites, birch and beech. also check out urbanmark's other hack, using the same idea to cover a pax wardrobe.

and if you're wondering, the painting is by toronto artist christian mcleod.


you may also be interested in:
> ted's terrific sideboard

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

i'm back

hello and happy 2007. hope you had a wonderful time with family and friends welcoming the new year.

just a quick note to say that i'm back. the break was great and i had an amazing time in bali. despite the hardship they've gone through, the balinese are a gracious, fun and artistic people. intricate patterns are on almost everything. what was very encouraging to see was new designers taking balinese art and motifs to the next level by giving them a contemporary twist. i'm excited to see stuff that will come out of this region in say, two to three years.

anyways, things are in topsy-turvy at the moment at work. loads of email to sort out and work to catch up on. which i am slowly but surely ploughing through.

i've received some great hacks over the holidays. thanks, everyone who sent in a hack. i've not had the chance to reply your mails but i'll get on to them soon. as soon as i come up for a breather.

hope to start posting new hacks tomorrow.