The world can be divided in many millions of ways, but us humans are fans of the binary approach. You’re either in this camp… Or that one. No fence sitting please.
So for the purpose of today, you either love IKEA furniture (and the meatballs), or you hate that “Scandi furniture store”. You think that the democratisation of bookshelves and the opportunity to craft an infinite amount of looks for your home, from their simple selection of building blocks was a seminal moment in the history of interior design… Or you think they have single-handedly done more to destroy the value of design, cabinet making, and carpentry than any other giant blue box.
The truth is that the world isn’t binary, and that’s what’s great about it. Don’t put yourself into a pigeon-hole (or Expedit unit) that no one else is defining for you. IKEA is just another shop, and whether you go for the faithful recreation of a page from their catalogue for your home, or you pick and choose a few select items where you admire the designer’s clever approach to economical material use, there is a role for IKEA in interior design.
There’s also an underground movement that while passionate about the IKEA value and availability, wants to customise further, to literally use their items as building blocks and to create new pieces where they didn’t exist before. Welcome to the IKEA hackers.
IKEA hackers was a fairly popular site a few years back, containing pictures and how-to guides for creating your own furniture from IKEA products – it was fairly popular until IKEA lawyers decided to crack down on the copyright infringement, and got a little heavy handed with the cease and desist letters. At that point it got hugely popular, and the Malaysian blog-owner suddenly got nicer letters from the IKEA marketing department who suddenly realised they may have missed a trick here with the fan site designed to help you sell more products (and potentially get more ideas for product lines). They then invited her to Sweden and the rest is history.
Now it is a thriving fan site with tips, hints, and hacks for you to build your own furniture, interiors, and random products from the blue and yellow, well-lit, catalogue of dreams.
Have a look at Jules’ site* at www.ikeahackers.net
*not actually her name – she named herself after the IKEA Jules chair!