I ♥ Ikea

The most distinctive thing about ikea, besides the fact that they sell fairly-inexpensive products, is that most people modify their products to better suit their needs.

And who doesn’t?

Before they became the gigantic corporation, best-known for funny TV ads, Swedish meatballs and enormous stores, the Swedish manufacturer was known throughout Scandinavia for crummy, cheap furniture. They’ve come a long way.

The most distinctive thing about Ikea, besides the fact that they sell fairly-inexpensive products, is that most people modify their products to better suit their needs.

Like this kitchen cart that we stained and weather-proofed and is now in our BBQ area. On the table one of their lanterns. I love lanterns. A full decade before Ikea opened a store in Santo Domingo (the first in Latin America), I was already trailing their famous footpaths and dragging back home knickknacks that I carried across the Atlantic.

The most distinctive thing about ikea, besides the fact that they sell fairly-inexpensive products, is that most people modify their products to better suit their needs.

For an Industrial Designer, Ikea is truly a study case, and a mixed bag: one can love and hate their products with equal passion. These are some of the Ikea products in our home.

A lot of people take their products where Ikea didn’t intend and turn them into something else entirely. It’s easy when the products are so inexpensive. There are many online communities dedicated to showcasing what people do with Ikea products, the most popular by far is Ikea Hacker (my blog has been featured twice, the first was this Ikea runner I made using the cheapest Ikea rugs).

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

In our living room (which we almost never use), the cheapest Ikea sofa, and on the table some more lanterns I bought at Ikea Santo Domingo.

The blue candles I brought from Ikea in Copenhagen years ago. They sell these huge packs that Scandinavians probably use in one week, but in our case they have lasted for years.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

And in our entry, another runner made with Ikea rugs.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

Little Mango’s bedroom, the chest of drawers (another Ikea modification featured on Ikea Hacker.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

Also in her room a Billy bookcase, lined with some pretty fabric.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

In my sewing room, a closet full of the cheapest Ikea shelves, a toy trunk and two Rast chest of drawers which I stained and waxed.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

In one of the shelves some Ikea storage boxes, which I covered with paper that imitates embroidered fabric, serve to store some of my sewing paraphernalia.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

In our kitchen the faded rug has been going from place to place with us. It’s something I bought on my first trip to an Ikea in Europe. On top of the cabinets some boxes bought in an Ikea store in the USA.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

And I covered a side of our fridge with Ikea spice containers (they hold with a magnet). I bought these online.

A lot of people take their products where ikea didn't intend and turn them into something else entirely. It's easy when the products are so inexpensive.

We were driving through Germany when we came across this Ikea outside Hamburg, I almost convinced my husband to stop our rental car there, drag the stuff we’d buy across Germany, then all the way to Belgium (our next destination), and back to Denmark, then on a plane to PuntaCana.

What is it with Ikea that makes us want to shop, even when our best senses tell us that the idea is just crazy? And I don’t even eat meatballs!

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3 Comments

  1. ROLLERWRITER says:

    I love Ikea. Years ago I bought an Ikea decorating book on clearance form Borders. At the time I had no idea what Ikea was. A few years later, after spending all that time hankering to go Ikea shopping, on vacation in Montreal, we saw Ikea. I shopped, cramming the car so full my son had to be smooshed in and dragged the stuff back to Indiana. My love for Ikea still stands. Love how you've jazzed up your stuff!

  2. Lana Mango says:

    Some of our Ikea stuff is very old, and they are still holding up well. Of course a lot of it stands little abuse, but a reasonably careful person will have no problems with most of their products.

  3. I'm a huge Ikea fan too. You're so right about it being great to modify & unlike other places, despite the cheap prices the stuff really holds up! I love what you've done – especially the paper covered boxes & stained toy box – they look so fancy:)

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