Ikea is basically the Walmart of Sweden; I’m reading the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo right now, so I’m probably spot on with my cultural relativism today. I was perusing around the Interwebs and discovered Ikea Hackers, a wonderful Ikea hacking blog that shows you how to build practically anything you like from random Ikea parts.
Ikea is still relatively new in some areas of the U.S. (we only recently got a store in Charlotte, North Carolina). For those not in the know, Ikea is known for its modern, Swedish design and incredibly low prices. I love anything modern in terms of design, and I especially love it if it’s cheap. Now, just like Walmart, you can certainly buy something at Ikea that’s just poor quality; there’s always a difference between inexpensive and cheap.
One thing I love about Ikea is that, in addition to selling furniture and home items, the company sells random parts and components to construct your own whatever-you-want. Feel like making a desk and don’t like the ones they offer? Design your own and put it together. Obviously for most folks, including myself, that’s a task easier said than done; I don’t know a model car that I’ve ever successfully put together in my entire life.
Ikea Hackers: The Ultimate Ikea Hack Blog
That’s where Ikea Hackers comes in. This site is filled with little Ikea projects that are constructed from, well, other Ikea parts. There are a ton of different projects to tackle from flush mounting an iPad to your kitchen cabinets for looking up recipes to creating your own expandable industrial light for night time reading. There are also tons of non-technology focused projects like crochet seashell lamps or even a baby crib.
By far, however, Ikea Hacker’s best projects are the desks, which are pretty much the end all be all for productivity nerds like myself. One of my favorites is the LED DeskLights project, that uses a series of LED to alert you when you receive an e-mail or telephone call (see the video at the end of the post). Probably would score around a zero for productivity but a 10 for looking amazing.
The other good thing about hacking together your own Ikea setup is that it’s often incredibly cheap. Most of the projects seem to cost less than $100, which is way less than you’d pay for any store bought desk.