Last weekend myself and my other half went on an ‘Ikea Safari’ – you know the drill, you go through the whole store, gazing at all the beautiful things you could put in your dream house, go to the restaurant, eat some meat (or now: veggie) balls and come away without a single piece of furniture.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Whilst we were weaving our way through the carefully pre-ordained routes decreed by the Ikea Gods, I was scribbling madly with my Ikea pencil, taking notes (my OH was incredibly patient with me) of dozens of products I wasn’t going to buy.
Well, that’s not entirely true – no doubt I will end up buying some of these things for the Tiny House – but there was something more here than simply a shopping list.
I was really shopping for ideas.
I am planning to try to create most of my furniture, taking the best bits from here and there to create something perfect for me.
Some might consider this a little cheeky, but a) it’s not like creating a single piece of fake Ikea (or ‘Faikea’ if you will) furniture would ever endanger the income of the Swedish giant and b) Ikea and its ilk are ALWAYS stealing ideas from Etsy and other craft planforms and turning them into mass-produced objects. I’m just reversing this particular channel.
Anyway, despite the many criticisms one could level at Ikea, I still love it, and admit that there are far smarter people than me working in their design teams.
So I present to you my top 5 ikea ideas (can be go with ‘Ikea-deas’? Too much? Ok.) so far..
NB: I’d like to point out firstly that I am aware that there will be other companies who have come up with the things I am describing here, I am referring to them as ‘ideas from Ikea’ purely because I encountered them there or was inspired by them only after seeing them there, and secondly that I am not receiving any kind of sponsorship, marketing deal, bribe, threat or blackmail from Ikea to write this blog, and if ever I do I will amend this post to let you know. I have included prices and links just in case you wanted to buy these things but trust me, I ain’t making a penny off Ikea for this!
1. Knotten Standing Desk – £115
I am a very restless person – I spend most of my at home standing up or walking around – I don’t actually find sitting down for long periods very relaxing, I like to be doing something.
Also, have ended up, almost by accident, doing a lot of my writing standing up. I’m standing in my kitchen as I write this .
With my sewing table (read all about that on this blog entry) and front room table consistently occupied with Christmas and or Bunny stuff these past weeks, I’ve found it far more efficient to bring my tablet and keyboard to the kitchen surface and use that instead.
So, I was ready for the idea of a standing desk, rather than a traditional one.
Also, if you commit to the standing desk paradigm (look, I can use smart words! That dictionary for Christmas was a good present after all) there is no need for an extra chair, thus saving floor space – always a bonus in a Tiny House!
The Knotten desk caught my eye because it is one of the first commercial standing desks I’ve seen – that is to say, specifically standing, rather than adjustable – and because it is very functional, with a space for charging your phone, a little draw, hooks on the side etc.
Still, I think there are definitely tweaks I would make if I were to design on from scratch, to make it ideal for my personal requirements.
Knotten Desk – Images © IKEA 2018
2. Tjusig Shoe Bench – £65
This is a very simple but elegant example of dual purpose furniture – I’m sure many other companies have done it (see note above) but this was the first time it really caught my eye.
It works so well – a place to sit down while you take off your shoes, and then somewhere to put them when you have! Boom!
I doubt this particular design would ever make it to my house though – any shoes that low the ground would definitely been nibbling targets for the bunnies!
Tjusig Shoe Bench – Image © IKEA 2018
3. Skadis Peg Board – £8/10 (plus accessories)
I mentioned on the last blog that I wanted somewhere to have information displayed o it was always to hand – to be honest pegboards were a bit of an unknown to me, I chucked them onto my list because I‘d seen some on Pinterest but I didn’t really know what use they might be.
As always, the genius of Ikea – both in terms of design and in terms of making sweet, sweet money – is not to create a single product but an interlinking, integrated series of products which work with each other. Their Skadis pegboard, unremarkable in itself, comes with a bundle of other stuff which fits into it…or rather, it doesn’t, because you will have to buy those separately. Ka-ching! Anyway, the product really make me reassess the functionality of the pegboard and its potential as both for display and storage.
Skadis Pegboard Combination – Image © IKEA 2018
4. Eket Squares (Various)
Ikea wants you to buy into the Ikea lifestyle, and this is nowhere more evident than in their ‘system’ furniture – pieces designed to be put together to create an overall look.
We have Kallax (the more familiar square shelves), Hemnes (a classic) and Svalnas (bamboo and steel), not to mention many others both current and passed into the mass furniture grave of discontinued products.
I’ve never been particularly interested in them for several reasons – I have never owned a house, so this kind of large scale stuff took a back-seat to move moveable furniture, secondly because the designs themselves fell a bit flat for me, and thirdly because I want something unique – I’m not playing Ikea’s game! Well, I am, but only on my terms. I think.
Eket Cabinet Combination – Image © IKEA 2018
But on this most recent visit, the Eket system definitely stood out for me.
The modular, minimalist design of squares and rectangles feels like it like it has the same infinite potential as lego. This has made me seriously consider having a ‘system’ of my own based on a standard width/length of box or drawer which can be reused for several projects.
Best of all – they have spring-bolts – I am a sucker for these: you just push in the door/drawer and it springs open. No handles, no nothing – oooooh space age!
5. Ypperlig Sofa Bed – £550
I mentioned in a couple of previous blogs (here and here) that I wanted to have a sofa bed – the thing I really like about the Ypperlig design (apart from its impossible-to-pronounce name) is its elegance – most sofa-beds are fairly ugly and bulky, not comfortable as sofas (often without hand rests and sloping back to offer minimal neck support) and clunky and lacklustre as beds. This has a real sophistication to it and justifies its high price tag…not that someone like me could afford that, oh dear me no.
Ypperlig Sofa Bed – Image © IKEA 2018
Okay ere’body, that’s my Ikea thoughts for y’all – I hope it inspires you to make your own Ikea safari trip and either buy or adapt and re-make (like the folks over at IkeaHackers) what you find!
Thanks for reading and all the very best,