Life Hacks: IKEA Hacks

What started off with a young man re-selling furniture in a small Swedish town has grown into a global, multibillion-dollar business.

We’re talking about IKEA. The do-it-yourself, lots-of-assembly-required, minimally-packaged furniture store has established its presence in many homes across the world, and quite prominently in lots of TV shows and movies. Study the catolog long enough and you’ll see your favorite IKEA items show up on screen.

But there are some people who are taking the culture of IKEA and fitting it to their own needs. Sure, IKEA furniture and home decor is generally inexpensive, and it comes with pretty comprehensive instructions.

But some folks throw the rule books out the window and turn these mass-produced items into something more unique.

Hack the Lack

The square, four-legged coffee tables are one of the most popular IKEA home items. They’re also really simple to put together: just twist the legs onto the bottom.

How could anyone possibly hack something that straightforward? Watch and learn, young grasshopper. Buy two different-colored Lack tables (they’re only $9.99 each). Take the two tops and decide which one you want on top and which on the bottom.

Then take two legs of each color and arrange them on opposite corners. Screw them into the top and then stand it up on the “bottom shelf.” Voila! … a two-toned coffee table with a bottom shelf.

Of course, there are almost unlimited ways to hack these simple tables, so chuck out the instructions and have at it!

Store those toys

IKEA is all about making your life easier and more organized. Their kids’ stuff is awesome, but sometimes it’s the stuff not designed for kids’ rooms that make a lot of sense too.

Got a lot of toy cars? Build a “parking lot” on the wall with the magnetic knife strips for the kitchen. Cars not metal? Just hot glue a small magnet to the underside of the car.

Got a kid who loves to color? Markers and pencils and crayons, oh my? IKEA has wall racks with attachable pots to put plants in. These are great for putting on the wall in kids’ room and helping them organize their coloring utensils.


Everyone needs a space to put their favorite quotes, their notes to self, their to-do lists, bills, take-this-with-you, don’t-forget-your-lunch, etc.

IKEA’s got lots of notice boards. Some are made of cork, some are magnetic, but they can all be made to look more appealing. Cover them with fabric using a staple gun, washi tape them, or glue pennies to them.

Every home is different, and every person is unique. IKEA is a great way to get furniture that’s cheap and will help decorate your home. But think of their products more as a guideline, and add your own spunk to it.

Drew Hendricks is a professional business and startup blogger that writes for a variety of sites including The Huffington Post, Forbes and Technorati. Drew has worked at a variety of different startups as well as large advertising agencies.