image via The Denver Post
In the past, we've blogged about major news outlets covering IKEA hacking because it is exciting to see our collective labor of DIY love gaining traction in the mainstream media. Saturday, The Denver Post Home section became the latest in a line of papers to put pen to pad regarding the hacker movement:
It was a simple problem: The basement studio in Nikki Kelly's south Denver home needed a stylish cabinet to replace a cardboard shelving system. Rather desperately.
The studio is home base for her crafting adventures — and for ideas that become the room-by-room, sweat-equity remodeling projects she and boyfriend Matt Jones are doing at their house. Their trials, tribulations and before-and-after photos are all chronicled on her blog, The Ambitious Procrastinator (theambitiousprocrastinator.com). They're doing it all: floors, walls, shelves, exterior paint.
And Ikea hacking. Which is a slightly criminal-sounding term for the innocent practice of buying something from the iconic Swedish superstore, taking it home and making it indisputably your own.
"Essentially, an Ikea hack is a modification or repurposing of an Ikea product," says Mei Mei "Jules" Yap, founder of ikeahackers.net. "In its own little way, it breaks into the Ikea code of furniture assembly and repurposes, challenges and creates a new use, or look or dimension, for the item."
"On a personal level, I love it," said Annie Boeckman, local marketing and public relations manager for Ikea Centennial. But she echoed Yap's concerns about safety and structural integrity.
"From a corporate standpoint, we don't actually use the term 'Ikea hacking,' " Boeckman said. "When it comes to our quality and durability image, we know how our products work when they're used in the way we built them."
Still, the possibility of customization is a selling point for many of the Sweden-based retailer's products.
Ikea Centennial's showroom displays a Tarva chest of drawers in its natural, unfinished pine state alongside two uniquely decorated versions. A small sign reminds customers that the product can be "painted or stained to create your own personal style expression."
Boeckman even coordinated an in-store seminar that offered ideas on how to creatively repurpose IKEA products' cardboard packaging.