Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year from New York!

I for one am very happy to leave 2007 behind and start fresh in 2008. I'll be back tomorrow with resolutions and inspirations. Until then, Happy New Year!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

and so we've come to the end...

... of 2007. and that can only mean one thing ... it's the time to vote for the ikea hack of the year! woo!

i must admit that i've had a really hard time this year choosing only 10 finalists, since i have a lot more to pick from than last year. so, after a very delightful walk down the last 12 months, i present to you - not 10 - but 20 of my favourite hacks of 2007.

kai's sleek stolmen desk

simple, clean lines. makes good use of the stolmen poles to suspend the desk.

zach's tabletop guitar
by far the most bizzare hack i've received to date. a guitar made out of ikea dining table wood. some reviewers say zach's guitars sound pretty darn good too.

jerker desk cable management
a smart solution that hides everything under the jerker. as a neat freak, i love how every component has its place.

bamboo dish clock
once a dish. now a good looking clock.

splatgirl's stylish bathroom hacks
splatgirl's bathroom is hack heaven. lots of clever hacks, beautifully done.

malmese twins tv unit
neat, compact tv solution from malm bedside tables. the floating effect really works for me.

sink bowl hack
bowl sinks cost a bomb - this one is on a budget and looks just as good.

sectional sleeper from footstools
looks like a sofa but it's put together from daybeds and footstools. flip the footstools and they become storage too.

bookcase secret door passageway
how can i possibly say no to secret doorways?

tertial chandelier
lamp or mutant spider? love the weirdness.

lazymonster's grundtal laptop stand
a paper towel holder hack that makes your mac look like a masterpiece.

big capacity laundry bin
useful and good looking. what more can i ask for in a laundry bin?

minimalist desk
drool worthy desk that slides in to reveal a keyboard. ooh la la.

modern baby crib
a simple touch changed a jail cell to a totally cool crib.

sara's roll away cat litter box
2 snack boxes makes one amazing cat litter.

sofa table from salvaged legs
for a low sofa table, this works big time. bamboo wood combined with imfors legs.

pronomen bath tub surround
the pronomen countertop is fast becoming one of my favourite 'raw' materials. it works beautifully in this bathroom.

buffalo bill wardrobe room divider
the jury is still out on this. is this a just a gorgeous paint job or a great hack?

bedside beauty table
i love vintage posters and the noresund bedside table is the perfect showcase.

turtle terrarium from tv unit
far out! never thought i would be watching turtles instead of tv on this media unit.

which hack will you vote as the ikea hack of 2007? get clicky clicky.

update: voting is now closed for this poll.
marcus's turtle terrarium takes top spot with 16% votes (15 Jan 2008)!

you may also want to revisit last year's top 10 and winner.

cheers and happy new year!

2007 from the rear view mirror

2007 is the first full year for ikeahacker and what a ride it has been. some good, some misses. like many bloggers, i did come to a point where i wondered where to take this blog and whether i should even be continuing with it. but here i am at the end of 2007 and feeling pretty upbeat about 2008. i know i wouldn't have made it to 490 posts (including one last post today on 2007's top hacks) without your readership, hacks and comments. thanks, all of you.

i also want to thank other larger communities like the instructables ikeahacks group, ikeafans and liferemix, for inviting ikeahacker to join their fold. blogging can be lonely and it was wonderful finding kindred spirits.

a special thanks to bemz for sponsoring our contest. i learnt a lot running that contest and will definitely cook up an exciting one for 2008.

another good thing is how ikeahacking is gaining popularity and press coverage. getting some ink on the new york times, german paper, spiegel and many others were some of the best moments of 2007. but big boys aside, it is really you who read ikeahacker, blogged about it, told your friends and linked to it that made all the difference. thank you thank you thank you.

i will be taking tomorrow off. will be back on the 2nd with a fabulous hack to kick off 2008. you too, have a wonderful start to your new year.

jules, signing out.

Ready for Take Off

I'm traveling back to New York today and not a minute too soon. Remind me next year that seven days with my family is about four days too long ;-) and check back tomorrow with some fun New Year's related posts.

a new bathroom for a new year

melissa is a visual merchandiser at ikea, east palo alto and does a great job with her bathroom remodel.

"this is how i took my parents' outdated 60's mint and cantaloupe bathroom into the present and made it relaxing, all on a budget.

bathroom decorbathroom decorbefore
i decided to use kitchen cabinets because of a number of reasons including the fact that there are so many more door styles and cabinet layouts plus my family is tall so the added height so we didn't have to bend over so far to wash our faces in the sink.

a few extra touches to make the akurum cabinets work perfectly: cut about 2" off the back half of the sink area cabinets to have a shallower, bathroom cabinet depth; cut a hole out of the right, bottom side of the tall cabinet and put it on hinges so the motor to the spa tub could be accessed if needed. the tall cabinet was the perfect solution to the lack of towel storage elsewhere in the house.

bathroom decorbathroom decorbathroom decorafter

we made it look built-in by building a sheet rocked frame all the way around it. the large drawers were also perfect for a bathroom laundry basket since my brother could never seem to get them back to his room. the korrekt handles were perfect too so that i wouldn't be jabbing myself in the leg if i needed to lean closer to the mirror and the burken jars were the perfect size to hold my Q-Tips and cottonballs."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

stencil your slipcovers for a fresh new look

when you want a fancy slipcover but can't afford a bemz, why not try stenciling it yourself? villain did just that.

villain writes, "i just moved into a loft in boston and refurbished my old klippan sofa along with a tullsta chair. inspired by bemz slipcovers (way too expensive for a couple of grad students, sadly!), i went to work using a stencil and jacquard fabric paint.

i actually just used the $20 cream slipcover from ikea! as for the stencils, i got them at (lame i know, but stencils can be hard to find!) and used a large stencil brush with jacquard fabric paint from dickblick.

i put the slipcover on the sofa and painted in a circular motion, from the outside to the inside. i varied the amount of paint to create images that were either more substantial or more shadowy. the fabric paint should be heat set, so i ironed the slipcover on the reverse and then scotchguarded the dickens out of it just to be safe.

the chair is not really 'iron-able' (save the cushions) so it got a heavy scotchguard treatment too. pretty simple, really. i also sewed a few throw/floor pillows, and now everything is starting to come together!"

see more on villain's blog.

Friday, December 28, 2007

a kickass litterbox cabinet

deanna made a litterbox cabinet for about $80. best thing is, no one needs to know that it is a litterbox.

cat litterboxhidden cat litterboxcat litterbox
you'll need:
1 akurum base cabinet with 2 arlig doors
a pair of shelves
4 tryggve shelves

"this is a really easy cabinet that requires no cutting tools (except a box cutter!)

i assembled the cabinet like normal except i cut the bottom third of the backboard off (use a box cutter and one of the shelves as a guide). i then pre-drilled some holes and then screwed the tryggve shelves in place. they lie flush with the front and sides, and overhang a good 6" off the back. this hides the fact that the cabinet is 6" from the wall.

i've seen many people cut holes in the side of the cabinet, but i don't have tools to do that. plus, if the entrance to the cabinet was on the side, the litter would still get tracked on the carpet. with the entrance at the back, any litter tracked on the carpet is behind the cabinet.

diy cat litterboxcat litterboxso far it works great. even with only half of the backing and cheap shelves for the top, the unit is very solid and stable. i am going to stain the wood and possibly paint a design on the melamine. right now i have a half of a bamboo roll-up blind serving as a place mat."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Winter in Stockholm

I'm away for Christmas now but I thought you might enjoy my photos from my winter trip to Stockholm, Sweden two years ago. Stockholm in winter was certainly not at the top of my travel wish list but I'm glad I went. It was really pretty and everyone was so nice. I also think it's fun to travel to Europe near the holidays since they always have great holiday markets and decorations like the Christmas tree in the harbor above.

The first day we arrived, there was a huge snowstorm so the entire city was blanketed in snow and had had a picture postcard beauty. It was also really cold and unlike New York, where the snow is immediately shoveled away, the snow in Stockholm just keeps piling up and all they do is throw some sand down for traction. If you plan to visit Sweden in the winter, definitely pack some practical footwear and warm clothes!

On the island of Gamla Stan, or Old Town, the cobblestone streets snake up and down the hills. On the main street, are the tourist shops but if you walk up the hill, you will find charming little shops and cafes...that is if you don't fall first!

The cafe in the square on Gamla Stan was decorated with greenery for the holidays.

The interior of another cafe was decorated in a traditional Swedish style. I love the pale blue woodwork and wallpaper. Many homes and business also display candles in their windows as well as lighted stars.

On Gamla Stan, there was a shop that had this funny little monkey on display in the window, which we thought was amusing. I wish I had taken a photo of the cute little antique shop across the street where we bought vintage Christmas ornaments and traditional Swedish Dala wood horse and roosters. I bought a lovely vintage rooster for about $20 USD which I actually thought was a bargain until my parent's presented me with two very similar vintage Swedish roosters that they bought at a flea market in Pennsylvania for $5 for the pair. Oh well.

I love this photo of the entrance above where they used natural greenery and berries as holiday decorations. Sweden is known for it's design and has a whole area of the city full of design shops. Most unfortunately were closed when I was there but they are definitely worth checking out if you ever happen to visit Stockholm.

The old buildings on the square were all very charming and painted in various shades of yellows and reds. The focal point was the large fountain and the Christmas tree in the center of the square.

We stayed at the popular Rival Hotel which is owned by a member of ABBA and overlooks a beautiful park Mariatorget that is referred to as the Soho area of Stockholm. The area has very cute shops and restaurants and the subway was close and very easy to navigate. The rooms were very well decorated and had very comfortable beds with fluffy white duvets. Each room has an interesting blown up photograph printed on canvas above the bed. An idea worth stealing for your own home.
On New Year's day, we took a very cold boat ride along the archipelago. Not exactly the kind of thing you want to do when you are hung over and tired after a night out at Riche, the cool Stockholm restaurant/club, but it was worth it. It was great to see the city from the water including the monastery above.
It's funny how some of the photos look like they were taken in black and white because it was so snowy and grey. We sat outside for as long as we could stand it so I missed taking photos of the trip back and side the island where all the mansions were located, including those of former ABBA members. In Stockholm, they take ABBA very seriously! They also all take long walks along the water on Sundays even on the coldest and snowiest days.

I think I would like to take another trip to Stockholm when it's summer and the sun shines all day and night instead of the dark and snowy winter but I guess I'd rather go somewhere cold than no where at all. Vi ses sénare Stockholm!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

make an ivar trellis

a quick post before i head down south for a few days of r&r with family. also wanted to take the chance to wish you merry christmas and happy holidays. i hope you have a wonderful time filled with peace and joy.


this one is from anna who used some pieces from the ivar shelving system to make a trellis for her balcony. bamboo sticks tied to the ivar units complete the set-up.

wooden diy trelliswooden diy trellisanna says, "it worked out really nice once the flowers grew and climbed up the trellis. and now it provides shade from the sun and makes for a cozy spot... i am so very happy with my hack!"

Monday, December 24, 2007

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light.
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us,
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa Baby

I couldn't resist posting this song since it's probably what most people think I would ask for this Christmas. But the two things I really want can't be bought in a store. Although, I did see a lovely Chanel handbag that I wouldn't mind unwrapping.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

glamorized isig christmas ornaments

one more holiday hack before the big day hits us.

grace glams up the ikea isig ball ornaments with some glue and glitter. she also does the same with vintage ornaments.

see more christmas ornaments.