IKEA hacking seems to be the accepted phrase to represent a modification or repurposing of an Ikea item, according to Jules Yap, the founder of IKEAhackers.net.
Her creative ideas in repurposing Ikea furniture and other items have gained traction on her website and she shared some of those ideas at a talk titled “Fab Hacks for your Ikea” at this month’s StarLIVE event in Menara Star in Petaling Jaya.
About 50 participants attended the event which saw Yap, whose full name is Yap Mei Mei, and two friends Tan Siaw Chia and Kevin Lau, demonstrate two Ikea hacks involving turning a stool into a side table and wine glasses into snow globe candle stands.
Before she started her demonstration, Yap provided an engaging and interactive dialogue with the audience, beginning with different ways to pronounce I-K-E-A and how she started as a blogger.
“How do you pronounce I-K-E-A the Swedish way? I’ve been to Sweden and have the definitive answer. It’s ee-kay-uh. Say it with me. EE KAY UH. Now turn to the person next to you and say “I hack EE KAY UH!” she jested.
“Americans like to speak their own language and they say ‘I-kay-Uh’. We Malaysians have our own style too — how do we say it? ‘Ee kia’,” she said.
Before Yap became a full-time blogger, she spent more than 10 years in advertising. Besides home decorating, she also likes marketing and branding, so Ikea to her, besides their actual products, is a very interesting brand.
“It is quirky and pokes fun at itself.”
IKEAhackers.net, which was launched in 2006, features ideas for modifying and repurposing Ikea products, submitted by various Ikea “hacks” worldwide.
This initiative has turned into a full-time job for Yap, who resigned as a copywriter two years ago to fully focus on managing the site.
Despite being threatened with a lawsuit from Ikea over trademark violation in March, Yap has since ironed out the issue and is now working with the Swedish furniture giant on possible future collaborations.
“Till today, I have a hard time explaining the term ‘hacking’ to people I meet. In short, Ikea hacking is a modification or repurposing of an Ikea item.
“Back in 2006, I was looking for ways to furnish and spent a lot of time on home decorating sites and I spotted an Ikea hack — a guy named Vince had used the sliding doors of a Pax wardrobe and Stolmen poles and turned them into a sliding door room divider.
“For the first time, I saw possibilities. Ikea is like Lego for grown ups. You get to mix and match doors and knobs, legs and handles,” explained Yap.
To-date, she has collected more than 5,000 hacks from all over the world. The site gets over 800,000 visitors a month and in the last eight years, more than 32 million people have visited IKEAHackers.
But why hack? Yap sums it up in three words — personalisation, affordability and fun. Her advice to anyone who wants to try an Ikea hack is to start with the end idea; research your solution; brush up on your technique and plan your hack.
“I like Ikea furniture and the hack ideas on Yap’s website are truly insightful,” said Yee Shiang, one of the attendees.
Rosalind Wong commended Yap for her creativity.
“It’s good to know that there are so many ideas to play around with to make something out of your Ikea products,” she said.
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