That’s what I was thinking when I read these two pieces:
IKEA, for a large part, is DIY furniture. But for many reasons, there is a limited range of furniture pieces to choose from. I wish there were better alternatives to them that offered more thoughtful pieces, like the ones found in those Yanko Design articles.
Anyway, it’s likely not going to happen soon. But I think there is a market for it. We just need the right business leaders to build it.
(Image from the first article.)
It’s nice to sit outside in the summer and have some music playing while you grill food or enjoy a fire or simply relax. Now thanks to this collaboration, you can: IKEA teams up with Spotify to debut the Vappeby, a $65 wireless lamp/speaker with built-in ‘Spotify Tap’
The nice thing about it is that it is not only portable, but that it looks just as nice inside too:
If having sound outside this summer is on your todo list, check out the piece in Yanko design, then head out to IKEA (or their website) and try and get one soon.
What’s new in Toronto? Well we are getting a New IKEA downtown. That’s smart of IKEA: I am sure they got a good deal on rent in the Aura (great building, bad retail). Plus lots of condo owners can save themselves a trip to the ‘burbs to get their IKEA fix.
There’s also new subway stations and new U of T architecture soon to admire. There’s this year’s Luminato festival to take in.
There’s new restaurants to take in, such as Bouffe and the latest version of one of my favorite restaurants once, Beast Pizza.
There’s new ways of doing things, whether it’s this fancy new sidewalk that filters water and sustains plants or it’s this new approach to feeding people at the Anarchist Café. Of course new isn’t always good, as Freshii found out from the outrage they received when they used remote order takers from Nicaragua in their stores.
Somethings aren’t new, but are interesting, like these recent stores on Toronto’s infamous Path system or this piece on how much more seedy Toronto used to be.
And finally some things are very old, like this oak tree older than Canada and the Canadians / Torontonians trying to save it . Given that Toronto has just declared the oak tree as its official tree, that makes much sense.
(Image link to BlogTo piece on U of T architecture.)
Posted in Toronto
Tagged Ikea, Toronto
Sure we all know IKEA furniture, some of it not so great (don’t get me started on my now-in-the-trash Standmon armchair :)). While that armchair gave me grief, many other pieces of theirs have been really good. (No, not you, Billy bookcase. Wait, maybe you have such a bookcase and you like it…in that case it is good). Regardless, if you are unsure about the quality of Ikea furniture, I recommend you read this: Ikea but like the *good* Ikea.
Speaking of good IKEA…this is a good deal! See: You Can Rent a Tiny IKEA Apartment for Less Than $1 a Month
P.S. Speaking of good IKEA, I wrote about that elsewhere on this blog. Links here:
(Image above is of another really good thing from IKEA: the Stockholm rug. A classic.)
Nothing radical decor-wise, but here are some good ideas from IKEA. For example, they’ve packaged up some of their products to make improving your home easier: IKEA Launched Decor Kits That Let You Mix Up Your Style Easily
They have these speakers (seen above) that I would quickly get if I didn’t have a Sonos speaker already. It combines the quality of Sonos with the affordability of IKEA: SYMFONISK WiFi bookshelf speaker – black – IKEA.
Speaking of affordability, here’s a reminder that IKEA is always stocked with affordable items: Under $10 – Affordable Furniture and Gifts – IKEA
Finally, it is easy to criticize rooms with too much IKEA furniture in it. Such rooms tend to look like a showroom rather than your room. However, for people who have a hard time making good choices about their decor, stealing ideas from IKEA makes a lot of sense. To see what I mean, check this article out: IKEA Catalog 2021 Neutral Calming Rooms | Apartment Therapy
You might reply, sure Bernie, that’s fine and I agree, but rugs are expensive. I can’t argue that: rugs can be expensive. But there’s also good cheap rugs and if you don’t believe me, read this: Cheap Thrills: Vintage-Style Rugs Under $100 | Apartment Therapy
Now, that’s an older piece. Some of those rugs may not be there. But it’s worth reading just to get the names of websites that have low cost rugs. Check them out; you’re sure to find one you like.
If you want to change your room, you can change your furniture and you can paint your walls. But that’s can end up being a lot time and money. A cheap rug could just be the thing to freshen up your room.
P.S. Not all the rugs are colorful, but I like colorful rugs so I chose that image. Also that rug has pink and pink in a rug tends to go with many room colours.
P.S.S. IKEA is also a source of inexpensive rugs. And their black and white Stockholm rugs is famous for a good reason while being low cost.
So yesterday I highlighted that fast furniture is low cost and not great. Is it possible to have low cost furniture that is also good and stylish? I think you can, if you stick to the products listed here: The 13 Most Popular IKEA Products | Architectural Digest
If you mix them in with other furniture, or style them well, you can have a well furnished home that looks great and doesn’t cost much.
And not just amazing visually, either. There are a number of new and better ways this new IKEA will be operating in Austria’s capital. To really get an appreciation for it, see this: IKEA is building a big new store in Vienna with no parking | TreeHugger
I recommend this site and this section of it: Poppytalk – do it yourself
Lots of good projects here. And there’s also a part of the site dedicated to Ikea hacks. Worth checking out.
It is near impossible to learn how to do carpentry from either books or the Internet. I know because I’ve tried really hard.
Let’s say you decide you no longer want to buy bookcases from Ikea but you want to make you own. You decide a book case is simply a box and decide you want to learn how to make a box with a few tools and some simple instructions.
If you go search for help with your box, you may very likely come across instructions like this: www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/g1591/how-to-make-a-box/
It makes assumptions that you have lots of tools and you can do hard things like cut joints. After a few hours of searches, you will find most sites are like this: tailored to woodworkers making wood pieces that are hard to do and not anything near modern looking.
IT is different. For any technology out there, you can search for the name of the technology and “tutorial” and find something. You can be up and running using the technology in the time it takes you to give up looking for carpentry skills.
I am not sure why that is. Maybe there is more interest in IT so there are more tutorials on it. You could argue carpentry is harder but I have done both and I disagree.
I especially disagree because there is one site I could that actually does make it easy to make furniture and that is Ana White’s. Because of her I have made a wide range of furniture with basically a hammer, a jigsaw and a drill. The furniture isn’t fancy but it was cheaper and better and as modern looking as Ikea.
I think that is a problem with a lot of woodworking sites. They assume you want to do fine woodworking. Find woodworking is fine, but for people starting out, they likely want to make a simple table, a bookcase or set of shelves, perhaps a storage chest. A good joint may be best, but most Ikea furniture is held together with dowels and screws. If you make a book case with dowels and screws and glue, it will last and hold lots of books.
I wish there were more introductory sites on the internet that help people who wanted to learn how to make furniture and do carpentry, like there is with IT. Right now all I have found is Ana White’s site. I highly recommend it.
This is a really good study put out by IKEA: IKEA Feeling Of Home Study – Emotional Needs At Home | Apartment Therapy.
According to the summary piece in Apartment Therapy, what makes a place feel like home are:
It makes sense. Sadly, those are feelings that people may not have towards the place they live. People struggling to pay rent, or sharing with others, may not feel like they have privacy or ownership or security. People always moving lose that sense of belonging.
It’s a good thing to read, and a good thing to contemplate about your own living space. Here’s hoping you have all those feelings about where you live right now.
Over at themakerista.com is a very cool hack of 3 Billy bookcases that result in something with a built in look. Here’s the work in progress:
And here’s the final product:
You may not try something as challenging, but if you are interested in spiffing up your tired old bookcases, check this out this: The Makerista: Laura’s Living Room: Ikea Billy Bookshelves Hack