Ikea's Pax Bergsbo Wardrobe with Lucite Handles from The Paris Apartment. Photo of Ellie Somerville's New York apartment from Lonny Mag.
"Is Redalen a) a town in Norway b) a bed sold by Swedish furniture chain IKEA or c) something that sounds uncomfortably close to getting to third base in Thailand?" The answer is: all three, reports John Hookway of The Wall Street Journal. Oops!! What irony.
Ikea is known for its stylish, inexpensive, assemble-it-yourself furniture, its dedicated fan base and for the Swedish names that are occasionally a tongue-twisting pain to English speakers. But apparently in Thailand, those Swedish names have caused a problem of a different sort, making the reportedly conservative Thai consumer blush from furniture names that sound uncomfortably close to unappreciated crudeness.
Ikea's naming system was originally developed by its founder Ingvar Kamprad in the 1950s to help himself cope with dyslexia, by naming furnishings after Scandinavian places or using children's names rather than uninteresting and easily forgotten product codes.
As the company continually expands (they currently do business in more than 40 countries and launched the fifth-largest superstore in Thailand last year) some of those Scandinavian names are getting a little customization. In Thailand for example, to avoid future misunderstandings Ikea has hired Thai speakers to help throw out or revamp anything that might cause ear-burning.
Are you an Ikea fan? Have you joined the ranks of Ikea "hackers"-- savvy consumers who use Ikea wares as an inexpensive base, then customize them for a completely new look? For those of us who love non-minimalist, traditional European leaning design, from the shelf Ikea can come off as a little too spare and modern. But with a little creativity and some "hacking" as needed, it is quite mixable with many design preferences. And the affordable prices on stylish pieces that made Ikea popular in Europe after World War II seem to never go out of style!
Ikea's 'Stenstorp' Kitchen Island Carts, $199 (above & below), 'Bekvam' stepstool, $14.99 (left) among many other Ikea wares in a colorful kitchen.
From ikeahackers.net, a kitchen custom-built with Ikea products: 'NUMERÄR' countertop, 'AKURUM' Wall, 'STÅT' drawer and doors. For details and the original article, visit Ikea Hackers HERE.
Here's another "hack" job from Ikea Hackers and Mini Manor Blog that is particularly clever. The homeowner wanted the look of built-ins without the cost, so she and her husband created them themselves starting with the simple and inexpensive half-height Billy bookcases in white priced at just 40 bucks.
Voila! For the tutorial, visit Mini Manor Blog HERE.
The super-popular Bemz Belgian linen slipcovers for Ikea seating takes them to new heights. And if you need more proof that you really can do something other than modern with Ikea furniture, this should do it:
While a stool covered in a printed cowhide takes center-stage, magazines stay organized in a simple wall unit. See Ikea's 'Expedit' shelving unit, $129.
Do tell-- have you braved the installation for some great Ikea deals? And if you've "hacked", please whisper your secrets in our ears.