How much more usable would your kitchen be if you could design it yourself, inserting countertops, appliances and storage space exactly where it’s needed? Not everyone has the budget for a custom renovation, but imaginative homeowners are getting creative with affordable components, especially through the ‘hacking’ of Ikea products.
A new DIY kitchen system builds on the idea of Ikea hacks with simple metal connectors and wooden beams that come together into a highly customizable framework. A design team at Lund University envisions ‘Ikea Hacka’ as a modular system that can be changed along with your needs and wants, keeping your kitchen setup as versatile as it can possibly be.
To create your own custom kitchen, you simply cut the beams to the length you need and attach them with the bright orange connectors. Measuring guides on the wood ensure that even beginners and the less-than-crafty get finished pieces that are cut accurately. Taller or shorter than the average person? You can even adjust the height of your counters.
Displayed during Milan Design Week 2015, the Ikea Hacka system is naturally made to fit products from the Swedish retailer, but it can accept third-party components as well. Put free-standing islands, counters and other kitchen systems on casters or connect it all together in a more traditional fashion.
While this system isn’t commercially available, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ikea jump on the idea themselves, as they’ve proven responsive to customer demand and open to the idea of consumer-end customization.
It’s a smart way to capitalize on something people are already excited about – hacking Ikea products – and take the lead in an area where we’re seeing surprisingly little innovation at the moment. If only more furniture makers would offer kits-of-parts like these, that are so easy to use with everyday materials and the building skills of an average person.