If you’ve never caught it before, IKEA Hackers is a fantastic DIY-minded blog (also syndicated over at Instructables) dedicated to the art of fiddling around with IKEA products to make them your very own. Recent posts include a tutorial on how to transform a ODDVAR stool into a personalized bedside table with the help of a curtain, drawer slides, white paint and staple gun along with ideas on how to gussy up a humdrum LACK coffee table with wallpaper. Great stuff.
Taking the concept of IKEA hackery to a brilliantly primitive new level is Rotterdam-based artist/designer Helmet Smits' FLAMMA, a 2008 hack that “harks back to one of humanity's basic needs: making fire” while conforming to the “back-to-basics image of IKEA and the Swedish lifestyle.” Basically, FLAMMA is a DIY fire-making kit using odds and ends found at the Lingonberry-hawking, book-killing, British suburb-creating home furnishings retailer like clothes hangers, a wine rack, a kitchen knife, rope, and decorative dried plants (note: IKEA doesn’t sell matches or lighters). Suzanne LaBarre over at Co.Design calls Smits' creation “the fantasy of anyone who's ever bought an IKEA couch so uncomfortable it feels like sitting on a Judas cradle.”
Now I certainly wouldn’t recommend attempting to mimick the handiwork of Smits in your local IKEA parking lot — that would just be destructive and wasteful — but if the going gets really tough and you are forced to make a bonfire in your backyard without access to traditional sources of fuel, you may needn't look any further than your living room furniture.