Published on June 12th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Retractable Kitchen Island, Controlled with an iPhone

Retractable kitchen island controlled by iPhone

Materials: Akurum kitchen system

Description: Web developer Tim Thaler hacked an Ikea kitchen island to sink into his sub-basement when it’s not in use.

Retractable kitchen island controlled by iPhone
Retractable kitchen island - down position
Retractable kitchen island covered by rug

Watch a video of it in action:

See more of the retractable Ikea kitchen island.

~ Submitted by Sonia Zjawinski, United States

More hacks on

Lack Gets a Makeover
Previously on Ikeahackers: 12 – 18 June 2006

The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

38 Responses to Retractable Kitchen Island, Controlled with an iPhone

  1. Judy says:

    Sorry, but I like the rug better than the island.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Marry me…

  3. That is one of the cooler things I’ve seen in a kitchen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and necessity in the judgement of the dweller. If you think you need it (or just want it), then that’s your business and more power to you! Personally, I think your ingenuity kicks a**!! Very awesome. Really.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Agree with WVPV. Can we see a picture of the room below the kitchen.

  6. Val says:

    Do women really need high heels? Do men really have to shave their faces? Do people really need to take baths? Are these things necessary? No. But do we still do these things? Of couuurse.

    Not everything HAS to be born out of necessity. Perhaps this brilliant Ikea Hacker simply wanted to shock and awe guests, or wanted to do something fun. Back off guys, this is awesome, innovative, and INCREDIBLY well done.

    All you haters are just jelly~.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to… prepare dinner.”

  8. Omolade says:

    that looks simple enough……

  9. Toby Johnson says:

    Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria built one just like it at Herrenchiemsee!

  10. ghostaliaz says:

    This is so cool! When you do not need the Island you simply push the button & it disappears into the floor. This would work perfectly when your having a party & you need more floor space so you get rid of the main obstacle which is the Island sitting in the middle of the room because people for some reason always want to hang out in the kitchen especially in the open layout modern kitchens of today. This idea would also be great for a dining room, so if you want to make it a dance floor, then you just press the button & bingo, you now have a dance floor in your dining room. I think your idea with making your island in your kitchen motorized is so cool.

  11. C.S. Thom says:

    Very cool. It may not be practical or needed for most people, but a quarter of a million people just saw how creative and hard working this guy can be.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Way too close to the stove… cant open the door and be in front of the over with island up…should have rotated 90 degrees to allow better use of space. whats with the ugly carpet mats? Should of covered with retractable or at least a floor covering that matched the floor… Only hidden systems Ive ever seen were just that – hidden, this one is a poor example of an attempt and not an ikea hack either.. but ingenious nerveless… should rework it to be totally hidden without the mats covering it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Necessary? Hell yeah!, why not? When you are entertaining, when you want to create a different “space” in your kitchen. Opens up a bunch of room when it’s down and just changes the entire feel of the kitchen. Also great when you want to bury your recently butchered corpses.

  14. darra bishop says:

    I am impressed. Really impressed.

  15. oooh, this is fabulous!
    I like things that can be used when you need them and disappear when you don’t. :)
    very cool.

  16. Anonymous says:

    the only problem i see is the “i come drunk at home and need something to eat” because this cool stuff seems to be noisy….

  17. Anonymous says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  18. alana says:

    “Who cares if it’s necessary?” I agree! The reason a person does something like this is because they can.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who cares if it’s necessary? Are all design elements necessary? Do humans live by necessity alone? Is it so hard to say “Hey, that’s clever.” instead of “I don’t see the point so it must be a pointless waste of time.”?

    Let me say “Job well done.” You are an artist and you will always have critics.

  20. interior design firm says:

    Wow…this is very cool. I know alot of people are saying they don’t see the point in this and maybe for you and your kitchen you don’t need it but someone else might need that space, you never know. I think this took a a lot of work, creativity and planning….I am very impressed.

  21. marcelo aguiar says:

    I guess this is a kitchen hack, not an ikea hack. The cabinets were not modified in any way.
    I would only see the point in this if the kitchen were not spacious enough to have an occasional table.
    I’m not questioning the island because it’s nice for parties and lots of people, etc.
    But the fact that it’s retractable does add complications:
    - is it safe to walk over that thing? Or to stand on it?
    - why do you need an iPhone to activate it? Why not just a plain old switch? What if you don’t know where your iPhone is and you want to raise the island?
    - My bet is that you lost lots of space in that basement.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Well, I’m not the only one to wonder why this “hack” was necessary… plus it could be done with any other kitchen cabinet (Ikea or not) … to me, it is not a real “ikeahack” !
    Anyway, I’d like to have a peek at the basement !

  23. Anonymous says:

    Guessing you think a table stored in a garage that needs to be taken out is a way cleaner option?

    I wouldn’t store a table for food preparation in a garage, either, unless it was needed only once every few years and I’d have time to clean it properly before use.

    Also, I don’t see the need for this in this kitchen, except for the cool factor.

    On the other hand, a similar hack could probably be very useful e.g. to keep a working bench in a garage (car out -> bench up, bench down -> car back), or in other areas where hygiene is less a concern.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have to agree with the previous commenter – there is so much counter space already, why need a hidden island?

    At the same, I have to say, HOLY CRAP that’s a pretty spiffy thing to have. May not be practical hygiene and cleaning wise, but DAMN. Talk about a conversation starter, and a impress-your-guests thing. Well done!

  25. Lisa says:

    I, too, don’t really understand the need for this. The kitchen has adequate counter space and room for a permanent island. I guess it does demonstrate the possibilites though…

  26. Anonymous says:

    A comment on the (linked) NY Times article suggests that it’s a Bertazzoni range.

  27. Love this! So creative! Love the kitty pic too.

    Just wanted to let you know that I have included this site in my blog’s 7 Day Blog Challenge. I am highlighting a different blog that I enjoy each day out of the next 7 days, in the hopes of introducing more people to other blogs they might not have heard of otherwise.

    Keep up the great work!

  28. Anonymous says:

    Not suer I see the point. :)

  29. MacMama says:


  30. wvpv says:

    let’s see the basement.

  31. Anonymous says:

    this is one of the most pointless things in a kitchen I have ever seen. There are so many things wrong with it:

    - foot prep area covered with carpet and people walking on it
    - floor cleaning will enevitably mean water will drip in the area below the floor
    - are you intending to use floor cleaner on a food preparation surface?

    Given the amount of bench space I am even wondering why there is a kitchen island in the first place.

    Man, what people do when they have too much time on their hands.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get the need for that. Can someone say why this is necessary?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a job well done! it would not work for homes in the Netherlands since most of us do not have big basement and our floors are mostly made of concrete.
    Nevertheless, this idea is great and I wish it could be done in my home!

    For the person with the comment about not wanting to prep food on top of the counter, here is a idea, take a rag and clean it first?
    Guessing you think a table stored in a garage that needs to be taken out is a way cleaner option?

  34. chris says:

    What brand is that stove?

  35. Anonymous says:

    This is the coolest thing ever.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one who wouldn’t want to walk on top of my food prep area, covered with carpeting or not?

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