Hack of the Year lobboshines

Published on January 13th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


It’s here! Vote for the Best Hack of 2011

It took some time to wade through the more than 1,000 hacks I received and posted this year! It’s definitely a bumper year for IKEA Hackers. My initial shortlist was 82 hacks. Boy, was it tough to whittle my list down to 10. I know, some of your favourites may not be on the list. Do tell me your other favourites in the comments section. Anyways, let’s roll (in no particular order) with the best of the best.

The Lobbo shines

I love what Vendela did to the simple Lobbo lamp shade. A modern “bird nest shade” with a stripes of Lobbo shade and lots of hard work. The result: Big impact. See more.

A desk that works

This workstation hack from Ritch and Ken is too gorgeous to leave out of the list. The polished Besta chrome underframes above and below makes all the difference. See more.

Rektangel vase bathroom wall

Some hate it, some like it. I think it took some really out of the box thinking by Marloes to use Rektangel vases instead of standard glass blocks. The result is pretty stunning too. See more.

Expedit standing desk

This year has to be the year of standing desks. I received and posted some of different shape and sizes. But this one from Peter stands out for its great use of the Expedit, plenty of working space, storage and sturdy, seamless look. See more.

A beauty in my books

I remember my jaws dropping when I first saw this hack by Chas, like I died and went to book heaven. Billy and Benno book cases beautifully merged for a floor to ceiling library. See more.

A hack to keep you warm

The Udden backsplash works just as well out of the kitchen. Very modern, very sleek. Well done, Shannon. See more.

Soap dish surprise

I thought long and hard whether to include this one by Pippa. On one hand, it is exceedingly simple. On the other, it’s just brillant. Stuff that makes you go “Why didn’t I think of that?” Useful and beautiful yet so easy to do. See more.

His and Hers Pax closets

Patrick had a challenging space with his Dutch colonial home. He definitely made lemonade out of it. Isn’t this just gorgeous? See more.

Get fit hack

This has got to be the most innovative use of the Stolmen that I’ve seen thus far. Chev and Anthony attached the Tower 200 to the Stolmen system when they couldn’t find a door to mount it. No excuse not to exercise now. See more.

Kids’ computer station

David’s brillant idea of using a Sandnes shoe cabinet as a computer station for 2 kids. And the ugly bits are all hidden in the lower shelf too. Who would have thought a shoe cabinet could be so much more? See more.

Alright! That’s my top 10. Now over to you. Which deserves to the IKEA Hack of 2011? Tell me by voting below.

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/5834780/”>Vote for the IKEA hack of 2011!</a>

Voting will end 29 January 2012 at midnight (EST time).

A prize for the winner. Yay!

O’verlays have stepped in to sponsor the prize for the winner of the Ikea Hack of 2011. The winner will take home a $150 gift card to spend at their store. That amount could overlay a 6-drawer Malm or two three drawer Malms. Sweet! They make hacking so easy. If you’re not sure what O’verlays are, check out the photos of their creations below and their website too.

More hacks on IKEAHackers.net

Liatorp refreshment
The other cat tree

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".

27 Responses to It’s here! Vote for the Best Hack of 2011

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how using bookcases to put books in is a hack… am I missing something?

    The most original are the bathroom wall and the soap spoon, IMHO.

    • Anonymous says:

      About half or more of the bookcases were cut to fit the space exactly, made to look built-in.
      People disagree if this constitutes a hack or not. It certainly took loads of billiys and was a LOT of work.

      I do agree with you, the soap dish and the bathroom wall beat all others in regards to creativity and looks.

  2. My favourite has got to be that stunning bathroom wall – whilst I wouldn’t WANT it (it’s far too see-through) it looks great for the picture and is the most original idea of the lot!

  3. Anonymous says:

    That Hallway library is larger than our whole apartment, lol!
    If members of the 1% keep joining the rest of us on this website this type of uninspiring hack is what we will see more and more of. It’s uninspiring due to its nostalgic “Father knows best” style as well as the impossibility for most visitors to this site to even attempt to replicate anything like it. Let’s be realistic, if we did line our narrow hallways with Billys on both sides, we’d all get stuck between them.
    Also, aren’t many of us trying to make our lives simpler and reduce “stuff”? “Stuff” includes books, and most certainly dvds. In my family we love books, but we prefer to get most of our books at the library, there’s really no need to show off with loaded bookshelves how well read one is….

    Let’s see more of those simple, ingeniously inventive hacks I’ve come to love on this site.


  4. ran says:

    Agree with so many others that it’s a shame that the soap spoon or some other real hack didn’t win. The spoon was much more in the spirit of an original hack. Many people have lined up a wall or four with Billy and Benno shelves and it seems the winner won just because of the scale of his project? So will the “hack” of 2012 be an entire house filled with expedit shelves?

    Not everyone could have had the brainwave of using a skimmer spoon as a soap dish, or managed to make it look quite so elegant though. Simple, cheap, creative, yet fairly attractive in looks; something that makes you go “Now why didn’t I think of that?!?” That, surely, is more the spirit of this website? Otherwise it would just be a website of how people decorate their homes with Ikea stuff? It’s like having a competition for the best computer “build”, and then awarding the prize to someone who simply bought and mounted a beautiful looking Mac in the bathroom.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I vote for the soap dish!
    It was the only one that made me think “How come I didn’t think of it!”

  6. Anonymous says:

    I voted for the soap dish, not only because (indeed) it most meets the criteria for the term ‘hack’, but also because it is one of the only finalists (together with the lampshade) that could be done in just about any home… though a vase bathroom wall is nice it just does not fit in every home, same for the wall-to-wall billy… So, just for the ingenuity, simplicity and for being a ‘proper’ hack, the soap dish gets my vote… hacking and repurposing is one this.. but finding a hack/repurpose that would virtually work in any home (and on the smallest of budgets), not what’s another… !

  7. Anonymous says:

    After looking at the Rektangel vases, I’m a fan of the bathroom wall… on the other hand, I really like the in-sink soap dish, since it also fills a gap in the market :) so, I’m going for that one!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think a hack takes the original item into the realm of design. The Lobbo Lamp clearly makes the item more luxurious and visually beyond what you would think of an IKEA piece. The lamp is truly a “Wow”. If you showed that to 10 people on the street and asked each how much it cost, I would bet not one of them would guess less than $300. I can’t believe the Lobbo isn’t winning this thing. The bookcases are winning. Boring, lackluster, and uninspiring. How were the bookcases even nominated? The enmasse effect does not make them any more inspiring.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Jules – I don’t envy you having to look through all those hacks and choose! Although my memory must be getting so bad (or more likely the volume of hacks) as I couldn’t remember most of these!

    2011 – I enjoyed the endless supply of Lack hacks (anyone want to place bets on ballpark figures for next year) and also the beds using bookcases – for example “How we added a third room”. Not sure I’d be happy sleeping on one though!

    Sorry to say people but I voted for the Billy/Benno French Country Library – just because it’s beautiful.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Surprised that the Browning .22 hack wasn’t in the list. :p

  11. jo says:

    i feel like your unconscious mind had you choose other hacks than the ones you published. in the remixed picture there are eleven of them….

  12. Anonymous says:

    I certainly think the Billy library looks warm and inviting.
    That said, I do agree that it does not really qualify as a hack, but is instead just very good interior decorating. That, and I believe the huge scale of this reno, wins so many people’s votes.

    But it seems to me, a creative original vision, a transformative idea, functionality and a beautiful result, are important factors to consider. Therefore, for me, the obvious choice is between the Rektangel bathroom wall and the skimmer turned soap dish.
    The gorgeous but rather cold Rektangels make me shiver though, so the clever, nifty, minimalist soap dish will get my vote.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Soap Dish Surprise” gets my vote ….. attractive, creative and simple.


  14. Anonymous says:

    There is no hack on the Billy “Bookcase” hence the name!
    Most creative hack is the soap dish with the shoe box coming second.

  15. Anonymous says:

    YES! 2 categories are needed.
    While the Billy/Benno library is impressive due mostly to its unbelievable size. I’ve seen many, many customizations of bookshelves to fit around doors and windows. Chas just happens to have a much bigger space then most.
    Creative? No. Functional? Yes. Lots of work? You bet. Good looking? I guess. (But surely not any better than my 70 year old neighbor’s customized Billy bookshelf wall. I’m pretty sure it has never even occurred to him that it might be considered a hack someplace.)

    Now as to the other extreme: The skimmer soap dish. Creative? YES! Functional? You bet!(The thing drains into the sink, for god’s sake!) Lots of work? Nope! Good looking? And then some!

    How can anyone compare the two, and do both of them justice? I say:Impossible.
    The soap dish gets my vote and so does the idea of 2 separate “Best Hack categories”
    How about it for next year, Jules?

  16. Greg says:

    This work station looks like one made exactly to my hight :) , realy nice piece of furniture.

  17. Hatice says:

    The soap dish has my vote. Although there are really nice hacks this just wowed me.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I do agree that 2 separate types of hack categories would really make the yearly contest more meaningful.
    Rather than the terms “hack” and “repurposings”, I would suggest to use the terms: “design hacks” and “customization hacks”. It seems to me these 2 names would best describe the 2 types of submissions on this site. As it is, everyone’s comparing/judging apples and oranges.
    No matter what though, I love your website, Jules!

  19. Dianne says:

    I am extremely jealous of the library of bookcases. It is truly something I have dreamed of for years. But, for me to vote on the best hack, I look for an item that has been made/hacked into another purpose for the item. I think one of the best ones here is the children’s computer station or even the simple soap dish.

    I think many of these projects are great and we would love to have them in our homes, but they are not hacked into another item all together.

  20. Deb says:

    The problem is, you are looking at two different kinds of categories:
    – repurposing
    – hacks (using the items in a way different to original intent).

    Perhaps the correct way to do hack of the year, and for Jules to handle the workload, is five of each.

    Every submission used by Ikeahackers is also tagged with either ‘hack’ or ‘repurpose’, making it easier for Jules to sort them out. IMHO there will always be more repurposings.

    As it happens, there are four genuine hacks: the bathroom wall, soap dish, kid’s computer station, and get fit.

    I will be choosing from one of those.

  21. Liz says:

    I’m kind of bummed no Pet Furniture made it into the list. Some of the best Hacks I’ve ever seen have been pet furniture!

    And I agree that most of these hacks are ‘re-purposing’ and not actual hacks. But I still love this site! I come and look everyday. I’ll still make a vote :)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Looking back at the previous years I am noticing a real lack of actual hacking and more just re-purposing. Kind of like the difference between a designer and a handy man/woman.

    That’s why, while it may seem simple, I think the soap dish spoon meets the criteria for best hack of this year.

    Though the bookcase hallway does look very impressive and has me rather envious.

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