Tuesday, July 3, 2018

MAKER FESTIVAL 2018!! - Handy is the NEW COOL!

[picture shows Karol Kosnik standing in a dim walk-in closet, surrounded by white hacked PAX boxes, attaching - screwing on - a middle cleat that will prevent the back of the large unit from splitting over the course of the life of the PAX box]

Chapter 1 - Handy is the NEW COOL - 'Peak Furnishings edition';

When was the last time you bought a medium, or a medium-large, or maybe a very large item - like a shed for example, or a bicycle, or maybe a fancy BBQ - and you did not have to assemble at least some portion of it, if not the entirety. You also likely had to level it to make it work optimum.

How was it? Did you like it? Did you learn something new?

I had this crazy ideas that part of the HOME-ECONOMICS in high school curriculum would have this 'HANDY portion', where you learn about basic tools, safe usage, home maintenance, car maintenance  - 'dwelling systems'.  We all will end up living in dwellings [Oh and the definition of a dwelling is changing RAPIDLY! - from home owners, condo owners, to renters, to off-gridders, to tiny-homes, to trailers... I don't diss anything anymore, smart and cost effective solution to fit ANY lifestyle are finding their home on the INTERNET! In the future we will work less and less, might as well find a situation that works best FOR YOU. I was off-grid this super super hot Canada Day long weekend - there were challenges but it was AMAZING!].

Regardless of where you will end up living, there will always be some maintenance required that you should be able to do yourself - having an understanding of some simple 'home processes and routines' will help you to save hundreds if not thousands in actual costs, but may also be good for your health! 

Knowing how to hang up a row of pictures using a laser level [arranging, grouping, levelling, use of tools, completion and review!], will come in handy when you need to upgrade to a nursery and need to secure the cabinetry to the studs in the wall OR you just have a large dog that you want to build a custom, more comfortable enclosure -I've been asked to design and build custom, functional 'dog enclosures' for the balconies. That skill set can be easily built upon and expanded - save money, do it yourself!  Hiring a professional can prove to be expensive - and there are pretty good chances that somebody, somewhere out there on the Internet already designed and built something similar! That's how I get my traffic - I provide real tangible solutions to common problems.

Ownership of tools used to be a barrier to the many DIY - that no longer is the case. Tool sharing is the new wave - Toronto Tool Library exists - you can have an affordable membership and rent from them, for example - I am Toronto centrist. Maker spaces and shops offer short term rentals - for a modest fee you can gain access to some serious professional equipment, and given your level of skill, that can really open up a door to creativity, skill building and participation in community. Live your DREAM I say!

And finall, this is where I come in. COME SEE MY SHOW! July 7th, Toronto Reference Library at 12 noon - I can only do Saturday and you have to pay $5 to get in. I usually offer my shows for free, but this was the only way I could schedule this up. We will take a IKEA's plain BILLY bookcase and turn it into my WILLIAM bookcase - Fancy French on display, but I will show you how you can do a New Shaker, or even Modern Kontemporary. I want YOU to do something similar - come in, learn and enjoy yourself, build confidence in your skills, find new sources of learning! SEE YOU AT THE SHOW!

If there is time I will talk about the amazing PAX system and how to DOUBLE its life. SEKTION - Ikea's kitchen box - is the lifeline of my business - I guarantee, after I am done, that you will love this box too!

I end with a pic of a hacked white Hemnes bookcase - when people ask what is your fave hack that you did, this one always is in the top. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Confessions of an IKEA Hacker - Private PAX opinions

[picture shows designer Karol Kosnik standing in a white, open PAX frame, prior to proper installation of the back. On his shoulder, loosely hanging is an IKEA yellow bag full of PAX hardware - no, not stolen, because those are only for IKEA internal use, but rather gifted by the IKEA delievery people]

Peak furnishings is here - that's the only way I can think of the PAX. With every PAX install OR resurrection, I get pleasantly surprised how efficiently I fill the space with it. And whatever the space remains gets filled nicely with ALGOT and it gets the lights too. 

The universality of it comes with a cost - the install has to be accessible to everyone, but that is NOT the case. Some people should not install and should hire a professional. AND FFS!  - ** cut out the baseboard for flush install ** - always request that. Any installer should do it - simplest way to give it that BUILT-IN look. 

I disagree with IKEA that the PAX should last 10 years. I think it can easily last 20 years - you just have to follow my instructions. Simple modifications and additions dramatically extend the life. No, the hardware is not going to fail - it will be the box! So it is important that it gets the royal treatment. If it doesn't it is guaranteed that it will end its life at a 10 year mark - BUT don't worry, you can then call me and I will resurrect it. When I leave, drawers won't stick or rub, doors will open and close properly. It is crazy stupid that an addition of $5 tube of silicone will give the PAX another 10 years - you will be happy. And you know what? While we are at it? We can make it look pretty. Or modern. Or anything else you would like. That's what I do well - I fulfill people's functional wishes. 

For all the totally custom solutions that I can design and build, there really is no reason to do any of it because of PAX. My very reasonable and pragmatic asks, 'why should I make myself life difficult, when I make it easy and modular?'


I love PAX. 

My line of custom PAX hacks is called 'Robert Kalifornia'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

PAX Hack Guide + Maker Festival 2018


[picture shows a cut through PAX gable, with the off-cut turned on the side to reveal the core. The core of the PAX gable is made up of high-end lamination of 1/8th skins, strips of particle core and honeycomb cardboard sandwich. Laminated together they form a rigid panel that takes loads on the vertical]
Check out my INSTA!

Chapter 1

After this project I will definitely update my ULTIMATE PAX HACK GUIDE ON THE INTERNET.

[picture shows Karol Kosnik screwing on a strip of cross-grain 1/2" thick plywood, bow-in towards the inside; a several beads of silicone were applied to the piece just prior to attaching. It is a very artsy photo. Just kidding my friends with screen readers! Hey, is there anything I can do to improve your experience? Send me a message!]

Here is the BEST, absolutely top hacking TIP for PAX Wardrobes -

** Glue in your backs ** - I use silicone for long open time and very good shock absorbing glue line. During traditional install, the back is just nailed in. Over the course of lifetime of the closet items get bumped against it - that pulls out the nails. Once the back comes out everything goes - the box loses integrity, slowly - everything begins to sag and rub. It really depends on your installer. If you glue in your back, follow with some metal sheeting screws - so very short, thin and aggressive - mine are always philips head, and a large flat washer built in - drives in very easily and tight. 

Do a 3/4 strip of ply - 5" wide - at the top, attached with  1 1/2" screws - make sure to pre-drill deeper. 

Do a thinner strip - I do 1/2 ply, also 5" wide, cross grain because it warps then, apply few beads of silicone, face the bow in [so it always presses the back against the shelves, keeping things closed] and install it a little above half-way point. Attach at edges with 1 1/2" screws AND from the inside I use the same metal sheeting screws [they present visually OK]. 

I will promise you your PAX will feel like a well sprung drum - the backs just have a really nice tone to it - the box is very solid. 

HERE comes the EASY part - all you got to do is level it and screw in into the stud or concrete anywhere along the top - becasuse you got solid 3/4" ply there - takes the 'rocket science' out of it, because I am not a rocket scientist.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Maker Fair - DIY, hands on workshop

[picture shows a Studio Kosnik IKEA Hack design - features upper SEKTION boxes floating on a wall combined with custom drawers for spacing, as well as a floating desk and solid wood shelves. This design is not possible to execute using the IKEA planner - if you come to the Maker Fair I will speak about how to get your designs 'out of the IKEA kitchen planner!]

Chapter 1 - Maker Fair;

I applied to show - a ticketed event! If you are curious I will be talking and showing about everything that I do - we will talk Peak Furnishings and IKEA Hacking!

Also, I had to write a sad e-mail today:

...perhaps there was a misunderstanding - I assumed that design was for you personally - and I would be happy to execute it for you. However, I don't work through designers/decorators - I have my own design practice, and I have specific goals that I want to achieve - affordability of design is a big issue for me. I only work directly with the end-client in order to reduce the cost and keep my work affordable and popular - I just run one kijiji ad....
I apologize, but I am unable to help you with this one, I hope you understand,
all best,

Studio Kosnik

You would be shocked how many people I meet - artists/designers - who sign up for representation, and then are unable to get out of the contract. Your creativity, your work forever chained to a master - yes, you are famous, and you are in demand - but you are at a fickle of an individual who can ruin you if you disagree. I thought that was annoying - I am using the Internet to fight that. I believe that given our ability to connect, one should be able to market to people who need your services DIRECTLY. Without the 'middle man'. I think it is more democratic that way AND more affordable.....

just some thoughts.....