Monday, January 23, 2017

I Survived Design Week - Should get a scouting badge, ha!

Now you know my 'Handy side' - check out my 'edgy side' -

Chapter 1 - I survived Design Week!

I want to thank everyone who came to the first ever IKEA Hackers Convention - it was a huge success. The venue was packed - at capacity - 


After the show, exhausted and hungry, I went to catch a bite at IKEA Etobicoke, and while I was browsing through the store - AND THIS HAPPENED FOR REALZ - a woman stopped me randomly and asked if I am 'That designer, the IKEA Hacker'....and I was like 'yea...that's me.'

And then! Even later at night - like at midnight! - I get an email from someone who told me that they attended my symposium and that I inspired him to create a meet-up and be more creative and start 'making' - GO! GO! GO!

I want to tell you - my dear readers! - sometimes, you have to be the first one to make the move, to do something, to organize something, to challenge yourself, to get creative! DO IT!

IKEA is here to help you! LOL! This is straight up from their AS-IS Sektion* - Look - 

Peace out....

Professional IKEA Hacker

*IKEA on words...see what i did there.....

******EDIT - this is where I am parking my last years 'Show Page' - ****************
Post show self-critique - 

I did it! I can't believe how successful it was! On the day of the event - the venue  - we were at capacity, people were standing outside, facility management considered turning people away. I had a piece on display - one of my favourites - available 4 sale!

People did not RSVP for the event - that was how you got your name in the draw to win a cool IKEA Hack. In the end everyone wrote their name on a piece of paper, crumpled it into a ball and threw it to the front - I randomly selected. We had a winner! We re-lived an 'Ingvar moment!'

YES! - the convention had an academic component - 'we will make Design history together', that's what I told Matt Galloway on CBC's Metro Morning. And we did - we defined a new Design Movement; we talked about its defining characteristics; we talked about its history, present trends and the future. 

The topic proved to be wildly successful with general public - Toronto Life, NOW Magazine, CBC Radio, CBC Television, shared across social media platforms - it was informative, it was entertaining - it was everything I wanted for it to be. 

BIG EDIT:  We will Live Stream on Facebook! 
So maybe you don't live in the design metropolis that the city of Toronto is, but you still want to be a part of this cool show? Consider it done! I will be Live Streaming this event on Facebook! You can join me, and likely other people from around the globe, who are big fans of IKEA Hacking but cannot be here in person. 

YouTube Video here - watch the video here!

Chapter 1 - I've got 2 hours to change the world - that's the other title. 

I'm ready for it. On January 22, 2017 join me for a first ever IKEA Hacking Symposium. It's going to be exciting!

Here is the link to the official listing! I am part of the ToDo 2017 Design Festival! 

Who should come? 

Anyone who shops at IKEA, and likes it there.*

You will never look at IKEA the same way. I guarantee it. 

Did you ever get a sense of empowerment when you saw an image of a cool built-in, and you found out that it was an IKEA hack? 

'Yea! I can do it.' 
'Or, I could attempt to do it.'
'Or I can hire Karol, to do it.'

I am laughing, but it is true. It's that accessibility, that hands on creative urge that people get - even assembling and installing your own kitchen. How intimate is that? Imagine how well you can connect to your space - a lot of my clients tell me how much they would like to get into a trade - hey! here is a quick fix - assemble your own kitchen, or use that SEKTION box for a floating 'mid century' built-in [I will show something like this at the show; there are countless images of these things on-line]. 

I got RSVP's from variety of people - I got some lay folk, just amateurs, do-it-yourselfers; but I got some responses from the professional crowd [hear! hear! good price points, great looking results, short timelines]. I think there is even media - come on down! spread the word! I make it look like a million buck$. 

I am even considering sending a formal invite to IKEA Canada - this is part of their history too. 

Remember! RSVP! That's the only way to get your name in the lottery draw for a cool hack! It's important that you do that because that part of the show! 

It's gonna be smart and it's gonna be funny! I will show you what is possible - I will bring examples! I will open your eyes to the world of IKEA. Together we will re-live one of the greatest moments in furniture design history. Yea! For real. 
'I was blind, and now I see'. 

There is going to be a give away - that's right if you RSVP and are in the audience when your name is called than you win a cool IKEA Hack. It's a more luxurious version of the my own personal one, the first one I ever made, before I knew I was going to be an IKEA Hacker  - aren't you curious what piece of furniture you can win? 

It's gonna be performance design - like a performance art, but better! 

The venue is awesome - the Assembly Hall, North Room - in the best part of the city of Toronto, the New Toronto, right by the lake, right off Lakeshore. It is fully accessible, AND the Hipster 501 TTC Red Rocket - the 501 Queen Street streetcar - will deliver you almost to the door - how convenient is that? You have no excuses not to attend. RSVP as soon as you read this - the venue is legally rated for 65, but I can't have that many chairs set-up because I will be showing some things in the back. 

We will have Starbucks coffee and some Costco muffins - you know why? Cause Starbucks coffee is good and Costco muffins are an awesome deal! 

What else? Yea, read the listing - click the link above - it gives you some idea of what to expect. 

And if you got some extra time on your hands, or are curious about what other things I do - like my fiction or illustrations than you can click the other link there -

Ciao! and see you in January! 

*After the talk is finished and you had your chance to ask a question you will likely be hungry - you know what's a good place to eat that's not too far away? IKEA Etobicoke - just 9 min north of there by car, or you can take UBER. They are constantly changing up the menu - cheap and good food. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's DESIGN Week - SMELL you later MODERATION!

**Read the tab for 'IKEA Hackers Convention!' 

**edit: Big hold on! = my new found fame has my in-box ruined. Please be patient with respones! much appreciated! if you are bored you can check out my other project:

It's Design Week!
Smell you later Moderation!

Come see my show January 22 - at the Assembly Hall!

We will make Design History together!


Yes! Someone recognized me at the opening party of the festival. ' look familiar....', 'Yes, I am the IKEA Hacker, show - Sunday - come see it,' I do a shameless plug. 'I was just on your website. Page, after page of blocks of text very little pictures. It's boring.' 


Nahh...It's ok. I am totally cool with it. I am a writer. I like writing. One of my new year's resolutions was that I will start posting more. There, it's working. If you don't bother reading my blog than you should not be hiring me. 

2nd edit*

I was just on CBC Metro Morning talking about my work!
google me: toronto IKEA Hacker!
I will be on CBC television later today!

toronto life - I'm famouse! I'm famouse!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What's NEW IN 2017? - Confessions of an IKEA Hacker [just sillies]

That's a wrap for 2016 - End of the $1 breakfast!

[pictures shows what IKEA premium plus breakfast used to look like]

[picture shows IKEA Etobicoke restaurant, at breakfast time, almost empty after IKEA eliminated the $1 breakfast]

YES! It HAS HAPPENED! In Toronto, IKEA has eliminated their one dollar breakfast. I was there, when it happened. Look - 

[picture shows the receipt for the new IKEA breakfast offering] 

Let me be clear - an institution has died.  I knew that IKEA could no longer carry that cost. I think the $1 breakfast has been around longer that my oldest child has been around - that's about 13 years. I have been blessed with IKEA Etobicoke being only about 15 minutes away drive from where I live. I cannot recall the countless times we got up - me and my wife - after a rough night with them 4 babies of ours [oldest is 13 now, youngest is 4] and looked exhausted at each other and said - 'Yea, IKEA breakfast!'. No cooking, no making - or adding - to the mess of our busy life. We packed them all into the minivan and drove straight to IKEA - the earlier the better. IKEA restaurants open 30 minutes before the store opens - that was also the time that you scored free coffee - SCORE! I am writing this post and tears are streaming down my face.....** 

Yea, I remember buying - 6 times $1 breakfast, add to that 12 extra sausages which was only $3 more! - because of our family dynamics some ppl prefer the eggs and hash potatoes and some are more of a 'meat eater' - so sausage. Add some side of 'Princess cake' and some chocolate milk and we were set. We, the adults, would sit there for an hour drinking bottomless cup of free coffee, babies [or teens now...] busily chowing away at the food. And even if they got bored, we just let them loose to play at the 'unsupervised play areas' with other kiddos their age. And once everyone got full, we'd had out to the kid section of the store - kids rooms, by now littered with stuffed toys pulled out of the numerous bins scattered throughout...Those were the days. 

But that was just us. 

I think in the beginning, when it was launched - I don't remember the exact date when they launched it - but I do remember that era. It made fiscal sense. Right? I mean NOBODY goes to IKEA and doesn't buy something. More money is made on small trinkets that are made in China - with cost to manufacture being pennies on the dollar. SO even if the IKEA restaurant made some money, made little money, broke even or even suffer a minor loss - it was still offset by the purchases of a small, medium and maybe even 'a large things'. Think of it as the cost of advertising - luring thousands into the store with a promise of a cheap but healthy meal. 

But the costs kept rising. IKEA first raised the price on the side orders - so extra sausage, bun, bacon or dressing. When initially you could purchase 4 sausage for a one dollar - IKEA increased its pricing. It was now cheaper to purchase a whole breakfast - get the extra eggs, hash AND 2 sausages for the same price as just 2 extra sausage - LISTEN, I am all about optimizing and that includes my meals, OK? 

When that happened, I knew that pricing adjustments were coming. A cup of coffee at a fast-food joint came to $2 bucks  these days - how could IKEA keep the $1 for a decent meal? 

And then it happened - PRICE INCREASE. I knew something was off immediately when I got to the restaurant - it was virtually empty - regulars - a lot of them seniors - gone! 'Hmmmm....,' I thought to myself, 'something is off.' I come up to the serving section and there it is - it's at least $3 to purchase the basic offering. IKEA did change it up a bit - you get 2 slices of tomato, and a toast on top of the eggs and hash /w 'bacon or sausage'. But's not $1. 

End of an era. 
End of an institution.
I am sad. 

**not really