Ikea.com
Ikea.com

16 Out-of-Context IKEA Instructions to Help You Live a Better Life

Ikea.com
Ikea.com

Printed without words, IKEA instructions are meant to be used around the globe. Someone in Tokyo can build his KLÄPPE swivel chair from the same booklet as a college kid in her Maryland dorm.

This saves the Swedish furniture manufacturer tons of money in printing costs, but it also serves a surprising purpose: Taken out of context, certain pages and details from IKEA instruction books can be interpreted as guides to living a fuller and more happy life. Here are 16 examples.

1. Relax

You earned it. Follow steps 1-3 as shown above for maximum relaxation. If you don't feel like going all the way, stop at step 2. This is you time.

2. Wash Your Garbage

Sanitation workers will appreciate and even look forward to your spring-fresh bag of trash on collection days.

3. Attach Wheels to Your Pet Starfish

Now he's the fastest echinoderm on the block. Look at him go!

4. The Area Behind the Knee is Very Sensitive

It's a little-known erogenous zone, as demonstrated by the shaded "heat" sphere above.

5. There's Your Wallet

Right there, underneath that thing with all the other wallets.

6. Have a Beer

Long day? Kick back with a cold one or two, which will be floating in space for you to grab when you're ready.

7. Stefan Is Gone

And he's never coming back. Time to move on.

8. Check Under and Inside Your Grand Piano Twice a Year

There may be loose change or even forgotten treats that have accumulated down there. Best to make sure.

9. Don't Be Glum

There's a daybed right behind you. Lie down for a bit and think about things that'll cheer you up. Remember the Home Improvement episode where Tim enters the lawn mower race? That was a good one. Think about that.

10. Diving Boards Make Great Presents

Attach a bow to the bottom to give your gift some decorative flair.

11. Look Up

There, at those branches. Fall is around the corner; you can tell by how the leaves are changing color.

12. Do Squats

A great butt isn't given, it's earned.

13. Start At the Top Right Square for Tic-Tac-Toe

It's the secret to winning this classic game.

14. Fonzie Melted

Fold up what's left of the King of Cool for easy storage.

15. You Only Really Need Two Keys

Why are you lugging around that loaded keychain? Free up some much-needed pocket space by streamlining.

16. No Sketches of Punch and Judy

A hastily drawn outline doesn't do these beloved characters justice.

[All images from IKEA product instructions. Source Products: Karlstad, IKEA PS, Mysinge, Pax Tonnes, Premiar, Rakke, Rationell, Smaldal, Stefan, Tylosand, Udden, Verner, Vreta]

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IKEA
Syrian Refugees and Jordanian Women Created a New Line of Home Goods For IKEA
IKEA
IKEA

After debuting the Tilltalande Collection at its Amman, Jordan location last year, IKEA is finally bringing it to the U.S. As Curbed reports, every item in the collection was created by women from Jordan and refugees from Syria.

The new line is a collaboration between IKEA and the Jordan River Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of Jordanians, especially women and children. It includes a flatwoven rug and pillow covers decorated with elements like camels and blossoming cacti. Fifty Jordanian women artists and 50 Syrian refugees worked with IKEA to design the items and craft them by hand.

The Tilltalande Collection is the latest way IKEA is helping some of the millions of refugees forced from their homes by conflict. In 2015, the furniture company debuted its flatpack shelters, temporary homes that provide protection and electricity to displaced people around the world.

The new line of textiles will be sold at IKEA's Brooklyn location starting this June. If all goes as planned, the collection will provide employment to 400 people by 2020.

Pillow decorated with cactus.
IKEA

[h/t Curbed]

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IKEA
IKEA's New Collection for Tiny Apartments Is Inspired by Life on Mars
IKEA
IKEA

Living in a city apartment can feel claustrophobic at times. As Co.Design reports, the Swedish furniture brand IKEA took this experience to the extreme when designers visited a simulated Mars habitat as research for their latest line of housewares aimed at urbanites.

The new collection, called Rumtid, is tailored to fit the cramped spaces that many people are forced to settle for when apartment-hunting in dense, expensive cities. The designers knew they wanted to prioritize efficiency and functionality with their new project, and Mars research provided the perfect inspiration.

At the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, scientists are figuring out how to meet the needs of potential Mars astronauts with very limited resources. Materials have to be light, so that they require as little rocket fuel as possible to ferry them to the red planet, and should ideally run on renewable energy.

IKEA's designers aren't facing quite as many challenges, but spending a few days at the simulated Martian habitat in Utah got them thinking on the right track. The team also conducted additional research at the famously snug capsule hotels in Tokyo. The Rumtid products they came up with include an indoor terrarium shaped like a space-age rocket, a set of colorful, compact air purifiers, and light-weight joints and bars that can be snapped into modular furniture.

The collection isn't ready to hit IKEA shelves just yet—the chain plans to make Rumtid available for customers by 2020. In the meantime, the designers hope to experiment with additional science fiction-worthy ideas, including curtains that clean the air around them.

Air purifiers designed for urban living.

Furniture joints on bubble wrap on black table.

Modular furniture holding water bag.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of IKEA.

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