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ok let's be honest, I'm quite sure you already have.

Quite hard to miss actually! Everyones loving the Niels Gammelgaard shelf for a hot minute now. And I get it! Its clean, its airy, it has some good proportions to display your favourite books, flea market finds and add a cute lamp for good measure. Its clearly one of the less is more moments we all crave after the lockdown home trends got a little out of hand over time - maybe just my personal opinion looking back at it.

another perfect example, of a hands down good design they came up with is this table and chair combination. at this point pretty much any design by Gammelgaard is pretty sought after.

but what's going on with vintage Ikea quite deeper? its the retro design we all love? Is it the chrome, is it the rounded shapes? As perfectly resembled by the newly re released BAGGBODA table everyones hyped about? They make it no secret they heard the news: the older the Ikea label the happier the interior obsessed crowd. Me included.

I'm just going to drop a wild take now: and you can fight me on it - but I personally would never buy that said table. Not that the design isn't good, it somehow is so clean and classic, there's basically nothing to say against it. Still its new, it comes in a box, it's fresh from the shelf. I imagine it's somewhat the same experience to build, as a wacky kitchen cupboard, thats essentially just a white box to hide our ugly pots and plasticky noodle drainers which don't match the aesthetic. When I think of vintage Ikea I want that feel of findig a super old piece for free at the side of the road. with stains to remove and all. I want that google pic search moment, when it says it goes allegedly for 3000 on auction. And still its here sitting on the street, thrown out by someone - cause its 'just old Ikea' to them.

Isn't that one of the big parts why we're all so obsessed with thrifting. we want to feel like the thrift gods blessed us, it was waiting just for us. Personally what makes me the most happy is when its left in an horrible condition, but fixable. that was get me going, that proud feeling of accomplishment when I was able to bring a piece back to life.

This seamlessly brings me to another big thought of mine in the whole debate: QUALITY BABY! Lately I was quite shocked to see that an old table set from 2009 is made from real wood veneer and solid plywood. Maybe thats just me, but when I think of Ikea furniture these days, I think of the LACK table cross section, thats basically cardboard in some kind of hard plastic shell.

Its a genius concept, I'll give them that. But seeing all these people spending monthly incomes on their perfect pax configuration makes me sick sometimes. cause what they're buying is just sawdust pressed in sheets at the end of the day. So yes thats where I'm heading here. Old Ikea furniture is beautifully made, simple, clean looks, high quality materials like real wood, real stainless steel.

VAJER 1990s

MOMENT 1983 Niels Gammelgaard

This sideboard KORSÖR from 1967 looks nothing like what any 30 year old or younger thinks of when we talk IKEA. Its simply beautiful and so well made.

It just makes me so sad, why can't we see any exposed woods at okra anymore, like on this beautiful chair designed by Carl Öjerstam around 1971.

every sideboard and their matching stool is covered in white or black plastic film at Ikea nowadays. Maybe the IVAR will be the one and only exception. The frustration I feel when assembling a piece of furniture that basically has sawdust coming out of each and every pilot hole ... there's no great fix if you get scratches in a LACK table, you can't sand that weird shiny plasticky surface. And exactly this is what's really bothering me: the pieces aren't made for the long run anymore like they used to be. you can't disassemble a PAX 5 times. you can't give that fake wood foil a new stain. Its pretty much gone after some time of use. Bute we crave that good quality, the sort of quality thats repairable, thats changeable over the years. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means agains Ikea. I just find it so sad and frustrating to see how their design choices seemed to spiral down due to the cost efficiency.

We're all craving that pretty natural materials back, and you actually don't have to go that far back, to find them. this wicker chair from 2001-2005 by Carl Öjerstam is so funky and pretty. We want things like that!

lets take one last turn on tableware cause I love it so much. for example this STRATEG cutlery set from 1990 is so simple yet so timeless.

also from the 1990s IVIKEN lamp.

1990s table lamp

So I guess you have been on the hype train before, and you're even more now. Great! welcome on board. I just sometimes feel there is this litte shadow crawling up from under your thrifted couch, cause with every hype, with every trend there comes a downer ppl asking for crazy prices left and right. It really can be frustrating sometimes. so Breathe! breathe once more - and don't buy that super overpriced thing. or lets say: buy it when you want it sososososo much that you literally don't care, cause you would also pay 300 more - in this case buy it . In any other case: its IKEA - theres thousands and thousands around. keep your eyes peeled, do your research, visit that estate sale ... be that hunter. and you'll get lucky sooner or later. and trust me - it will be so much more exciting and satisfying when you find that special thing, that might be possible to revive.

but more on that in the next one.

or un-painting your diy projects.

if you like paint, if you like to paint anything and everything you see and thrift. Go for it! You do you, and it is by far the easiest and most effective way to quickly change the look of a piece. thats why it is so popular. This is not meant to be an anti-painting thing, more to show you how much of a different look a stripped piece of furniture can be as well. until recently I've never thought about un-painting something I've thrifted, the natural way was always to the hardware stores paint section.

now after stripping two things that I've painted a while ago I can say its a bit of a messy process but so worth the work!! I love the warm wood tones and how they add a lot of life ans character to a space. how I feel about stripping jobs: they don't have to be aaaaaallll the way perfect. It totally adds to the character of the piece when they are not looking like brand new Ikea ivar raw wood.


gel paint stripper (I needed two bottles of 500ml for the whole thing)

scraping tools like a spatula or a wire brush

clear film for incubating

floor protection & gloves

container to scrape the gunk into

paper towel & a bin near by to keep your workspace clean

work in a well ventilated area and make sure your skin and eyes are protected

first up you want to undo everything thats screwed in or slide in like drawers etc, try to make your life as easy as it can get and prep everything before you start applying the stripper

once the floor is protected you can start applying a thick layer of the paint stripper, be generous, especially when there's several layers of paint on the piece

once the painted surface is covered in gel cover it with clean film, try to avoid big air pockets when putting the foil down

let it sit until big bubbles of paint are forming, be patient, if you scrape it off too early you'll have to do the whole process again

ideally you should see a big bubbly surface all over the piece,

here I didn't put enough stripper, so it just bubbled up partially.

in this case remove what bubbled up and do a second round of gel covered in foil.

if you are working on super old pieces chances are high there's looooooaads of build up. I discovered a fake wood veneer-ish stuff underneath the first few layers of paint. luckily the paint stripper basically dissolves anything thats not pure natural wood, so I was able to strip away this layer as well.

once I knew how much to apply and how long to wait it worked quite smoothly. I was able to strip away all the paint at once

uncovering a layer of fake wood

I incubated this again and was able to pull it away in one go. good thing about the foil technique is that most of the gunk adheres to the foil and you can peel it off all at once. for the rest you can use a scraper and scrape it all into your container.

same with the body of the cabinet. with the second round I was able to remove anything thats not untouched / unstained raw wood

to be sure all stripper is gone I washed the whole surface with warm water and let it dry over night.

because I knew I wanted to glue on the handles I kept it raw for that part and oiled afterwards. you should put on some kind of protection oil or finish to prevent water stains etc

I found these silver napkin rings a while ago and felt they would work great as handles.

I glued them onto the raw wood with two component glue. especially with glue there's a higher stability when the surface you glue onto is oil free, thats why I oiled the drawers once the glue was cured. I glued them on lying flat and let the glue cure for 24 hours before putting the drawers back in, so they wouldn't slip down while the glue was still wet.

thats the cabinet at the thrift where I got it ....

thats the messy bit ... after the layers of paint I added were kinda gone

and thats how its looking now. super happy I trusted the process and just gave it a try.


acrylic glass sheets / plexiglass 4 mm or thicker

heat gun


two pieces of scrap wood

white board marker (water erasable)

over all be careful to not get your hands near the heat stream of the gun as well as be aware that the tip of the gun is super hot and you can’t lay it on the ground with the tip touching the floor! Always put it nozzle up!

stay safe

try to get leftover plexiglass glass sheets at the hardware store, usually they are on discount since they're just leftovers from cuttings, but you can get whole sheets there as well

first off make sure to remove any kind of foil etc, cause it will melt into the glass once you start the heat gun

lets say first project is a little stand, like for a laptop or as a display thing

measure how high you want the 'leg part' to be

mark your height from both ends with a removable marker alternatively you can take some tape as well, just make sure that the tape is covered by the wood when you start the heat gun. the market is just to make sure you get the same heigt on both sides and that it’s straight

next put your glass in between two pieces of wood.

try to cover the marker / tape with the wood

doesn't have to be any specific kind, you just need the straight edge to be sore your fold / bend is all the way straight

sandwich your glass in and align your marked line with the edges of the wood

clamp it tightly, but make sure the clamps don't get in the way when you bend up or down

take your heat gun and heat up just a small line right where the glass touches the wood pieces

you need the glass to come up to around 160 degrees C - I put my heat gun on 300 degrees C and did slow lines with the nozzle of the heat gun for a few minutes

be careful to not get the air from the heat gun near your fingers!! its super super hot!!

bend slowly and carefully, you might have to heat it up a bit and bend a little bit more ... try as you go

make sure to hold it in place for a few minutes, to have it cooling off in the right position

look from the side to check If you're close to a 90 degree angle, so you'll end up with a stable stand

the options are endless, you can make super small or super big ones...

just when it comes it really big ones: don't use too thin of a sheet to start with, I would suggest if you want a full size couch/ side table go with 6mm or thicker. to be sure its stable

for these small stands I used 4 mm


feel like just a single bend each side is boring?

yup thought so too. I took a 170 cm long sheet to make a side table / magazine holder - it was a challenge

so I got this super long piece and measured how long / high I wanted the legs to be. and marked it

anything in between is basically free for bending

I took a cardboard tube and bend the first leg around to get a more rounded edge

next I bent some more to create a deep pocket shape for things like books or magazines

I used tools like a metal 90 degree angle thing to make sure I would end up with a up straight table and not have it leaning super weird to one side

some more tubes and bending ....

and more ....

I did make some lines with the marker to have a visual guide on where to heat the glass

regularly speaking: its easier if you heat up just one line and bend your way through the whole length than trying to heat up a big part of the glass, this can cause some unwanted warping etc ...

for the final cool down I put it in between two things to have the 90 degree corners and legs straight in place

remove the marker once cooled down

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