Jules Yap

Founder of IKEA Hackers

Jules Yap of IKEA hackers

Jules Yap started IKEA Hackers in 2006 as a website to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks worldwide. Since then, it has become a hub of inspiration, featuring stunning furniture transformations, DIY tutorials, upcycles, and how-tos to customize flatpack furniture.

“I love IKEA hacks and DIY. Not just hacking them myself but also seeing what others have done. My experience with DIY started early as Dad’s little assistant. All I did was hand him the screwdriver and hammer, which was enough to spark a life-long love for making and creating things,” she explains.

Much later on, she got her first apartment, which further ignited her interest in home decorating and design.

IKEA Frosta hack and Rast nightstand hack by Jules Yap
Photo Credit: Jules Yap

Her apartment became the canvas to experiment with color schemes, style trends, and DIY projects. Fueling her appetite for creativity, she began browsing home decor websites (Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist yet) and chanced upon her first IKEA hack.

“I was utterly blown away. My first thought was, ‘I can modify IKEA furniture?’ It seems obvious now, but nobody let on to it back then,” she added.

How did IKEA Hackers start?

IKEA Hackers on Blogspot

After spending hours trolling the Internet for IKEA hacks, she found a handful scattered across the web. The lightbulb went on!

She thought, why not gather all these IKEA hacks in one place?

The rest, as they say, rolled out like Swedish meatballs. From its humble beginnings hosted on a blogspot, it has grown by leaps and bounds and is the leading platform for DIYers and IKEA Hackers from all over the globe to share their hacks, alternative ideas, and repurposing of IKEA products. Jules hopes the sharing of IKEA hacks and ideas will inspire readers to birth something unique from the “everyone-has-it” IKEA pieces.

Up close with Jules Yap

Jules is based in Selangor, Malaysia, and lives in a terrace house. The renovation is documented in her renovation diary.

Her first IKEA Hack was a RIBBA frame turned into a watch case. After that, she hacked several more projects, including a potting table. “When I’m not IKEA hacking and working on this site, I cook, take walks in the park, and try to grow things, although I’m still failing at this!”

Things you didn’t know about Jules Yap

Favorite snack: Cheezels
Guilty pleasure: K-drama
Secret fantasy job: Home organizer
Can’t live without: Jesus
Pet peeve: Putting things back in place

Renovating her home

While the major renovation is done, making the space a home is always a work in progress. She is most proud of the reno work in her kitchen and primary ensuite. Follow along as she turns a 20-year-old house into a home.

In her previous apartment, she worked with IKEA on a kitchen remodel, a kitchen she still thoroughly loves and misses.

IKEA kitchen by Jules Yap
My first apartment with an IKEA kitchen | Photo Credit: Jules Yap

Author of the IKEA hacking book

Jules wrote a book in 2017 that documented some of the most prolific IKEA hackers and best-loved IKEA hacks. The book goes into much more detail on making the hacks that may not be possible on the website. Nineteen collaborators worked with her on the book to produce a comprehensive book on hacking some of the most popular IKEA furniture. Details of the book are here.

IKEAHackers book

Her IKEA hacks on exhibit

In 2020, the M+ Museum in Hong Kong acquired two of her IKEA hacks for their M+ collection. “I’m honored to be featured alongside other acclaimed visual artists, designers, and architects in this interdisciplinary collection of visual culture,” she says.

M+ Collection
M+ Collection | Jules Yap

Other than this site, you can connect with Jules via the links below:

Interviews with Jules:

“IKEA is in my blood now. If you cut me, I’d probably bleed Lingonberry juice. My IKEA radar is always on — if I step into a restaurant or a friend’s home, I can’t help but notice the IKEA. You could say it’s an occupational hazard.” – The Malay Mail

“When we ‘unbox’ our minds and strip the labels, we begin to see possibilities. Sometimes, I play this game when I walkabout at an IKEA store. When I come across a strange object and have no idea what it is or what it is for, I stop myself from reaching for the tag. Rather, I stare at it for a while and begin to imagine what it could be or how I can use it. It’s a little game for me. But I think that’s true in life, too. When we have fewer labels, on what is ‘beautiful’ or not, what’s an ‘Instagram-worthy home’, we will have less of the same and more of our self, our personalities, our uniqueness in our spaces. Let go of the labels. That’s what IKEA hacking has taught me.” – Apartment Therapy

“I was flipping through the IKEA catalogue and saw the Jules chair and thought, why not? So it sorta stuck and those who know me through this site do call me Jules.” – Emirates Woman

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