The IKEA Effect

Even the biggest IKEA fan knows what it means to visit on a weekend. It is a major undertaking that will leave your emotions and wallets drained. But I love it. Walking away with your haul, dizzy with thoughts of how you can rearrange your living room to fit that new console table, how your couch will look with those fantastic throw pillows.

And then there is that thrill of building your furniture yourself. Wait, what? What thrill? Do you mean the painful 6 hours of assembling those wardrobes, only to have the doors still slightly askew? I don’t think I know anyone who actually enjoys assembling furniture with just an Allen key, but perhaps it’s the idea of the finished product that keeps us going. Putting in all the time and sweat to build that table, those shelves, install that pendant lamp, makes you feel pretty awesome. There is even a name for this feeling – “The IKEA Effect“, a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, which proves we place way more value on something that we built ourselves, even if it is from a pre-made kit.

For me, my love of IKEA products is more about finding affordable furniture than the journey to put it together. Plus the shopping experience can be fun, walking through those sample rooms like a kid in a candy store.

Bricolage 108

IKEA Rast dresser hack (Bricolage108)

There is another thing that I love – IKEA hacks. Taking something so obviously “IKEA”, and transforming it to look like a custom piece that cost twice the price is kind of satisfying. There are so many examples of hack projects online, all very inspiring and will motivate even the least handy. These hacks show how to think outside the box, and see new ways to use an ordinary bookshelf. To look at the components of a piece of furniture, and see an alternate purpose for it in your home.

I recently braved the crowds and went to IKEA for a few picture frames. Of course, I left with an armful of other items I didn’t expect, but it could have been a lot worse!


IKEA is now embracing the world of hacks – here they are repurposing their own spice shelf, switched up as magazine racks.


Another hack in the IKEA showroom – display artwork with pant hangers!

Ikea trip


3 thoughts on “The IKEA Effect

  1. Citizen Dwayne says:

    Enjoyed your post! Your IKEA hacks are terrific – I like the re-purposing of the coat hangers. I hadn’t previously heard of the “IKEA Effect” but now recognize it as something I’ve experienced. I bought a tubular, metal loft bed with a desk underneath – typically something for kids (but fits well in a bachelor apartment) – and it took around three hours to assemble. And yes, I felt immensely accomplished at the end. I wasn’t about to build a cedar strip canoe, but it felt good nonetheless.


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