Buying furniture is expensive, and building it is difficult. Enter: furniture hacking. Furniture hacking is a growing movement that involves taking existing furniture and structures, and modifying them to create beautiful and ingenious pieces of furniture. It can be as simple as putting a clip onto a lamp to avoid burnt fingers, or as complicated as building your own wall out of vases.
Whatever your level of DIY know-how, there’s a furniture hack out there for you. Some involve carpentry skills, while others make use of crafty techniques like decoupage. Whichever way you choose to go, you’ll get that glow that comes with creating something with your own two hands.
Whether you're a board game fanatic or just looking for a way to cover a damaged tabletop, this scrabble-tile table/bench is a great project. This one was made by Eric Harshbarger, a game and puzzle designer. He glued hundreds of tiles to the top of this bench, coated it in polyurethane, and created trim out of (what else? scrabble tile holders.
Ikea hacking is practically its own category of furniture hacking. This project turns a vertical shelving unit into a bench with storage. To see a tutorial, go here.
Here's a simple lamp hack that will lend a lot of atmosphere. Collect driftwood or forest branches, and tie them around the base of a boring lamp, creating instant woodsy charm.
With some reclaimed wood, even a plastic cooler can get a cabin makeover. This project costs only $30 and will make your cooler infinitely, uh, cooler. Tutorial here
If you're looking for a way to keep your kids organized, why not use a system they're used to? These lockers are made from an old bookshelf — this unit is classic locker-green, but you can decorate as you see fit. Tutorial here
Simple-yet-elegant bird bath
A bird bath is a great way to make your cottage more wildlife-friendly, but a pre-made birdbath can be prohibitively expensive. This simple birdbath is made from an Ikea candle holder costs $20 to make (less if you have your own bowl sitting around) and it looks surprisingly chic and modern. Tutorial here.
Futuristic wall storage
This bookshelf/magazine rack wall is built entirely with plastic toy storage boxes. It's a huge project, but you could easily downscale it for a little extra storage space. Tutorial <a href="http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/06/my-trofast-studio.html".here.
You can easily create custom bulletin boards with the round cork mats that are typically used to put hot pots on. Just choose your favourite fabric, cover it, and put it on the wall for a handy place to leave messages. Full tutorial here.
This one is pretty work-intensive, but having a bar-cart at the cottage will be totally worth it. Tutorial <a href="http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2013/07/10/diy-ikea-bar-cart-hack/"here.
Big area rug
A big area rug automatically makes any space cozier, but large rugs are expensive. Fortunately, small rugs are much more affordable — and that's all you need to create a large rug of your own! Tutorial here.
We’ve chosen eleven hacks that you can use to make your cottage into a more stylish, functional space. Feel free to modify at will!