Swedish retailer IKEA is renowned for its furnishings, and one particular item is proving increasingly popular in recent years. The product in question is a bed for a child’s doll, and it’s going down a storm with droves of lateral-thinking shoppers. In fact, animal-lovers in particular seem fascinated by the potential of their pint-sized purchases.
Although buyers are finding creative uses for many of the store’s toys, the DUKTIG range is perhaps its most popular. Indeed, this appears to be the doll accessory that sparked off the whole craze (with a little help from the internet, of course). So what actually is the IKEA DUKTIG anyway?
To be more specific, DUKTIG is the name of a series of doll’s furniture, not just the bed. IKEA has provided a slightly more detailed description on its website. “Our DUKTIG toy kitchen set series makes it easy and fun for kids to copy what their parents do,” it explains.
The description continues, “There are lots of realistic-looking toys here that look just like the things grown-ups use, too!” Yet seemingly the DUKTIG line has also got adults’ imaginations fired up with regard to how they can use the furniture as well. All that’s required is a little ingenuity and repurposing…
Famed for its self-assembly approach, IKEA has always held an attraction for those with an appreciation for D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) furniture. According to the company, flat-pack kits help it to offer products at a lower price and offer greater transport convenience. Maybe that’s what has helped IKEA grow into the retail giant it is today.
Actually, the company’s been around since 1943 when Ingvar Kamprad founded it at the youthful age of 17. Since then, it has not only grown into a powerhouse known nationwide, but also the biggest furniture store in the world. IKEA’s kept ahead of the curve with its environmentally friendly practices and keen business acumen.
By June 2019 IKEA had a total of 433 branches across 52 countries globally; it earned $44.6 billion in 2018 alone according to its website. Indeed, its consistently large income means the firm ranks among the 40 richest companies operating today. Given the brand’s popularity that trend’s set to continue for the foreseeable future, especially with the firm benefiting from unexpected windfalls such as people discovering life hacks for its DUKTIG range.
Life hacks are basically tips and tricks that make daily routines more efficient, or giving objects a new use. One example would be putting a wet smartphone in rice overnight to dry it out, for example. There’s a lot of variety and creativity involved, and these days the internet makes swapping handy hints easier than ever.
The term “life hack” most likely originated in the I.T. world, spread by programmers who saw a parallel between finding solutions to day-to-day problems and manipulating computer coding. The phrase struck a chord and has quickly spread into general use. After all, who doesn’t want to make their lives easier using a handy quick fix? With that in mind, imaginative shoppers have found furniture can be oddly versatile.
For example, did you know that costume designers for hit TV show Game of Thrones used IKEA rugs? Warrior Jon Snow, portrayed by actor Kit Harington, wore one as part of his cloak. IKEA even printed how-to instructions to turn their sheepskin SKOLD rug into a winter cape for budding cosplayers (that’s costume players for those who don’t know).
Thus it was only a matter of time until internet users merged life hacks with another popular concern – their pets. People love to treat their animal friends, and some turned to IKEA for their life-hack needs. Its unassembled furniture is relatively easy to repurpose with a little imagination and ingenuity.
For example the store’s OSTED rug, which is simply a long beige mat, can double as a kitty climbing wall. An IKEA life hacker discovered their cats loved it and consequently anchored one to their wall and floor with hooks. They even added a carpeted shelf nearby to act as a perch for their playful furbabies.
Additionally, there are plenty of options for the people who want to make their cat toilets more discreet. D.I.Y. practitioners Evan and Katelyn named IKEA’s two-compartment BESTA unit on their website as a great base. To begin with, they made some adjustments to the provided shelving and added a couple of extra cupboard doors.
The pair also installed a pair of cat doors. They put one inside to connect the cabinet’s sections together, and another on the exterior as an entryway. The result was a purrfectly private poop zone for their kitty’s litter box. And as an added bonus the cabinet stores cat-related cleaning paraphernalia too.
It’s not just cats that benefit from the IKEA life hacks, either; dog owners are also getting creative. One example comes from kitchen fixtures, of all things. The object in question is the FAKTUM kitchen cabinet. With a couple of extra additions the unit makes a handy food bar for large four-legged friends.
But how would the FAKTUM become a doggy bar? Well, the original poster (OP) on the IKEA Hackers website described just that on their contribution to the site. They explained how they flipped the cabinet on its side and added holes for the food bowls. A few quality-of-life additions, and their project was complete.
As for your smaller dogs, what about something to make them feel much taller? You can do just that with a bedside table, a couple of shelves and some door mats. Combine these and you can make a ramp for your little friend, allowing them to literally reach new heights.
Begin by attaching a EKBY JARPEN shelf to one of IKEA’s RAST bedside tables with a couple of hinges. It already starts to take shape, but finish by gluing some door mats onto the repurposed shelf. At the end of the project, your dog will have a gentle runway up to their very own raised perch.
If you’re feeling inventive, though, you could always try your hand at combining this project with a second one. Another IKEA hacker found that the MALM dresser unit becomes a pet window seat with a bit of tweaking. You just need a few extra pieces of material to add some pizzazz.
Attaching a piece of plywood, foam and fabric onto the dresser top makes it a lovely pet couch. Even more so if you have a spare spot in your house to turn it into a window seat. And, in theory, there’s nothing to stop you adding the aforementioned ramp for doggies of the shorter persuasion.
Other IKEA hackers modified the furniture to give their pets some dining privacy from each other. Dog and cat owners will be familiar with their furry friends’ penchants for dipping into one another’s food bowls. Well, one person found an elegant solution to the problem thanks to the TROFAST shelving unit.
The unit already comes with everything you need to use it as a pet food bar. The first step is attaching the TROFAST unit to your wall at the required height. Then simply make some holes in the shelving to fit your food bowls, and the partitions provide pet privacy.
Speaking of refreshments, the IKEA hacking community aren’t all focused on indoor features. There’s also a unique outdoor use for the SORTERA recycling bin, which is essentially a simple white tub. But with the addition of a float and a garden hosepipe it has the potential to become something else entirely.
With this in mind, a D.I.Y. enthusiast managed to transform the SORTERA bin into an automatic water feeder. It allows their pets to get a drink while they’re home alone, which is ideal in warmer weather. Plus, the OP left half the lid in place to protect the water from falling leaves.
Of course, cats seem to enjoy IKEA’s collection of shelves as much as anything. That’s because they play to a feline’s love of heights. Life-hacker websites are filled with lofty examples of cat platforms made from repurposed shelves. For instance, the LACK just needs a rug for your kitty’s comfort.
Alternatively, why stop at just one or two perches? If you have the space, you can potentially turn a whole wall into a cat climbing frame. At least, that’s what one cat-lover did with a combination of picture shelves and fabric-lined KNAGGLIG crates. By turning the ledges into steps, the pet-owner created an impressive obstacle course.
With this versatility in mind, it’s unsurprising that D.I.Y. enthusiasts have discovered another use for the DUKTIG doll bed. Although certain IKEA branches actually stock a selection of pet furniture, the re-purposed DUKTIG is proving a hit on the internet. It all seems to have originated with a Japanese customer’s pet project.
They purchased the $14.99 doll bed, but their toys weren’t the intended recipient. Instead, the OP wanted to turn it into a bed for their pet cats, and the idea has since gone viral. Indeed, it’s now not just cats that people have modified the DUKTIG for, but small dogs too. Even rabbits have had the DUKTIG treatment!
Sure, you could buy a pet bed for your furbaby, and you wouldn’t have to make it yourself. On the other hand, these DUKTIG are like little human beds, so they just radiate cuteness. They’re ideal if you want to share some adorable pet photos on social media with your friends.
Just looking at the beds people have made their pets makes you want to give it a try yourself. They’re the perfect size for your average cat to curl up or stretch out on. In addition, the frames are slotted so that your pet can comfortably fit their tails through.
Perhaps the best part about the DUKTIG, though, is its flexibility. If you have more than one pet, the bed’s compact size makes it ideal for placing multiples side-by-side. But that’s just the beginning; with some tinkering, you can make DUKTIG beds into even cuter bunks, as IKEA hacker Kelly described.
“With two larger-than-average cats in the house, there would be no sharing,” the OP wrote in October 2019. “After seeing some photos of folks who had double- (or triple-) bunked these little beds, I knew I had to do the same.” However, she couldn’t find any instructions online.
Kelly continued, “I looked around for an explicit ‘How to make a cat bunk bed’ post but couldn’t find one. So I thought I’d make one myself.” Furthermore, she revealed that even a D.I.Y. amateur can make one with the right equipment. All you need is a handful of components.
Obviously, for a bunk you need more than one DUKTIG bed. Ideally, you will have as many beds as you have pets. Beyond that you will need some wood screws, a screwdriver for them and some plates to connect them all together. With those, you can begin your project.
Kelly explained how you have to remove the bed’s bottom panels and put them on their sides. This makes attaching the bed posts together with the mending plates easier. At this stage it’s important to make sure the plates are level before you screw them to the inner posts.
“Carefully flip the beds, now attached on only one side so they’re a bit fragile,” Kelly wrote. “When you turn them over you’ll likely notice that things aren’t lining up just right. Don’t worry! The final screws will fix them. Just gently press them into place beforehand.” Now your beds are almost done.
Kelly added, “You’ll find the attachments are very sturdy. And because the mending plates are attached on the interior they don’t detract from the overall appearance of the bunk beds. Now all you have to do is replace the bedding. And last but not least, insert happy cats!”
Needless to say, animal-lovers can’t get enough of these ingenious DUKTIG hacks and the responses on website BoredPanda reflect that. “Love the triple-decker bunk beds,” one person wrote on the comments. “And the fact that dogs and bunnies also enjoy the comfort of a nice bed. So many beautiful, satisfied cats!”
“I bought my cat this bed and she loves it,” another commenter added. “I simply sprayed it once with a get-on spray for cats. After that, she knew it was for her.” A third person concurred. “I bought one of these for my cats last year and they love it,” they wrote.
But arguably the biggest proof for the genius that is the DUKTIG bed life hack is how much pets love it. From cats to small dogs to bunnies, there’s many examples of happy customers all over the internet. And you know what they say: a happy pet makes a happy human.