As part of the IKEA Live LAGOM Community, I get invited to loads of great workshops. There is no need to feel left out though, IKEA run workshops for everyone all through the year and you just need to check your local store to see what is going on.
Today’s workshop was about cosy homes and living in a drafty old Victorian house, I’m always keen to find new ways to keep the warm in and the weather out.
We started off looking at some of the room layouts. The first one showed us how easy it was to make a multi purpose room. In a very small space there was room for plants to grow in the VAXAR hydroponics units, a recycling sorting area and a whole craft space including a sewing table and some great storage solutions. This room was made in true Live LAGOM style using leftover flooring for the walls to give it a lovely cabin feel.
I had seen these units for kids but I didn’t think of them as a craft storage solution before now. I really like the blackboard labels!
The next room we looked at was very snug with rugs under the chairs so you could take your shoes off and stay warm. Penny, the interior design expert told us about using double curtains – thinner ones to keep the heat out in the summer and both thick and thin for the winter to protect against the cold. A top tip here was that the IKEA curtain brackets are adjustable, so if you get the hem of your curtains a bit wrong you can just adjust the height of the curtain rod.
I love looking at the room layouts because they always give me new ideas. We don’t have a TV and neither did this room. What they did have, was a white blackout blind that was used as a projection screen, that has to beat us huddling around the laptop to see a film! I’ll look into getting a projector.
The last room was all about smart lighting. I didn’t know that you can get smart lights that work independently from the internet, so if you have intermittent internet like me it doesn’t matter. When I changed to LED lights a couple of years ago, the expensive bit was getting dimmer switches changed to cope with low wattage. These new bulbs and transmitters do the same job without having to get an electrician in to do wiring, and they are cheaper too! There is a choice of bulbs and you can dim the brightness of them as well as change the colour, so you can have a light that is bright and white for working then dim it to be yellow and darker for relaxation. You can also group lights up to one controller so instead of fussing around changing the settings for each one, you can link them up and do them as a group of up to ten lights.
After the room tours we went to the newly refurbished fabric area in IKEA and made some super easy draft excluders.
Ours were sewn up strips that we stuffed with old fabric leftovers. You could use old (clean!) socks, t-shirts or any rags at all. It doesn’t matter if the draft excluder is a bit lumpy.
You need a bit of fabric – an inch or two, wider than the gap. Ours were nice and deep but they work well if they are narrower too.
Once you have stuffed the sausage you then just need to sew the end up.
If you don’t like sewing you can use the fusing that IKEA sell to turn up hems. It was incredibly strong and makes an almost instant, no sew draft excluder, you just need to iron the 2 sides together with the fusing in between.
We made fabric string with some of the long strips. It is just a matter of twisting – tie 2 strips of fabric together in a knot and hold between thumb and finger. Twist the top strip away from you 3 times then fold it over the bottom strip. Then twist the new top strip away from you 3 times and fold it towards you over the bottom strip. We all got really into this!
Finally I used some of the leftover fabric to test out Furoshiki, a Japanese method of wrapping presents without using paper. It is easy to do and can look stunning! I find placing the present in the middle and folding the fabric over it diagonally the easiest way. Then you twist up the long ends and tie them together. A few years ago I wrapped little KORKEN jars full of homemade fudge up in tea towels so the wrapping was useful too. Tiny gifts can be wrapped in hankies.
My new draft excluder is already in place against the back door and I’m noticing a difference already. It doesn’t take much to Live LAGOM with little changes to make life better, this was a morning well spent in good company. Josh, Giulia and Penny were just brilliant today and made us feel very relaxed and welcome. I’m looking forward to trying out the easy sewing patterns that we were given too. You can try them too, just click here for the Apron, here for the patchwork cushions and here for the tote bag.
I’m really looking forward to the next workshop at IKEA. Keep an eye on your local store for events and workshops because they are well worth going to. I learn something new every time!
This post is sponsored by IKEA UK. All views and opinions expressed are mine.