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Ikea hack: Woman creates chic kitchen drinks station using £40 blinds

·3-min read
Jennifer Earle has come up with a genius hack using Ikea blinds to hide her coffee making area. (Supplied Jennifer Earle)
Jennifer Earle has come up with a genius hack using Ikea blinds to hide her coffee making area. (Supplied Jennifer Earle)

A woman has devised a genius hack to use £40 Ikea blinds to create a designated coffee area in her kitchen. 

Jennifer Earle, 39, from London, really wanted to have a separate section for making coffee and toast in her new kitchen. 

"I originally wanted a pantry-style cupboard there but the space was 120cm wide and with two doors opened it would block people walking through, so wouldn't be very practical as bench space to use to make coffee or toast," she explains. 

"I thought it would make sense to have that separate section have a purpose, especially as it was adjacent to both the breakfast bar and fridge."

Earle says she wanted to be able to hide the shelves because she didn't want the pressure of keeping them tidy. 

"I also didn't want the toaster, kettle and coffee machine on display, because I felt like the equipment can fill up a bench and make it look cluttered," she says. 

"But pulling them in and out of a cupboard is tedious when they're used frequently."

Jennifer Earle is thrilled with her new coffee making area. (Supplied Jennifer Earle)
Jennifer Earle is thrilled with her new coffee making area. (Supplied Jennifer Earle)

Having spotted a set-up in another home where she'd once house sat, which used a narrow garage door to hide the kitchen paraphernalia, Earle set about trying to source something similar. 

"I loved how it kept the kitchen looking tidy, so I thought it would be ideal here as it wouldn't get in the way of people walking past when it was open," she says. 

But quotes for an aluminium garage door of the size she needed came in at around £800, with a wooden garage door costing around £1,300.

It was then Earle came up with the idea of an alternative option, which cost just £40.

"We were looking at blind options for windows as part of the renovation and I remembered seeing the push pull concertina ones and it clicked that they looked very like the garage door options which I couldn't believe were as expensive as they were," says the founder of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours. 

"I suggested it to our builders and they loved the idea and confirmed they could build a frame out of MDF with an overhang so you couldn't see the blind when it was fully tucked up."

Watch: Easy DIY hack for your Ikea furniture. 

The whole project took around a day with Earle's builders making a frame and installing the blinds to create the unique coffee area. 

"We bought the blind and the builders built the frame to fit the blind," Earle says. "The style of the blind meant they couldn't be cut to size, which I'm glad we checked first. 

"We were lucky it was close enough to the size we wanted that the builders could adapt the frame to make it fit elegantly." 

The Ikea blind hides the shelves and kitchen equipment.  (Supplied Jennifer Earle)
The Ikea blind hides the shelves and kitchen equipment. (Supplied Jennifer Earle)

While Earle says she would have loved a cool pattern or mural on the blind, she couldn't find any that were push-operated which were the right size, but she is thrilled with how her clever design hack turned out. 

"We expected it would get dirty and we'd need to replace it frequently but 2.5 years in it still works well and looks great," she says.

"It feels like ages since anyone has seen it to react, but generally people loved it and think it's really clever and stylish. 

"Ironically we don't actually pull it down very often!"

For anyone else thinking of doing an alternative design trick, Earle suggests making sure you figure out what can be adapted - and what is available - before starting. 

"We had to work around the blind, rather than being able to adapt the blind to our requirements," she explains. 

Watch: UK mum has incredible DIY hacks for your home. 

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