IKEA knows how to do good design. Usually, we're most amazed by the company's shockingly affordable aesthetics. But the simple, utilitarian details are sometimes even more impressive. Here, 12 IKEA items with little details you didn't realize serve a purpose:
1. Drainage Chip
Ever notice the little chip on the bottom of IKEA mugs? That's there for a clever reason: to allow water to run off in the dishwasher, so you don't have to touch a cup with a little puddle of leftover water.
2. Replaceable Brush
3. Cord-Helping Drawer
That cutout on the Selje nightstand isn't just an aesthetic design detail, it also lets you run a phone charger cable through it: Keep your phone on the table, then run the cable through the nook (allowing you to keep the drawer closed) and through a space at the back of the table.
4. Table and Tray in One
The Gladom side table (and some other similar tables) features a removable top — transporting snacks to and from the kitchen just got so much easier.
5. Versatile Mirror
While most people think the Ikornnes mirror is meant to stand on a dresser or vanity with the arm pushed to the back to create a stand, it can also be suspended on the wall with the arm protruding to create a tie rack.
6. Washable Headboard
The Tomrefjord bed's headboard features a removable cover that can easily be cleaned.
7. Oven-Safe Storage
IKEA's glass food storage containers are also oven-safe (not the lids, just the bases). Meaning you can use it for roasting small pieces of meat/fish or pop it into the oven to reheat food.
8. A Hole for Transport
The hole in the seat of many IKEA stools is there to make it easier to carry.
9. A Lamp That Hides a Cord
With the Lauters lamp, you can wind the cord around the neck to decrease slack if you've got an outlet close by.
10. Reversible Rugs
IKEA's flat-weave rugs feature the exact same design on both sides — so when one side gets dirty, you can flip it over. Voila! New rug!
11. Mess-Reducing Lid
Aside from that cool window that lets you check in on how your food is cooking, the lid on the Sensuell pot is slightly slanted, so that when you remove it, condensation slides back into the pot, not onto your cooktop.
12. Sneaky Skinny Storage
What's up with that metal bar on the inside of the door on the Lixhult series? It helps to create a sneaky compartment where you can store a few flat items like paper goods or rulers.
Leonora Epstein is Hunker's Senior Director of Content. She has previously served as Executive Editor at HelloGiggles and as BuzzFeed's Deputy Editorial Director. She is the co-author of "X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story" (Abrams, 2014). Feel free to reach out at email@example.com.