IKEA Has Released Instructions on How to Build a Range of Cool Forts at Home

Mosquito-free camping, brought to you by your own living room furniture.
Mosquito-free camping, brought to you by your own living room furniture.
evgenyatamanenko/iStock via Getty Images

If the current quarantine has you itching to transform your living room into a cozy stronghold of sheets and couch cushions, IKEA is ready to help you make that happen.

The Russian branch of the company has partnered with creative agency Instinct on six indoor fort designs comprising household items like couches, blankets, books, and chairs. The illustrated instructions are easy to follow and even easier to modify based on what you have available at home. If you don’t have a string of lights (or aren’t quite willing to dig out your boxes of Christmas decorations), you could always illuminate the interior with a simple desk lamp; and binder clips can be used instead of clothespins in a pinch.

Pålatka, which loosely translates to tent, consists of a pair of blankets clothespinned together along the top beam of a portable garment rack and held in place on the floor with several heavy books. For anyone looking to simulate the feeling of taking shelter from a passing thunderstorm in a small cave, we recommend Norå, where you drape a blanket over the back of an armchair and toss a few fluffy pillows underneath for added comfort.

As Lifehacker’s Meghan Moravcik Walbert points out, the concept of throwing a sheet over a chair and keeping it in place with books isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it’s just simple enough that it might not have crossed your mind—especially if you haven’t constructed a furniture fort since childhood.

And, since burying your nose in a book is a great activity for fort-dwellers, here are 11 book series to binge-read.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com

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Why Are So Many Farmhouses Painted White?

DelmasLehman/iStock via Getty Images
DelmasLehman/iStock via Getty Images

When Aunt Polly tasks Tom Sawyer with whitewashing the fence in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, she’s not merely trying to spruce up the property with a little redecoration scheme.

As Simplemost explains, whitewashing a surface isn’t exactly the same as just painting it white—though it does bleach that surface bright white. Whitewash is a slaked lime-based liquid that prevents mildew, fights odors, repels insects, and even works as a mild antibacterial substance. It’s also inexpensive, quick-drying, and easy to apply—making it a perfect chore to delegate to your young, mischievous nephew. Because of all these factors, whitewashing farmhouses and fences became a popular trend among colonial homeowners, especially those who lived in humid climates.

According to the Daily Press, all it took to create your own whitewash was water and lime (a white powdery compound also known as calcium oxide). When combined, the mixture would bubble up and emit steam before settling into a white, paint-like substance. Rural families often had sacks of lime on hand, since it was also used as a disinfectant, an ingredient in livestock feed, and a way to temper soil acidity.

Despite its many advantages, whitewash had one drawback: It wasn’t especially long-lasting. As time went on, wealthier people transitioned to using regular white paint, which didn’t require frequent touch-ups and eventually came to serve as a status symbol.

It may have been extra common for farm owners to take advantage of the cheap, efficient method of painting their property, but they weren’t the only ones. The White House was originally whitewashed, too, which inspired its now-official nickname.

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