18 Ways to Hack the IKEA Step Stool in Every Room of the House
The BEKVAM stool is a classic IKEA favorite that might just look like a normal wooden step stool. Yeah, it’s great for the kids and it’s great for reaching the top shelf in the pantry. But if you think that’s where this little stool’s potential stops, you’re seriously mistaken. The BEKVAM can be used in just about every room in the house: You can also use it as a nightstand, a storage piece, dining seating or a perch in the hallway for putting on your shoes. Scroll down to check out all the ways you can take that stool to the next level. If you don’t have a BEKVAM at home, these ideas might just make you want to go out and buy it. IKEA trip, anyone?
1. Kid’s Desk Seat: Um, can we please get this furry stool in our study? Make the BEKVAM a little more comfortable with a fur cushion so they can craft their masterpieces at a comfortable height. (via Design Sponge)
2. Kitchen Stool: While the natural wood of the BEKVAM is pretty, it’s way more fun painted a cheery accent color or covered in wallpaper. The kitchen is a great place to keep this stool, and it’s small enough to tuck under the table when you’re not using it. (via My Scandinavian Home)
3. DIY Coat Rack: Lacking a little something something in the closet area? Turn the BEKVAM stool into a fabulous and unique clothes stand where you can set out your outfit for the next morning. (via Micasa)
4. Bathroom Step Stool: No one should have to share a stool. If the sink is way out of reach, make sure your kids can still reach the toothpaste and fix their hair, and keep a pair of these super colorful stools right under the sink. (via My Design Chic)
6. Outdoor Plant Stand: Take the BEKVAM outside and use it as a plant ladder. The two steps are just right for showcasing your herb garden and turning your patio into a mini garden paradise. (via Apartment Therapy)
7. Kid’s Bedroom Nightstand: When you’re not using the stool to reach high places, paint the stool hot pink and put it next to the bed as a mini nightstand. The kids will love having an extra shelf for keeping all their treasures close at hand. (via Svenngarden)
8. Study Seating: When you’re deep in crafting mode, you don’t want to have to worry about reaching your favorite art supplies. Use the BEKVAM as a desk seat that can easily be moved over to the storage closet and used to reach the top shelf of art goodies. (via Bolig Magasinet)
9. Sink Step: If you have little ones, you can’t beat the BEKVAM for a little extra height, and the handle makes it super portable and easy to move around when they’re getting their teeth brushed. Paint the legs an accent color to make it a little more modern or let the kids make it awesome with their own artwork. (via LWG)
10. Wallpaper Accents: Skip the paint and roll out the wallpaper to make these adorable little stools. Let the kids use them for a while, and when they’re taller, you can use it in the bathroom to keep extra hand towels and a basket of bath bombs near the sink for guests. (via This Little Street)
11. Dining Table Seating: They may not be the most comfortable seats, but it’s nice to have a couple of these stools tucked under your dining table for extra guests. It’s a great option for small-space living when you want to do a little entertaining and don’t have room for a full dining set. (via Deuce Cities Henhouse)
12. DIY Mini Kitchen: Your kids will love making dinner right along with you with this affordable little setup. It’s as simple as painting the steps black, drawing a stovetop and adding a little basket full of dishes. (via IKEA Hackers)
13. DIY Contrasting Side Table: The simple BEKVAM will ensure your bedside table doesn’t get too messy, especially if you throw on a catch-all bowl… or four. The step part of the stool is a great place to store your reading list and the top is just the right size to keep your phone, lamp and a cute plant. (via En Cours de Creation)
14. Living Room Side Table: Need a place to showcase your impressive succulent collection? This stool is just the right height to use as a side table next to the couch and you can easily personalize it to match the color palette of your room. (via The Golden Sycamore)
15. Minimal Bedside Table: We’re not sure how long our side table would look this nice and organized, but the BEKVAM is a great height for a bedside table and it comes at a price that can’t be beat. You could always keep a basket underneath to store your essentials out of sight but within easy reach. (via Casa Del Caso)
16. Breakfast Nook: The BEKVAM is a convenient space to sit, but doesn’t take up as much space as a bench or stools. Then you always have the option to move it around when you’re feeling inspired to see what’s hiding on top of your cabinets. (via In My House)
17. Fold Down Table + Seating: Breakfast nooks are hard to come by when you’re living in a small apartment. DIY your own with a tiny fold-down table and a stool that you can use everywhere in the kitchen and as a breakfast stool. (via Bolig Magasinet)
18. Nursery Stool: IKEA furniture is always a great pick for a nursery because it’s so multi-functional. Use the BEKVAM to reach the top shelf of the closet and then turn it into a craft table or mini reading seat when they get a little bigger. (via Handmade Charlotte)
Are you planning a trip to IKEA yet? Head over to our Pinterest page for decor inspo and lots of IKEA hacks!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com