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The challenge of flat-packed furniture

The challenge of flat-packed furniture

Budget interior design that can make or break a marriage


Furnishing your first home or apartment on a tight budget often means a trip to a store like IKEA. And that means flat-packed furniture. Be warned - what starts out as an easy afternoon project can turn into something more like building a space shuttle.


Challenge 1


You go to the store with your partner intending to buy a TV cabinet. You know the colours that would work in your home and have some idea of the furniture designs you like. After getting lost and walking around the store backwards twice you’ve already had some tense words with each other. Then you’ve have misread the Scandinavian brand names such as “Flarke” because they match your mood.


Challenge 2


Having selected your cabinet you then have to get it home. You need to find it in the warehouse area and lug it on a huge trolley through the check-outs only to find that you have to turn it upside down and sideways to fit it into your little car.


Challenge 3


Now the fun starts! While you start to slowly unpack the pieces and sort them, your partner has already ripped open the box, tossed the instructions in a corner and put it all in a heap on the floor. You grab the instructions and start to read them and realize that there are no actual words, just series of line art drawings with lots of arrows and a strange but fundamental tool called an Allen or Hex key. You ask him (it’s always a him) to slow down so you can work together but he says he can do it faster on his own so you say a few choice words and leave him to it.


Challenge 4


After 6 hours he has conceded defeat as what should have been a nice, well-designed piece of furniture looks more like something a 2 year old built out of Lego with pieces jutting out at strange angles. So your challenge now is to pull it all apart and start again (while he makes dinner). You get the instructions, follow them step by step and within an hour you’ve achieved victory. Your TV cabinet is ready to use so you put it in place, re-plug everything and sit back to enjoy your lovely furniture in your beautiful room.


Flat-packed furniture is generally well designed and can look great. It’s very easy to fill your home with new bookcases, coffee tables and kitchen cupboards all on a shoestring budget. You just have to remember the following tips.


·         Bring your man with you to the store to help you get things to the car and back home BUT then send him out of the room.

·         Set all the furniture parts and tools out neatly and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS.

·         Put on your favorite movie and sit back with a glass of wine when you finish. You deserve it for all your efforts.

·         Enjoy the dinner that your man cooked for you.

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