In Praise of Flat-Pack Furniture

I've done very little that's crafty this week. I knitted a few rows of cuff on a new top-down sock, and I bought a can of paint to repaint my nightstand (which generally needed spiffing up, and also really doesn't match the color palette of my new room).

I think the guy at Lowe's thought I was some kind of idiot for my lack of knowledge about paint or how one goes about getting a custom color of paint, but he was very polite and so I got my paint (Olympus, satin, Freedom Found; if anyone's interested).
(Just to be clear, this nightstand is not flat pack.)


Most of my focus this week has been on flat-pack shelving. I started the week reassembling stuff I brought with me, and finished the week looking at more that I need to get.

I know loads of people hate flat-pack (or 'the devil's furniture,' as one friend likes to call it), and dread the thought of having to assemble it. Personally I've never found it that problematic; the instructions are usually painfully simple and well illustrated, and include warnings to make sure you get the finished edges showing where they're supposed to be. Granted, I've done very few complicated assemblies, but for basic things like shelves and small cabinets, and even a desk, it seems easy enough. It's cheap and it produces something nicer than a plastic storage bin; I'm not saying it's any competition for real wood furniture with skilled design and craftsmanship involved, but for what it is, it's pretty nifty.

The thing I've especially come to appreciate about flat-pack is that it's flat and it packs. Having just moved house, the fact that this stuff came apart and went neatly into nice, square, stack-able boxes was wonderful. The fact that these boxes were something I could haul around without help was even better. In my new place I was able to get several pieces which – while not necessarily flat-pack – came in the mail and only needed a little simple assembly to go from being a handy, transportable (if heavy) box to a comfy seat, or table, or bed. As far as I'm concerned, the person who came up with this idea is brilliant. I didn't have to sweat, and pick up slivers, and crush fingers and toes trying to manipulate things through doorways they definitely didn't fit through. I didn't damage anything by catching doorknkobs or other obstructions; I just took things where I wanted them piece by piece and assembled them. If I should decide I want something in another room I just remove a few screws and repeat the process.

Maybe I'm being overly independent, but I like having furniture that doesn't require me to bribe my acquaintances with pizza whenever I need to do something with it. So I say, "Long live flat pack furniture!" (now I just need to find a flat-pack lap pool...)

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