Do You Have Flatpack Nightmares?

Have you ever regretted buying furniture that comes in a box? I know some of you hands-on home lovers relish the chance, but it can take me forever to figure out how to assemble some of those things! The confusing manuals, intensive guesswork, and if that isn’t enough trouble already, I always end up with some screws that don’t seem to find their purpose in the whole setup – it drives me crazy!

Interestingly, last year a psychologist devised a new type of couple therapy in which couples are asked to assemble IKEA furniture together and note down their experience. I totally agree that teamwork and successfully building something from scratch can bring two people together, but not all of us need to pass the IKEA-stress-test. For the rest of us, I present the furniture that can be assembled in a jiffy.

Multi-Tier Shelf

Forget your extensive toolkit. This multi-tier shelving unit by Ammar Kalo can be assembled by even the most naive.

Yes it arrives in a flat pack. But all you need to do is unpack, pin the legs to the topmost shelf with two brass connectors included in the kit, and let the rest of the shelves slide down. How simple is that.

Kalo high-end flatpack shelves, featured on

The design uses the oldest trick in the book – gravity. The slanting legs hold the remaining two selves in place. Camel leather collars are used where the shelves meet the legs. These collars hug the legs and prevent shelves from sliding down further. As a result, no extra hardware is required to keep things in place.

Kalo high-end flatpack shelves, featured on

The design is bold and beautiful. On the top shelf, the gentle grooves create a natural looking bend from which the legs extend.

Kalo high-end flatpack shelves, featured on

It’s a handsome piece of furniture that will make a stunning display at home.

They also have a matching coffee table.

Kalo high-end flatpack shelves, featured on

Play Yet

Do you remember these loungers by Smarin? We loved the Dune lounging chairs, and now we are super impressed by this Play Yet collection. For a company whose motto is to break away from the usual, this easy to assemble shelving unit sets a perfect example. It has unique aesthetics and its flexible format for reorganizing and setting, makes it suitable for so many settings .

Easy to assemble furniture, featured on

The shelves are a fun, easy to do project, too. They’re made from cork and wood and no screws are required to keep it together. There are no manuals either, so I quite like the fun idea of interlocking the pieces my own way.

Easy to assemble Smarin tent and play furniture, featured on

The various possible outcomes include a cabin, benches or tables. The material is strong enough to make bed frames for kids, and the different components offer the freedom of being able to move the pieces around as they grow up and require a room reshuffle.

Easy to assemble flatpack high-end furniture, featured on


Rob Feinstein the founder of Soapbox, believes in simple and honest designs. “The challenge was to create something that didn’t need tools, a foreign language dictionary, three friends or an engineering degree to put together.”

Easy-to-assemble high-end furniture, featured on

These beautiful boxed shelves and tables come in various customizable shapes and sizes. They are available in a range of woods, complemented with colorful metallic parts to hold them together. All you need to do is insert the edges of the wood boards into the metal grooves – that’s it!

Easy-to-assemble high-end furniture, featured on


Andrea Zanocchi and Carolina Starke wanted to create products that emphasize on the interaction between people and objects. Their collection of Frida stool and corner table enables you to assemble your furniture in three easy steps, and admire them forever.

Easy-to-assemble high-end furniture, featured on

A butterfly screw at the bottom locks the structure.

Easy-to-assemble high-end furniture, featured on

The stool tops and tables come in various colors for you to create your own look, or match with your existing furniture.

Easy-to-assemble high-end furniture, featured on

Can be easily dismantled and taken to a new location packed flat.

Easy-to-assemble high-end stools, featured on

Nanyang Technological University

The future of furniture looks interesting. Researchers at Nanyang Technological University have used design software to draw up future designs for interlocking furniture that requires no screws or glue to assemble. The idea is to break the furniture into smaller parts, with some pieces acting as keys that hold the structure together.

Easy to assemble furniture Nanyang University, featured on

Find out more about it on Gizmodo.

The benefits of flat pack furniture are more than just customization, but by reducing the amount of packaging and space created during shipping, we’re cutting down on waste and the global impacts of moving all these resources around the globe. Increasingly 3D printing is beginning to shape our decor. I truly believe that 3D-printed furniture in our home is not a far fetched reality, and I’m looking forward to a custom made future where we can really make our home as personal and individual as we like. But more on that some other time!

Do you have a preference over self-assembly furniture? How often do you take pieces apart and put them back together again in different ways? Let me know!