It takes a lifetime to furnish a home to your liking. Unless you have an unlimited income, you’ll need to assemble your home furnishings piecemeal, as you save up and find the exact right parts. Still, in the meantime, you need places to sit, eat and sleep, which means you’ll need to get interim furniture that looks nice and functions well but doesn’t eat terribly into your furniture budget.
Enter: flat pack. Flat pack furniture, the stuff that comes un-assembled in a box, tends to be made from lower-quality materials, and because the company is economical in manufacturing and shipping, you can enjoy significant discounts in furniture prices. Still, shopping for flat pack and putting your home furnishings together can still take time. The key to quick, easy and affordable furnishings is knowing where to shop — and then working to maintain your furniture so you can take your time upgrading each piece as you see fit.
Know Where to Get Low-cost, Attractive Flat Pack Furniture
IKEA is the world’s largest flat pack furniture producer, and it has made accessible, assemble-it-yourself pieces for decades. There’s probably an IKEA close to where you live. However, IKEA isn’t your only flat pack option — in fact, it isn’t your best option, either. The internet has allowed other flat pack furniture producers to flourish, and you can often find more stylish, less costly pieces if you know where to look online.
Many flat pack competitors are also Swedish, or at least Scandinavian, but through the power of the web, you can get the tightly packed boxes of furniture on your doorstep in a matter of days. Here are some of the top and trending flat pack brands to explore for your fast furniture needs:
- Burrow. Burrow’s selection isn’t vast, including fewer than 10 items, but the limitation does make furniture shopping faster and easier.
- Campaign. When a former Apple engineer starts designing furniture, you get Campaign — an exceedingly durable, economical and sleekly beautiful set of furniture.
- Kvell. Kvell furniture is designed for small spaces; most of it is multi-purpose, (like a lounge chair with storage under the seat) and some of it is collapsible, so it can hide until it is needed.
- Hem. Admittedly, Hem isn’t the cheapest producer on this list, but it could be among the most stylish, especially if you are after those clean, simple, Scandi vibes.
- Inside Weather. If you are more interested in customizing your furniture, this newer flat pack producer is for you. You can individualize every aspect of any piece from Inside Weather.
- Akron Street. Founders of Akron Street were determined to create furniture for apartments that look and feel luxurious — and its affordable, too.
Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Furniture Nice
Once you have decided on a variety of flat pack pieces to keep your home furnished, you should do your best to keep your fast and easy furniture nice. With most flat pack, durability is not a high priority; to keep the furniture lightweight and inexpensive, many producers utilize flimsy materials like MDF, which are easy to scuff, crack or crumble. Since you don’t want your furniture to fall apart before you have time to save up for longer-term pieces, here are some tips and tricks for treating your flat pack furniture right:
- Hire professional furniture assemblers. Handymen and specialized furniture assemblers can quickly put together any piece of flat pack, helping you avoid the headache and heartache of wasting hours only to do it incorrectly. Plus, because experts have the proper tools and experience, you can be certain they won’t drop, lose or overtighten any elements, which could cause damage. In major cities like Atlanta, furniture assembly services are easy to find and don’t add much to the overall cost of your furnishings.
- Clean your furniture every week. Dirt and grime doesn’t just look bad; it also often interferes with the proper function of an object, even furniture. A 10-year-old pillow gains three to five pounds over its lifetime just through the accumulation of skin cells and mites; imagine how much weight your sofa gains! You should take the time every week to vacuum, lint roll, dust and otherwise clean your furniture.
- Avoid known dangers to your furniture. Just as you wouldn’t knowingly put your child (or pet) in harm’s way, you probably shouldn’t put your furniture in contact with the following dangers: sunlight, extreme heat or cold, sharp objects, inks or dyes.
Flat pack furniture is a smart investment for those who need furniture fast. You don’t have to commit to flat pack for the rest of your life, but you can furnish your home quickly and economically by choosing a variety of flat pack pieces — and by caring for those pieces appropriately.