House style

Con­ve­nient, eco-friendly and built to last… Is it time to re­think at-home as­sem­bly?

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Jes­sica Doyle

Flat­packs to boast about

FLAT-PACK FUR­NI­TURE is not known for its daz­zling style, gen­er­ally be­ing a prod­uct of con­ve­nience, rather than el­e­vated aes­thet­ics. But a new breed of as­sem­ble-at-home op­tions might just change that.

One comes from the Swedish brand Hem, which has teamed up with the Nor­we­gian de­sign duo An­der­ssen & Voll on a sofa called Kumo (Ja­panese for ‘cloud’), which it de­scribes as ‘ships­mart’: the parts of the sofa can be packed into a sin­gle pal­let for trans­port. Due to its struc­ture, con­sist­ing of poles and cush­ions, it’s light­weight and easy to slot to­gether once it ar­rives, and it can be made big­ger or smaller if you move house. ‘Lots of so­fas are easy to build,’ notes de­signer Espen Voll, ‘but they look square and blocky. With Kumo, shape is just as im­por­tant; it’s rounded and vo­lu­mi­nous.’

Sus­tain­abil­ity is the fo­cus be­hind a chair by Pear­son­l­loyd for Takt, a new Dan­ish com­pany. Takt uses the flat­pack model as it re­duces fuel con­sump­tion in ship­ping (as well as the cost to the cus­tomer), and claims that six of its flat-packed Cross chairs take up the same amount of space as a sin­gle side chair. Made from oak, they have an el­e­gant Scandi aes­thetic and a sim­ple struc­ture, and can be put to­gether with min­i­mal tools and screws.

On more nostalgic lines is a stack­able stool, a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween de­signer-maker Andy King and the Sci­ence Mu­seum, com­mis­sioned for the open­ing of the lat­ter’s new shop. In­spired by school sci­ence-lab stools, it is com­posed of beech-ply­wood pieces and can, King says, be as­sem­bled in un­der 15 min­utes. He in­tends it as ‘a real so­lu­tion to small-space liv­ing’, and a good-qual­ity item that can eas­ily be taken from place to place: ‘I re­ally be­lieve that flat-pack fur­ni­ture should move away from its throw­away im­age, and be built to last.’

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