The History of Flatpack Furniture

Prior to the 1950’s you’d be hard pressed to choose your furniture and take it home the same day. After placing your order at a shop or with a carpenter, you would be waiting for a considerable time before the finished article was delivered. Usually made from solid wood, furniture would be very heavy and difficult to move. The convenience of flatpack furniture is perhaps something we now very much take for granted.

The person accredited with inventing flatpack furniture is draughtsman Gillis Lundgren who came up with the idea in 1956. One of the first employees of Swedish furniture store Ikea, he attempted to load a large table into a car-boot for delivery. After struggling with it (as it was a tight squeeze) he realised the best way to get it into the restricted space was to remove the legs and load them independently under the table-top.

This was the birth of flatpack furniture as we know it today. It has become big business – consumers in the UK today spend approximately £24 billion per annum on flatpack furniture. Furniture can be sold more cheaply, as the time-consuming assembly line process can be transferred to the customer, who can transport their purchase more conveniently and construct it in their own home.

Following the initial invention, other firms were quick to pick up on flatpack furniture, with MFI being one of the first in the UK to embrace its many benefits. Northampton College even launched a government-funded course to teach people how to assemble flatpacks.

Experts say the best advice is to get everything out of the box and lay it out on a flat surface, rather like pieces of a jigsaw, before reading the instructions thoroughly and following them step-by-step. There’s no need to panic when you see all the pieces coming out of the box, as the instructions are always very clear and explanatory, talking you through the assembly process so that all you need is a little patience.

Flatpack furniture is considered so much a part of today’s culture that research has been carried out at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich to find out why flatpacks are sometimes assembled incorrectly by consumers. The answer they came up with was that people weren’t following the instructions, either because they thought they knew better or because they didn’t have enough patience to follow the detailed diagrams.

In addition, Derby University PhD student Miles Richardson has calculated a scientific formula to work out the degree of difficulty in assembling a piece of flatpack furniture! His calculations are based on the number of components, the number of sections that must be joined together and how many equally-shaped parts there are.

Furniture Pack Solutions takes the stress out of the whole process! Offering a complete service our quality, hard-wearing and aesthetically pleasing furniture packages include HMO furniture packs, student room packages and bespoke student furniture options. Once your purchase is finalised, our professional and efficient installation team will come to your home or property and assemble the furniture for you – we’ll even vacuum afterwards, so the property is ready to be occupied immediately. How’s that for convenience!

95% of our bedroom furniture is delivered fully assembled, so flat pack frenzies will definitely be a thing of the past when you use furniture

For further details of our complete service, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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