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Skylon floating bed in white is Beautiful

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

This is an incredibly contemporary and stylish bed from Dwell. I built one this morning and it looks fabulous.

Dwell Skylon Floating Bed

The instructions for assembly leave a lot to be desired though. The main idea is that you build the bed base and build the head board and then slot the two pieces together. Nothing wrong with that you may think but there is. Due to its weight you need two people to lift the head board and probably a third person to line up the bolts and dowels, which need to come together at a handy 45 degree angle. Now bearing in mind there are three bolts and three dowels on each side, even if you were to attempt this it would be fraught,  since I doubt both sides would line up nicely and you would need a decent amount of lateral force as well as downward force to bring the two pieces together.

In my opinion the correct way to build this is using my standard “let gravity do the work for you” approach and build it in a logical manner piece by piece. This was the first one I had seen and it took my 90 minutes but I think second time around I could build it in about an hour on my own, yes on my own.

I’ll be writing some instructions on how to do this with photos and so on which will be available soon at Dwell Furniture Help.

The bed however is beautiful, the finish is glossy, expensive and ultra-glamorous.

Voucher Discount Codes - Money off Furniture

Friday, February 4th, 2011

One activity which is well worth while is visiting Flatpack Assemblers to get some Voucher Codes. All you need to is

  1. Select an assembler’s area by postcode at the top of the page.
  2. On the next page enter your email in the box at the top.

You will be emailed a link to a list of retailers including:-

High Street Names: B&Q, Barker & Stonehouse, British Home Stores, Debenhams, Dreams, Focus DIY, Habitat, John Lewis, Laura Ashley, Marks & Spencers

Popular Internet Retailers: Bedstar, Furniture 123, Furniture Village, Garden Bargains, Nabru, Oak Furniture Land, Oak Furniture Solutions, Pinesolutions, Space2, Super Tramp, Sleeping Solutions

Offers cannot usually be used on sale items and are time limited, but can save you 5-10% off your next  furniture purchase!

Wardrobe That Can Be Built Standing Up

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

In many cases people want a wardrobe to fit into a small space. In such cases most people will pick sliding door wardrobes, since hinged doors can obscure the space. One thing often overlooked when purchasing a wardrobe is how it can be built?

This wardrobe from Furniture 123 is an ideal example:-

Blithe 3 door wardrobe in dark walnut

Blithe 3 door wardrobe in dark walnut

Most hinged flatpack wardrobes are designed to be built lying down whilst most sliding door flatpack wardrobes are designed to be built standing up. Sliding door wardrobes will also tend to have the back panel fit into a groove rather than be nailed on, again to help assembly in a tight space. This is the general rule however there are two notable exceptions:

IKEA Wardrobes - All Ikea wardrobes should be built lying down and then standing. They can be built standing up but you will need either two people, a self made jig or a lot of skill and experience. With the Holborn range Ikea often provide a small square of hardboard which can be used, but this is not provided with the standard PAX range. Another point with Ikea’s wardrobes is that you have to nail on the back panels. This means if you do built them standing up, you need space and then need to push them back against the wall. This is not too difficult if you are experienced, but considering their weight and space, it could be too taxing for some in a small space.

Dwell - most of these wardrobes have a rather complex construction and are generally best constructed on their sides. This means they are often unsuitable for assembling standing up in a tight space.

Harvey’s Sliderobe Bedroom Furniture

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Harvey’s have announced that they are pulling out of Bedroom furniture to concentrate on lounge and dining furniture. This is a real shame because the sliderobe wardrobes they sold from Rauch were great value for money and provided excellent storage space.

Harvey’s are having a clearance sale and if you are lucky enough to get your hands on one you’ll need to assemble it!

I have written a set of instructions on my Flat Pack Advice website available here

However if you want someone to build it for you, check out my website for further details of a local assembler. Just so you know:

  • London: call Brendan Clinton on 07971 949 424
  • Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cumbria and West Yorks: Edwin Cooke - 07929 975 809
  • North Wales, Chester, Liverpool & The Wirral: Nik Griffiths - 07737 934 639
For all other areas click here (the selection list is on the left!)
2 door 2 metre wide £60
3 door 3 metre wide £90

Ikea - Sultan Mattress Systems

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Ikea have recently introduced a range of mattress systems to provide excellent lumber support and a good night’s sleep.

The main difference from an assembly perspective is that the slats that can be purchased for a wide variety of their beds are different to traditional slats.

Traditional Slats are supplied on a roll, where each slat is connected via two strips of fabric, so you can simply roll them onto the bed frame and in less than 60 seconds the bed is complete.

The newer Sultan slats need individual assembly, and contain multiple parts, suffice to say of the two systems available, both take around one to one and a half hours to assemble! This makes a big difference if you are paying a Flatpack Assembler to do it for you!

The slats that fall into this category are:

  • Sultan Lillaker
  • Sultan Lovene
  • Sultan Landon
  • Sultan Mane

The following photographs illustrate the additional complexity involved.

1) This is one of the rubber lugs that three of the slats will eventually slide into:

2) This is one of the side peices, the rubber lugs slide into these as shown in the next photo and these are assembled to form the basic frame:


4) Here you can see the slats are slid into the rubber legs and the system starts to build:

5) Of course it isn’t that simple! A fabric ribbon, is also present to keep the slats aligned and this makes putting on each slat quite difficult/fiddly. Although I haven’t shown a photo of it here, some of the slats are doubled up for extra support and this is awkward to say the least to assemble.

6) The final slats all assembled:

Unless you have the patience of a saint and are good with yiour hands you will find this excruciatingly annoying. I know I did the forst time I did one! Further more the more complex systems with bends in them and so forth (such as the Landon and Mane) are even more tricky.

Moving to a new house?

Friday, July 18th, 2008

So the delivery truck arrives with all your possessions, and you start directing them to the relevant rooms in your marvelous new home.

When they have gone a few things start to dawn on you, that maybe you hadn’t thought of:

- I need curtains in the bedrooms
- I need to put my clothes and other things away
- I’m tired and hungry!

Yes everything is upside down and you need some order. You can’t even cook, so it is off to the chippy!

You can’t begin to start putting things away until all your furniture is in place and these days this often means assembling flat pack furniture and getting out the screwdriver if you can find it!

Time is the biggest enemy when moving house, and assembling your new furniture takes a lot of time. If you don’t do this sort of thing often it could take you all day to assemble a couple of wardrobes and beds, several days to do more furniture. Very few people have a good idea of how long it takes.

You are also stressed and frustrated so this probably is not a good time to have a hammer and a screwdriver in your hands!

Why not instead, just get some one in?

Pay a flatpack assembler to arrive and assemble all your new flat pack furniture, maybe even the day before your stuff arrives, so you can start putting stuff away immediately after you move in.

Not only will it be done properly and look how it should look, but you will avoid another stressful task!

Crystal Chandalier Assembly

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I was called out on Saturday to assemble a crystal chandelier from Heals. Unfortunately I cannot find it on the website, but it was beautiful. It isn’t technically a chandelier, but simply several spot lights shining down onto a ball made of dangling crystal jewels as per the photo below:-

To be honest the photos, don’t really do this light justice, because it really comes into its own as you walk around it, because the light refracts forming a myriad of colours from the spectrum and the final result is stunning!

The customer had arranged for an electrician to install it, who had wired it up in the correct place in the stairwell for when I arrived. I had been asked to attach the jewels/crystals to the dangling wires to make up the ball.

If you ook at the photo below you can see part of the way through, the wires on the left are dangling and have yet to have the crystals added:-

This was to be frank, a pain in the backside! Each wire ended with a loop. I had to hook a V shaped paper clip through the hook and then clamp this onto the crystal. Each one took about 10-20 seconds to do, which doesn’t sound to bad until you realise there were over 180 of them to do.

This was excruciating and took me around 90 minutes to do. Partly because I was stretching and some of the time stood on a free standing step ladder; partly because my arms were constantly above my head with lactic acid slowly rising in my arms; and partly because every time I added a crystal more light diffracted into my eyes and the harder it was to see where the vacant loops were for the next crystal!

Finally once I had added them all, I had the challenge of untangling the wires. This can be difficult at the best of times, but again stretching and glaring into the light was not easy. However, fortune was on my side and I was able to use the weight of the crystals to gauge when my twists were the right or the wrong way and finally with a lot of patience I finally untangled them all.

The instructions were great and I ignored most of their recommendations:

1) Use gloves to avoid getting greasy finger marks on the crystals.

A nice enough tip, but could you imagine the crystals pinging off down the stairs all over the house as they slipped out of my fingers? You really needed to be dexterous to manipulate them into position and only someone who had done a lot of this work would be able to use gloves. Perhaps a jeweller?

2) Try not to let the crystals swing as they may shatter if they hit one another.

A great tip, but since these things get tangled and rest on wire of about 2-3 feet in length and rest about and inch apart this simple was not going to happen!

To be honest the finished light look fabulous and it was worth all the effort!

If you buy one of these (or similar) be aware that there may be significant effort in installing it! The crystals were about an inch in diameter and came individually wrapped in a box about 2 foot square.

If you have one that needs assembling you can always give me a call! I can’t wire it in as I am not a registered electrician, but I can save you the stress, particularly if you don’t have the patience for assembling this sort of fiddly thing!