The ultimate resource for help assembling flat pack funriture in the UK.

Archive for the ‘Buying Flatpack Furniture’ Category

Gas Strut Piston Beds

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

I was tootling around on the Internet today and I came across the correct term for these. Apparently they are Ottoman beds, or the Ottoman style. You know the sort of thing that pivots at one end near the head board and allows you to lift the bed at the foot and tore stuff underneath. This is a good example from Bed Star :-


These beds are fairly straightforward to put together. The main difficult comes when attaching the bed frame to the mattress slats as the gas struts are generally very stiff and you are always anxious not to damage them. Ideally two people are needed, one to hold up the slats whilst the other attaches the gas strut.

There are always more than one way to crack and egg so here is what I do when building them on my own and have sufficient space. Once I have built the bed and attached or positioned the frame, I lift the bed up at one side and rest it on its side. This will then allow me to position the slatted part so that I can easily attach the gas struts. You can then return the bed to its natural position. In order to apply sufficient pressure to condense the gas struts I always try to put the mattress on first. Mattresses are heavy and this is why the struts are so strong.

In order to complete my technique correctly you need to be:-

  • Strong enough to easily lift the bed
  • Careful enough not to damage walls and other furniture.
  • Double checked that you have build the bed so far properly
  • Have had a good think about what good happen if it starts to slip!

They are good beds though!

Pine Solutions Cameo Furniture in White

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

As the company name suggests most of Pine Solutions furniture is pine. However they supply the firniture in a variety of finishes, including a brilliant glossy white, which is beautiful. This is the Cameo range:-

Cameo three peice bedroom furniture

Cameo three peice bedroom furniture

As with most Pine Solutions furniture the assembly errs towards screws rather than other fittings (such as cam studs and torsion pins) and can take slightly longer than other suppliers to assemble as a result, but the instructions are clear and the product goes together very easily.

The final results of this range are very impressive too. As I say the white finish on the Cameo range of furniture is probably some of the best I have seen.

Very often with white furniture it is not packaged properly, for example unsightly marks appear or the paint isn’t quite dry leaving a rough section where the packaging touched. This is deinfitely not the case with the Cameo range of furniture which from what I have seen so far is excellent!

Chest of 4 plus 2 Drawers from Pine Solutions

Chest of 4 plus 2 Drawers from Pine Solutions

Cameo Bedside Table in white

Cameo Bedside Table in white

Furniture 123 and sales in general

Friday, October 10th, 2008

I’ve been rooting through the Internet and noticed that a great many retailers are in the midst of sales and some fantastic bargains can be had.

Furniture123 for example currently offer FREE delivery and also have some end of line items available to clear.

The website has had a big overall since I last viewed it and the product range has expanded, they cover everything from cheap and cheery to some of the more high end items.

I’d draw your attention to the Palermo Bed in Brown which is now on sale at £175.98. A year or two ago beds like this were selling for between £300-£400, so there are some massive savings to be had. This style of bed was the defacto bed that was being installed in city centre apartments up and down the UK for stylish city centre living. I know I built enough!

I thnk this really emphasises the state of the economic climate at the moment and there are some really good bargains out there!

Mind you if the economy is really getting you down, you could do worse than buy yourself a crate of wine from Laithwaites, they have a fabulous Introductory Offer at the moment for only £49.99. I’ve been drinking their wine for about 6-7 years now and honestly think it is the best value for money of al the wine clubs. I’m also a member of Virgin becuase they sell McGuigans Red which is a delight. Not a fancy or expensive wine, and if you find red wine difficult this one is genuinely just like drinking blackcurrent squash!

All prices and details listed in this post were checked on 10th October 2008.

Shopping at Ikea - Good or Bad?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I have been assembling flat pack furniture for a living for almost 4 years and have seen almost every product on the high street. I have also worked for many people and heard their good and bad stories about Ikea. In my opinion this is what you get from Ikea:-

- well designed, good quality products at a very good price.

- you do all the work involved in the purchase.

If you have never been to Ikea then you need to be warned before you go about the bad point above.

The sales process involves wandering through a pre-defined path so you pass all the stock. More recently they have added customer short cuts to the stores so you don’t have to pass eveything anymore!

As you make your journey you have a small peice of paper and note down the product codes (as you would in Argos) of the items you want (don’t forget the aisle number).

If you are buying a particular set of furniture you can ask an assistant to print the entire list of product codes for that set for you. This is most useful if you have seen what you want in the catalogue and just point at it!

As you near the end you can collect smaller items in your trolley or your fetching nylon shoulder bag, such as crockery, wall art, plants, soft furnishings etc.

The final peice and the one that causes most consternation is collecting the larger items, i.e. funriture (which is really why you came!). It is like a warehouse and you are the picker, with one or more uncontrollable trollies you set about picking your items based on the product codes you have written down. Without the aisle number you are out of luck!

Some items (i.e. Pax Wardrobes ~50Kg) are so heavy you cannot pick them up on your own. As I say you do all the work! When you put them on the trolley align them so that all the bar codes are visible at one end, so the check out assistant can easily scan them and not make you unload the trolley!

You then have a choice, have you arrived in or hired a van? If not go to the delivery desk (after you have bought the goods), and they will advise you how and when they can deliver. This is where the fun really starts, will they deliver when you want? maybe! will they deliver the furniture to the room of choice? maybe! Important if you live in flats or a large house. If the answer is no, then you have to wheel the flipping lot back and get a refund, what a waste of time? So if you are going to use the instore delivery firm, check before you buy, that they will deliver when and where you want otherwise you will waste a lot of time and effort.

Once you have got the furniture home, give yourself plenty of time to assemble it. If you want some help there are plenty of people providing an assembly service online (I do) and you can also find helpful tips here and there (see my profile on here).

Now the final thing that will annoy you is if you have to take stuff back! The whole process takes ages, becuase there is always a queue and the returns desk only ever has one person on it (well as far as Iave seen anyway). I could go on but there is no need.

Here are my tips:

- If you are going to buy furniture plan how you will get it home before you go. Your options include borrowing/hiring a van, hiring a man and van team or using the in store delviery team. Don’t expect people to be available at the drop of a hat either, are you?

- Thoroughly check the exterior of all boxes and packaging, if this is damaged or opened there is a greater chance the contents may be damaged. Let someone else buy it, so you don’t have to queue to exchange it if you need to.
- Do not open any items if you might take them back, Ikea charge a
restocking fee if the packaging is opened.

- Give yourself plenty of time when you go.

- Don’t go on your own.

- Everyone I know raves about the meatballs, I’ve never tied them, but the non-alcoholic Kopperberg cider is lovely!

As I say despite all this, the products are great, well designed and good value for money. So go for it, just plan before you go!