How to Make the Most of Your Flat-Pack Furniture

Evelyn Long

Jun 24, 2022


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Flat-pack furniture has changed the way we buy our furnishings. With just a bit of assembly, you have a bedside table, desk, or cabinet up and ready for immediate use. Homeowners, renters, and commercial property managers all find creative and practical ways to put this type of furniture to work in their respective homes and locations.

Some flat-pack furniture is pretty straightforward or even minimalist in design, while other pieces have a distinctive look and personality to them that makes them a lot of fun to work with. It’s possible to adjust these chosen fixtures to match more of your style while helping them reach their full potential.

This post outlines five different suggestions to get the most potential out of your flat-pack furniture. Some tips concern the furniture, while others focus more on preparing the space itself. By working with sizes and adding creative designs and accessories, you can craft some beautiful pieces for your home, office, or apartment. Use these thoughts and ideas to gain inspiration to change new or old fittings that accent your themes.

What Is Flat-Pack Furniture?

Briefly, before we begin, it’s worth answering the question “what is flat-pack furniture?” for those who may not be familiar with the term. Also often referred to as “ready to assemble” furniture, this classification of home furnishings is enduringly popular because it’s affordable and easy to ship almost anywhere you happen to call home.

Like the name says, people can break down these pieces of furniture into flat packages that are easy to lay flat during transit. Most companies sell this furniture as a kit that the end-user puts together, often without any specialized tools. Just your two hands and maybe an Allen wrench, which, if it’s necessary for assembly, is probably included in the box by the manufacturer.

Material-wise, flat-pack furniture may employ a number of different kinds of materials or combinations of materials, like particleboard or fiberboard. These materials use remnants of hardwood bonded together with waxes or epoxies to create a strong, continuous board for furniture-making.

This type of furniture is fairly easy to come by. IKEA is one of the best-known brands specializing in flat-pack furniture, although many other retailers have in-house lines of furniture that provide similar functionality and quality.

Choose the Right Room

Before you open your box, it’s a good idea to move it to the room where you’ll ultimately be placing the flat-pack furniture. Putting it together in the chosen place means you won’t have to lift it to try and fit it through any doors.

Read the dimensions of the furnishing pieces carefully so you can use the sizing to your advantage. If a piece is tall, it will work well in a room with high ceilings. Smaller cabinets might look better in living rooms or dining areas.

Use the layout of each space to determine where your fitting would look the best. Once you’ve made that choice, move your package into the specified room and assemble it together.

Remember that less is often more. It can be tempting to cover every inch of wall or floor space with furnishings or furniture, but it’s often possible to create a more powerful look by spreading out your best pieces.

Try Different Paint Jobs

Instead of having your pieces be a common color, like black, brown, or gray, picking a different shade of paint can brighten up your fixture and add some class, sophistication, or whimsy to your rooms. Some of the equipment you can use to execute on this idea could be:

  • Sanders: Sandpaper or blocks help you smooth out parts of your furniture and remove any current paint you don’t want.
  • Thick brushes: Paintbrushes with thicker bristles better and more evenly coat the surface of your project, making for a cleaner result.
  • Rags: Make sure to use soft, lint-free cloths for wiping away any dust on your furnishings, as they won’t leave scratch marks.

With wooden furniture, you can also add a stain to the outer layers of the piece. Applying a finish brings out the grains and lines of the wood, creating an eye-catching effect for anyone who sees it. Stains can come in many forms, but oil-based selections last longer on wooden surfaces than other choices.

Reinforce Your Flat-Pack Furniture

Not all flat-pack furniture is created equal in the production process. Some pieces may seem less durable than others, but that’s something easily fixed with reinforcement equipment. You can use short wooden planks, screws, or caulk when assembling your fixtures if something doesn’t appear sturdy.

Sometimes a bookshelf needs another shelf, or a nightstand requires one more screw. By creating additional supports for your furnishings, you extend the durability and life of the product.

Add Some Stylish Decor

Flat-pack furniture can become a customizable project with the right tools. Adding a personal touch to each fixture can make a huge difference in its appearance. A few things you could add by yourself are:

  • Doorknobs, handles and pulls: With drawers or cabinet doors, you can easily attach different handles with a screwdriver. You can install modern or rustic knobs to fit whatever you want your style to be.
  • Legs: Some bookshelves or entertainment stands might work better with bottom legs in place. You could repurpose objects to make furniture feet or purchase them from home improvement stores.
  • Stencils: Cutting and sizing unique stencils shows off your personality for your home. You can paint over your stencil after you place it on the surface you want to be decorated.

Make your flat-pack furniture a more attractive centerpiece to your house by installing additional accessories, too. Your creativity’s the only practical limit!

Reassemble a New Idea

Flat-pack furniture can be taken apart and redone into something new entirely. You can create new furnishings or reuse existing pieces to freshen up your home. You could add mirrors or wallpaper to your fixtures depending on what you want to make.

Repurposing older fittings by mixing and matching with other selections is a great way to recycle and upcycle through your home decor choices. This is where you get into one of the chief advantages of buying flat-pack furniture: versatility and modular design. It’s often possible to combine even pieces you wouldn’t expect of working well together, to create a distinctive effect or a look all your own.

Some examples? Try stacking different pieces, safely, of course, or buying multiples of the same piece of furniture to repeat them throughout a given space. You may unlock a whole new range of looks for your rooms that you didn’t know were possible, all while spending very little money or hiring a decorator.

Get the Most Use out of Your Flat-Pack Furniture

Flat-pack furniture has become a staple in many homes, apartments, and businesses across the world today. These fixtures are affordable and easy to put together, and if you’re the type who finds themselves moving often for whatever reason, they’re usually easy to collapse, stack for transport, and then reassemble in your new abode.

And by adding different attachments and accessories, and understanding the dimensions you’re working with, you can enjoy your furnishings for years to come. By the time you’re done personalizing, you might even end up crafting a higher-quality piece of furniture than what you first purchased!

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