What’s worse than building a wardrobe and two chest of drawers with no prior DIY experience? Building a wardrobe and two chest of drawers with a rolling pin and a mini screwdriver, during a heatwave. As a wise friend pointed out, purchasing flatpack furniture is symptomatic of extreme masochism, and my stifling hot bedroom made a fine stand in for a whips n’ chains torture parlour as I wrestled my furniture into being last week.
Call me a muppet if you will (you’ll be joining a large group of enthusiastic participants), but I thought that the £121 three-piece furniture set would be delivered ready-made. Upon moving into my new digs and realising that my bedroom wasn’t furnished, in typical fashion I had clicked through to the first set of furniture Google found me and bought it without reading the small print, the large print, or actually looking at anything apart from the wood shade (Pine finish). One-way ticket to instant gratification station, please.
When my furniture was delivered in its compact boxes I reacted with a sort of nervous retch. This was the first furniture I’d bought, and I was faced with conjuring it out of its cardboard shell and into a functioning (Argos-ian) wooden structure. I opened the instructions and the first thing I saw was a list of around 15 necessary tools – not included in the pack.
A quick consultation with my new housemates and we rustled up a mini screwdriver (about the size of an egg with six detachable heads) and a rolling pin. I set to work and three proverbial sweat-blood-and-tears-soaked hours later: voila. Perfectly formed wardrobe, just leaning away from the wall at a 30 degree angle in a quaint Pisa way with added splinters and danger.
Yesterday, lying on my bed I heard a stomach jolting crash which turned out to be the rail inside the wardrobe breaking under the strain of supporting my immodest quantities of clothing.
What did I learn? Buy flatpack furniture by all means, but only attempt to assemble it yourself if you have a death wish and a power tool more practical than a rolling pin.