flat pack possibilities

60desk So what?  i have been window shopping…so sue me….I spent all of last year getting rid of half of everything i own and I think i actually hit that mark…if you go by volume. cause it’s not like i got rid of half my books or half my bookcases. I started looking around at the furniture i still owned and it wasn’t pretty…. years ago i had a lot of nice antiques, but once i moved i started selling or giving it all away in favor of less nice and more disposable furniture. Usually stuff that does the job, but ain’t too pretty.  I have a rule about not owning anything I can’t lift.

I’m not too thrilled with the idea of bringing stuff i am just gonna replace to a new home, since these folks charge for curbside trash…notice i didn’t say ‘bring my crappy furniture’ to a new house… I have already ditched the crappy, i still have to sell this place and i can’t have it filled with crap furniture either. Anything cat related is already out by the dumpster, they have a new old baby changing table for a cat bed, and the wicker couch still makes an adequate scratch post. Though even the cats will start leaving soon as well, knock wood. The kittens have almost all left for another foster home, so that’s all good.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and expect to have MORE space wherever I go. And I am still trying to see how much i can get rid of BEFORE I leave and how little I will have to actually take with me. That said…why am I pretend shopping  like a 13 year old with a Sears catalog? Why not? I spent most of the last week packing and shipping orders, and pushed several books into the proof stage, even starting on the Pioneer Valley series,  aside from cleaning and throwing possessions there’s not much else i can do TO move the MOVE project forward. I really had to stop looking at houses, though i still have the zillow search set up, just in case.


Looking at the Futon gave me an idea, i can have stuff delivered, (mind you all of this is ridiculously moot as the Pioneer Valley is as littered with second hand and antique shops as anywhere else and probably more so) But it’s an interesting internet enabled mental exercise. Turns out the world is filled with flat pack furniture. In fact I have discovered that most of the furniture you buy in a big box or discount store all came flat pack and unfinished to begin with.

Parawood…was a very interesting thing to read about…most of the white wood Ready-to-assemble (RTA), or knock-down (KD) or flat pack furniture you see, if it isn’t pine, it’s probably parawood. Parawood is wood from the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), which is farmed and then the latex is harvested like maple syrup and after 25 years it is cut down and sold for furniture, then they replant it, so it’s a renewable resource. Once you can get past the carbon footprint of cheap as dirt furniture shipped half way around the world for your enjoyment, you can feel good about not killing the rain forest…which they already did when they knocked down the jungle to plant those rubber trees. But it was quite interesting to see that this line of furniture is probably the most widely distributed internet ready to assemble furniture in the world, next to IKEA’s laminated MDF- got your allen wrench ready? EVERY website sells the same 20 chairs, tables, desks and bookcases, all made of parawood. Small world.

Regardless, Once I get where I am going it’s nice to have that knowledge in my back pocket, to say, if i need something I can buy it…yeah lets see how long I can say THAT before the fear of being broke again sets in? But whatever I can’t find on a curb or a tag sale, i can get delivered.


The other benefit of using NEW cheap furniture, is that i can hack it to my heart’s content. I can drill cable holes and screw the power strip to the underside and so forth. If i were to do that to an antique, crappy or not, my heart breaks a little bit. I never try to do anything to an antique that prevents it from being refinished. That being said, I am going through all the flatpack variations that are available to see if I can get inspired.

There is no way around it, i need a large back bedroom or a big ass finished basement for a workroom, I have industrial free standing shelving, and some brand new steel and wood showroom tables (don’t ask where they came from) which should set that area up nicely. My 1950s steel testing bench is absolutely going with me as are the two vintage steelcase rolling office chairs. I have that enormous ‘baby changing’ dresser that is filled with photography equipment at the moment, though i may pick up something like this sideboard for the electronics and cameras…or a reasonable used substitute, cause i wants to drill holes out the back for the charge cables. IF the back is made of masonite, i tend to replace that with pegboard, it makes it easier to drill out the holes and mount the chargers.  That leaves the dresser as  surprisingly ….a dresser.

As Harry and the boys reminded me, I should probably keep in mind that people MAY want to come visit considering I will live closer to actual destinations, like State parks and recreation ready rivers and such,  so, eventually I will want a guest bed….perhaps something i can keep cat free…hmmmm i wonder if the Murphy Beds come flatpack?

ed.  yes it does… if i end up with a guest room i use for everything BUT human occupancy.  And ..which has an attractive option…winters are long out there in the country.

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