Whether because of rent hikes or the simple desire to live elsewhere, urban living often comes with frequent moves. In a major city like New York, the average lease spans three to four years, with more than 30 percent of residents inhabiting a different home than they had in the previous year. The prospect of squeezing a queen-sized bed frame down an impossibly narrow staircase is daunting, and it can be less expensive to abandon existing furniture and purchase anew than to hire movers. But high-quality furniture that ships in reasonably sized boxes and is intended to be taken apart and put back together — with ease — can be revelatory.
A growing number of move-friendly furniture brands are cropping up, positioning themselves either as competitors to a Swedish furniture giant or seeking to carve an entirely new niche. Below, find three labels specializing in flat-pack furniture, each focusing on different products and backed by separate ideologies, but all striving to make furniture that looks good and facilitates a smoother move.
The modular couch. Just as easy to assemble as it is to take apart, the Burrow couch is made with chemical-free, stain-resistant fabric and embedded with a hidden USB charging port to enable deeper dives into that Instagram blackhole. Designed to adapt to changing spaces, Burrow is available in four sizes and can expanded or grow smaller with the addition (or removal) of seating sections. Better yet, the couch can be assembled — tool-free — in just 10 minutes.
The heirloom-quality chairs. Made in California from North American hardwood, Fyrn’s chairs (and soon, table) offer a counter to decidedly cheap, disposable housewares — yet remain easy and intuitive to assemble thanks to the company’s patented sculptural bracket. Equal parts design element and functional detail, the Stemn bracket is what allows Fyrn’s wares to ship flat without sacrificing structural integrity. And while Fyrn doesn’t recommend that its chairs be taken apart on a regular basis, co-founder David Charne says that “with proper care, [disassembly] will not weaken the furniture in any way.”
The bare-bones bed. Extremely light and impressively strong, the Floyd bed frame is made from birch plywood panels that lay side by side, held in place by powder-coated form-bent steel supports and nylon tension straps. The frame is an exercise in simplicity, assembled sans screws or special tools and lacking in superfluous details or excess materials — though it does have the option of an easily attachable (and removable) accompanying headboard.