MFI

Seventies Saturday Nightmare in your bedroomFlat-pack furniture of the Seventies was terrible. The only place really was MFI which was permanently on sale and according to Wikipedia was criticised heavily for this. But it wasn’t just the prices that were cheap. Made mainly of pretend wood (or MDF) which was self-assembled and never fitted completely, MFI furniture gained a reputation for being cheap and nasty.

The flat-pack boxes would come home in the family car, then the swift and easy self-assembly would be an afternoon of fun using only a screwdriver and a hammer. Not. Most of the time you would find that a piece was missing – but not until you’d got half-way through because no-one thought to check the contents and count all those screws before starting. If you got to the end without finding a piece missing then inevitably there would be some unidentifiable pieces left over. And you didn’t know whether these were spares or vital parts because, guess what, you hadn’t bothered to count them before starting.

Flat Crap on Weekly Gripe blogThen you would find that you’d got part A and part B the wrong way around and the cabinet was wonky as a result. So you’d have to take the whole thing apart and start again. Only this time, the screw threads were broken, the pre-drilled holes had been widened and Dad was in a very bad mood. The end result was a permanently listing cupboard that had bits of formica chipped off it where the screwdriver had slipped.

These days, you can get self-assembly furniture from all sorts of places. B&Q and IKEA are the main stores that spring to mind and have done their part in putting MFI out of business. Now that MFI is going down, it might be that they have a genuine sale at last. IKEA are all set to pick up the cheapo flat-pack standard, but at least it will be pine and not pretend wood.

And, this is amazing, people actually hire themselves out now to build these things! If we’d known about that in the Seventies, they’d have made a mint.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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One Response

  1. Oh, dear Josie! They’ve gone bust!

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