There are many names for ready-to-assemble furniture, including flat pack furniture, or knock down furniture. We’ve never bought IKEA furniture, but it’s the same kind of thing and there are a ton of memes about it.
I kind of like the name “knock down furniture” because it best explains how we feel sometimes after we’ve tackled a tough project—like the chair we got recently. It looked like a simple chair, but it came with a tiny Allen wrench and there were way too many bolts, two different kinds of washers, those fussy little barrel nuts that drive you nuts, dowels, screws and you needed extra tools besides the Allen wrench (well, just a Phillips head and a flat head screwdriver). I guess I got spoiled after getting a mini-rachet driver Allen wrench in addition to the manual one which came with the platform bed kit we recently got.
It took us all day to figure out how to get the seat back to fit between the legs so the bolt holes would line up. We came really close to deciding we’d have to return it. I installed the apron (the part which fits between the two legs in front and requires dowels for which you need a mallet) upside down. I’m not blaming it completely on the instructions—OK, I am blaming it completely on the instructions. Sometimes a thousand words would be better than a lousy picture.
By the way, I think Allen Wrench Arthritis (AWA) is a thing.
Contrast that with the love seat which was much larger, did not require any tools at all and barely took 30 minutes to assemble. We didn’t break a sweat. The only reason I look forlorn in the picture of me holding up the seat back is because I’m still suffering from PTSD after the little chair assembly.
I think the best knock down furniture piece would require no tools, have only 4 or five pieces to sort of snap together and take no more than 20 minutes to assemble.