Monday, February 18, 2008

The right to (furniture) assembly

What a weekend! I thought the Daytona 500 was going to be the main event but I was way off. On Saturday both my new dresser and my new TV came. It was like my birthday all over again.

After eyeing it for awhile, I had decided to invest in Crate & Barrel's Cole Six Drawer Dresser. I liked it because it has a nice mix of modern and traditional. From the website product photo I thought the dresser was black but upon looking at the room views I realized it was actually a dark brown. No Billy shelves from Ikea are black-brown...aka brown. The dresser is ready to assemble, which is another way of saying requires customer assembly. Despite my recent adventures in door hinges I was looking forward to putting it together.

My delivery time was between 7:30 AM and 10:45 AM. The delivery guys showed up around 8:30 with two hefty boxes. I signed for the boxes and jumped up and down for mini-joy. Hooray new furniture!

The boxes holding the dresser.

Note the big orange sticker on both boxes -- it says "Customer Assembly Required." Like by this point we wouldn't know! I opened the small box first. It contained the drawer fronts, the drawer backs and the drawer bottoms. The big box had everything else, including the instructions. I was quite impressed by the instructions. They had a manifest of each box and were very well written. It was quite easy to follow.

The first step required attaching the side and middle panels to the back (the sides were even helpfully labeled R and L). I was very happy that the drawer rollers were already attached to the panels. There were three same-size large panels in the big box and of course the back was on the bottom. Though the instructions recommended two-person assembly, I was on my own this weekend in part because I'm fighting a cold and don't want to get anyone sick.

About 30 minutes in, my phone rang. It was Crate & Barrel checking to see if my delivery went OK. I thought that was very nice of them. At that point I was ready to attach the top. The directions said "with another person helping lift the back and side panel assembly onto the top" to which I said 'I don't need no stinking second person!!" Somehow I was able to get the top into place without killing myself.

From there assembly was a piece of cake. Putting the drawers together required a bit of finesse but nothing I couldn't handle. It took about 2 1/2 hours altogether to assemble it. The drawers all slid into the dresser evenly (my main worry). The feet attach by three medium screws which is a bit weaker than I'd like but everything else was good quality.

The Cole dresser in the center
and the Billy shelves with the Nyckelby doors
on either side.

As I was hoping, the dresser looks great pulling double-duty as my TV stand. I'm kind of glad the Billy shelves didn't come in black now because the black-brown works well with the dresser. I still have work to do before this area of my apartment is done but we're getting there. My apartment is starting to feel like home.

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