EDITOR’S PICK: KARTON Furniture – When the Packaging IS the Product

Natasha Sholl By Natasha Sholl | 24 Feb 2012

What happens when you combine a stack of cardboard with German smarts and some pretty nifty design? KARTON furniture – the mutichannel store bringing cardboard tables to a dining room near you!

Ever seen a toddler open a ridiculously expensive present, only to ditch the toy and spend the next few hours playing with the box? Well KARTON is the adult’s version.

“KARTON is what you get when you leave a stack of cardboard sheets alone in a room with some of Europe’s brightest engineers,” the website tells us. Yes, KARTON furniture is made from cardboard. Sound crazy? It makes more sense than you may think.

The furniture is designed by Hans-Peter Stange, who founded Stange Design 1985. After studying Art History and Industrial Design in Berlin, Hans-Peter began an internship with a corrugated cardboard manufacturer, beginning what would become a life-long love affair with the material.

It’s not only the furniture that has a very German, industrial-design feel. The site itself is ordered, clean and uncluttered, while still being edgy.

So are people wary when it comes to buying cardboard furniture online? “We find that people are curious more than wary – then they are amazed at the strength. Our 12 month warranty also provides peace of mind,” says Marketing Director, Josh Klein.

The company has been trading exclusively online since July 2011 with great results. “We have just opened the doors to our first pop up shop at 228 Chapel Street Prahran which will allow people to get up close to the product,” Klein says. “We intend on unfolding our temporary stores in new areas (including Sydney) later in the year.”

So what differentiates KARTON from the competition (apart from the cardboard factor)? “We don’t take ourselves too seriously!” Klein tells us. “Our products are a no-brainer – they’re easy to assemble, practical, affordable and kind on the planet. We don’t push any particular environmental message, but it’s really nice knowing that everything we sell is chemical-free and 100% recyclable.”

Apart from being a planet saver, KARTON may very well be a relationship saver too. The KARTON Funf looks far less daunting to assemble than the IKEA Expedit. (Although both “Funf” and “Expedit” are fun words to say out loud). I know, I know…this isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the Expedit, but it caused the onset of a serious case of post-traumatic stress disorder and very nearly led to divorce. IKEA assembly is not recommended for newlyweds. Lesson learnt. Never again. But I digress….

The point is, the words “easy to assemble” look very enticing. A quick look at the assembly videos and I’m a KARTON convert. With the click of a mouse my self-assembly furniture phobia has vanished.

Oh, and the flock of cardboard animals is far more 
attractive than the old mug I have on my work desk, used to store pens and paperclips. It might just be time for a bit of an office makeover. Saving the environment, one cardboard sheep at a time.



1 Comment

One thought on “EDITOR’S PICK: KARTON Furniture – When the Packaging IS the Product”

  1. My fiancee was very, very chuffed with her new flat-packed lamb! http://bit.ly/yxIw8k
    I think that she wants the cardboard turtle for her desk at work now…

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