The reality of IKEA is no matter how beautiful things look in its newly unveiled 2021 catalog, the flat-pack-furniture titan’s wares are going to arrive on your doorstep in a series of boxes, leaving you to connect the rest of the dots (and dowels) yourself. And admittedly, some of us have more patience—and motivation—than others in the assembly arena. Before you find yourself wishing you’d never made the purchase in the first place, check this list—we’ve compiled our favorites of this year’s catalog pages, ranked from easiest to hardest to build once delivered.
Symfonisk Table Lamp
How many IKEA customers does it take to assemble this table lamp? You’re about to find out. IKEA’s “RA” (Requires Assembly) designation is listed for the Symfonisk Bluetooth speaker lamp, but it doesn’t get any easier than this. Take it out of the box, pop on the shade, screw on a top piece, and you’re in business. You can later sync it to your different devices over WiFi.
These simple, stackable stools work great for seating in a kids’ playroom or as a small side table anywhere else. If you have working wrists and opposable thumbs to grip and turn an Allen wrench, you can put the four pieces together.
Ekrar Hat and Coat Rack
Slightly trickier, this piece requires leaning the three tall poles into one another. Once the screws are into the poles, though, you’ll be ready to start hanging up hats and coats.
Bissing Wall Clock
A modern take on a train station–mounted clock, the Bissing gets ever-so-slightly trickier thanks to a mounted piece on the wall that needs to remain level when drilled in. The clock itself will also need to have the battery changed eventually, so expect some de- and reconstruction.
Ivar Shelving Unit With Bottle Racks
If there’s anything to be learned from the past couple months, it’s that proper wine organization will make life that much easier during a pandemic. While this Ivar upgrade looks complicated, it can be easily spread out on the floor and requires just lining up screws to their respective holes.
Eket Mounted Shelf
Buy 15 of these clean-lined cubes and line them up across a wall for a bookshelf that can be as modular as a room calls for. Don’t let the simplicity fool you, though. They don’t have any screws; they snap together with a series of small joints. If a mistake is made by connecting the wrong side, it’s going to be very difficult to undo.
One of IKEA’s classics, the Billy bookcase is a standard for most bibliophiles. As your collection grows, you can keep adding more and more down the wall until your apartment starts to look like the Morgan Library. The instructions are fairly simple and straightforward, but the height of the sides can make building this solo a challenge. New for this year, the Billy bookcase can also be outfitted with glass doors.
Who said IKEA’s kids’ collections were only for children? This sleek wardrobe can be customized with either more shelves or a space for shoes and hangers. The mounted doors are where the difficulty lies. The hinges need to be mounted to each side, a tough balance while avoiding applying too much pressure to the boards.
Nordli 8-Drawer Chest
Maybe the only thing more difficult than mounting doors on a particleboard wardrobe is mounting these inner roller rails for a chest like the Nordli. If you can keep your cool when building one of these things, you should look into becoming a hostage negotiator.
Släkt Bed Frame With Storage
Do yourself a favor and go hire a TaskRabbit for this one. There are 46 steps for just the frame alone.
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