Earlier today, I blogged about the growing controversy surrounding flat-pack furniture behemoth IKEA’s logging operations in an ecological sensitive swath of northwestern Russia. Keeping with the flat-pack — but not the unsustainable forestry — theme, I thought I’d feature the work of Soapbox, a recently launched company out of beautiful Asbury Park, N.J., that's been generating a bit of buzz around the home design blogosphere as of late.
Soapbox, like IKEA, is in the business of producing versatile, flat-packed home furnishings. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Soapbox’s collection of unfussy storage options — lovely boxes of all shapes and sizes, with or without legs — are made in New Jersey from plywood (no MDF here, folks) covered in a range of real hardwood veneers (cherry, walnut, maple) using soy-based glues. Best of all, the pieces require absolutely no tools to assemble. Yep, you can kiss that IKEA-issued Allen wrench goodbye.
Each linseed oil-finished piece is held together by clever, specially designed steel corner brackets available in a galvanized option or in four different powder-coated colors for a bit of visual pop. Or, instead of the box option, you can use short or long legs — also available in the same color options — to create an attractive end or coffee table. Wall-mount hardware is also an option if you're dealing with limited floor space. As mentioned, assembly is easy, breezy, simple. Moving? It’s just as effortless to disassemble each piece as it was to put it together.
While more spendy than your run-of-the-mill MDF storage units (prices range from $90 for a 12-by-14-by-14-inch box to $430 for a 30-by-15-by-42-inch coffee table), this is high-quality, made-in-Jersey stuff that won't likely end up in a landfill in the near future. The complete line — keep an eye out for a limited-edition collection made from American pine salvaged from a New Jersey warehouse — is available directly through the Soapbox website. The company is also making the rounds to various East Coast street fairs and events where you can directly purchase the pieces. After debuting at the Hoboken Arts and Music festival, the fledging company will be hitting up Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Flea on June 6 and Artscape in Baltimore on July 20 through 22.
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