What’s the number one complaint about office furniture? No, it’s not that people expect you to do work with it, although that’s probably a close second. The biggest issue is that office furniture, by and large, is super expensive. But a few companies have come up with solutions to that issue — provided that you don’t mind working with something made out of, uh, less-than-permanent materials. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. A Full Office Set
SmartDeco gets points for design. All their stuff is beautiful, and just as contemporary and stylish as anything you’d find at IKEA. But it’s cardboard! We’re also inclined to give them a little something for moxie, because although these pieces of furniture are way cheaper than anything you’d buy at a traditional furniture store, they’re pretty pricey for cardboard: $119 for the desk and storage units pictured above. Still, it’s a pretty good deal when you think about how much you’d pay if these items were made out of wood, or even fiberboard.
2. Just the Desk, Please
Of course, if you’re really short on cash, you’re probably looking to keep your bill well under $100. In that case, the bare bones cardboard desk from Our Paper Life might be just the thing for you. At $22.99, it’s definitely the cheapest single item of office furniture we’ve ever seen. And if you want a full suite of furniture, you can buy some shelves for the same price.
If even $22.99 seems like too much to pay for cardboard furniture, you can always make your own. Treehugger has a great roundup of various patterns and instructions for making your own cardboard furniture, including this awesome looking desk thing, which is one of the cooler single pieces of furniture you’re likely to see that doesn’t contain either live goldfish or a television set.
If none of these options works for you, there’s always our favorite suggestion: Throw out the cardboard idea entirely, and opt for used furniture from us. It’s sturdier than cardboard, cheaper than brand-new furniture, and no one will ever be able to tell you didn’t pay full price.
Plus, buying used furniture is at least as good for the environment as buying cardboard furniture, if not more so. After all, it takes up way more space in a landfill than that old pizza box, which could easily be recycled anyway.