Lightweight furniture by Meike Harde

Have you noticed that all furniture seems to be on the heavy side? Even if I removed all of the clothes from my wardrobe, it still wouldn’t be easy to carry it from one room to another. When my cousin moved house, it took three of the men in our family to help her carry the different pieces of furniture down her stairs and into the removal van. It wasn’t just that they were shaped awkwardly, it was that some pieces needed three of them working together to distribute the weight evenly.

It’s a problem that affects us improvers too. When we can’t afford to move or don’t want to, we often find ourselves changing the layout of our spaces and swapping furniture to different corners of the room to give it a refresh.

Designer Meike Harde’s come up with a brilliant concept – lightweight furniture – and I have to admit, I’m excited about the possibility of his approach being rolled out for mass production.

The London furniture series includes a wardrobe, cabinet and rhombic shaped tower. As Meike explained, furniture is usually made of wood and press-board and it’s this that makes them so heavy and difficult to work with. We’ve stuck with what we know for a while, thinking that there must be a real need to use the materials, but actually the only thing they really do is protect our items from dust. Textile fabrics can also meet our needs while heavily reducing the weight and because they’re more flexible, designers can be more creative with their product designs.

Take the cabinet. Made of organic molton, it contains a sliding door whose mechanism is worked within the textile to remove the need for guiding rails. Rubber bands on the inside of the textile mantle stretch when the cabinet’s shut and contract when it’s open, causing the fabric door to gather on one side. The dresser lifts up the gathering to stop the fabric from wrinkling and looking ruined in minutes.

The wardrobe has enough room for taller clothes that need to be on hangers. There’s a cotton slip cover which stiffens when it’s placed over the metal frame and a zip within the front piece of fabric forms the door. The inside rail is the only wooden part that’s there for structural stability and it doesn’t add much weight to the structure – especially as the whole piece can be easily dismantled when it comes to moving it anywhere inside or outside of a room.

The rhombic tower sticks to Meike’s technique of using a metal frame to give his work a sturdy backbone. An elastic textile tube is placed over the frame and it constricts at the points where the metal sticks cross. Meike’s used the technique to create pockets for accessories which you can fill through a slit in the mantle – clever.

Not only does the furniture series make huge progress in furniture construction, it manages to look great too. Some might say each piece looks better than its traditional wooden equivalent and I would have to agree where the cabinet’s concerned! The lightness of the fabric would work wonders when it comes to opening up a small space and creating an airier, positive atmosphere in a bedroom. The pastel set’s perfect for Spring but there’s real potential to extend the concept to embrace different colours – perhaps to fall in line with particular seasons or individual colour schemes.

Full credit for all images belongs to Studio Meike Harde

What do you think about Meike’s work? Would you consider swapping your wooden furniture for his textile pieces? Let us know by commenting below or getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter

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  1. There is no doubt that furniture removal is one of the most difficult tasks to do, first need to disassemble, then pack and transfer to the new location. After the process, there is a need to unpack and assemble it with great care. However, a professional can make this process easier for you.

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