As to my accusation against IKEA for inventing the “put it together your damn self” variety of furniture, I have proof to my claim - from their own website, no less.
The decision for IKEA to design its own furniture stems, ironically from competitors pressure for suppliers to boycott IKEA. Exploration of flat packaging begins when one of the first IKEA co-workers removes the legs of the LÖVET table so that it will fit into a car and avoid damage during transit. After this discovery flat packs and self assembly become part of the concept.
In my 40 years of life, I’ve put together lots of self-assembly furniture, from bookshelves to desks, and now a coffee table and end tables. Some of it has been pretty easy, some of it has been a royal pain the ass. I remember a very large desk and hutch I put together several years ago. It’s actually still at my Grandmother’s house because I really didn’t want to disassemble it to get it out of the room it’s in, so now my uncle uses it for his home office. It took somewhere in the neighborhood of 6-8 hours to put together; and I had help with that one.
Anyway, it can be a pain sometimes, but there’s two big advantages to the “put it together your damn self” concept when buying furniture. First, it’s cheaper. Second, I get to play with tools *grin*. Third, in the case of the furniture I just bought, it gave something to do while watching TV and drinking my Captain Morgan’s Lime Bite Rum & Cola last night. *wink*
And it’s nice to have proper living room furniture now instead of a weather beaten wicker coffee table and a pair of folding TV trays for end tables.