Self-assembly Lights – Are they for you?

Flat-pack furniture; We all know the drill by now. If you buy a set of drawers from Ikea, it’s probably going to come in a long narrow box of MDF pieces, ready for you to scramble over when you get home.

We’ve come to terms with it when it comes to our basics, and as an Ikea fangirl this is pretty much the norm for me as a consumer, but what about the decor? And specifically, lighting. Are we as receptive to getting stuck in for the personal touches?

Self-assembly lighting it relatively new to me.

Last year I received an Armadillo pendant light shade from Iconic Lights and I was so surprised to see if was a DIY job when it arrived! (You can read my post on it here)

Armadillo lighting 05

I guess the shock came from the fact that I already owned a very similar-style lampshade in our kitchen, which arrived in one single piece. (Still SO in love this this by the way)

pendant lighting

And another gem from Iconic Lights – my ram lamp – also arrived in pieces.

iconic lights ram 06

So when the hubby bought me some Graham & Green copper pendants to replace the now-dated brown lampshades we’d previously had in the lounge, I was firstly, SO chuffed that he’d picked something truly perfect for the room, and secondly, confused by the flat box!

My heart sank at first because I wanted to get them straight up, but with lots of small pieces and a toddler that wants whatever her mummy has, I had to wait.
copper lighting 01

In all honesty, I’m quite forgiving with things like this, and when the mood strikes, I’m quite happy to sit down for the evening and do something a little crafty.

But at what price point is it the customer’s job to put the work in, I wonder? At a cost of £55 each, they’re far from being majorly high-end, but I certainly wouldn’t classify them as budget either.

My items from Iconic Lights were part of a range specifically designed to be affordable around the £20 mark so I felt it was totally reasonable to not pass the additional cost of assembly and more packaging onto me. But let’s take a look at my pendants from Graham & Green.

You can see from the images below that it’s made up of a set of clear plastic pieces which, combined, make a frame. The pieces which make us the shade are a number of triangular cardboard shapes coated in a copper colour on the outside. These slot into the plastic skeleton to form a cascading effect of copper faux leaves.

copper lighting 02
copper lighting 03

copper lighting 05

copper lighting 06

I must admit, it looks quite cheap up close, but once assembled looks significantly more expensive, especially from across the room – and I really love the soft glow they send off from end to end of the lounge – a pretty dark space due to its narrow shape and average-height ceilings. The copper against our blue walls is just PERF in my eyes.

I have a lot of patience generally, and as an enthusiast of all things interiors it’s a great little way to indulge on an evening when my mini me is tucked away in bed. But I do wonder if I’m alone on this. Don’t most people just want something bought and fitted as soon as possible? Or have we all fallen head over heels for the DIY way of thinking?

Which category do you fit into? Do you think these are the next big thing? Can you even be bothered? I’d love to see your self-assembly lighting!

copper lighting 04   copper lighting 07

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  • These look SO good!! I’m with you – ideally, I love that instant gratification but I recently got a flat-pack fruit bowl from Cloudberry Living and I loved putting it together so may well be a convert… 😉 x

    • KarenAnita

      Thanks lovely!
      I’m completely the same. I actually think it’s a little soothing and I think a lot of my “bloggy” friends would agree! But I know a lot of my “real life” family/friends definitely couldn’t be bothered haha x

    • Haha totally! I think it would completely depend on what mood I’m in and how fast I want it assembled! Thanks for stopping by and commenting lovely x

  • Old Fashioned Susie

    Agree with you- I’m kind of on the fence tbh. I think it could be therapeutic putting it together though

    • This one definitely was therapeutic but when it’s SO fiddly it can be frustrating. I’m still undecided! Thanks for stopping by and commenting lovely x

  • Carole King

    I think it’s becoming the norm to have to assemble lights sadly. I don’t mind personally but I can’t imagine some of my less crafty or careful friends finding it much fun.

    • Absolutely. When it arrived, my mum was there and I think her words were “no way I could be arsed assembling that” haha so it’s definitely not for everyone! Thanks for stopping by and commenting x

  • Your lights are lovely, but I must admit the copper one looked like a Krypton Factor challenge that I’m not sure I’d like to take on! I have a Tom Dixon etch lampshade that gave the choice of assembled or unassembled (for extra cost). I chose assembled as it seemed tricky, but if it was a more simple shade I’d be happy to go for unassembled if this was reflected in the cost.

    • Haha it was a little fiddly I admit! I think you’re right though about the cost. I think a lot of people would pay a few extra quid to get it assembled if they’re not up for doing it themselves. It’s a new market to me! Thanks for stopping by and commenting lovely x

  • Michelle Millar

    I’m on the fence too – I think it should definitely be made clear when you buy it though! I would appreciate a heads up before being delivered individual leaves to make up that beauty!

    • It was made clear on this one, but I feel like a bit of a pleb because I didn’t see it in the product description. I was blinded by their beauty haha! Thanks for stopping by and commenting lovely x

  • Rachel Newcombe

    I must admit, my heart sinks somewhat when I open a box and discover that self-assembly is required! As long as the instructions are okay and clear, and it’s not a nightmare to put together, then it’s do-able, but ultimately I think I’d still rather have a product that was already made.

    • I think I would in all honesty! It’s okay to assemble something youself from time to time, but if you’re redecorating more than one room at a time, it would be so overwhelming to fiddle about with all the home accessories as well as furniture! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rachel x

  • I ordered a light from Normann Copenhagen last year and my heart sand when I realised it was self assembly. It looked beautiful but it ruined my nails. I don’t really mind putting things together myself … as long as I have the time (which isn’t often).

    • Totally agree! Mine stayed in the packaging longer than I’d have liked because I was always waiting to put the baby to bed. I’ll definitely look out for already assembled in future! Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rachel x