Building Ikea furniture is like playing with an Erector Set that gives you splinters; is missing a random assortment of parts; can break you and your girlfriend up. Building Meccano Home furniture, on the other hand, is what Erector Set furniture should have been all along: bright, colorful, and reconfigurable. This makes sense, since Meccano was responsible for the Erector Set in the first place.
Made in France, Meccano is a brand of children’s toys made up of modular metal strips, plates, wheels, and gears that you connect together with nuts and bolts.
Meccano Home is a more grown up take on that same concept. First presented at the Maison & Objet furniture fair in Paris, France, the Meccano Home line is made up of 20 modules in all sorts of colors that you can combine into chairs, tables, consoles, standing tables, and more. They’re sold in sets, so that a configuration of parts that will build a simple chair costs around $215, while an elaborate work desk would cost closer to $1,200.
Unlike standard flat-pack furniture, though, Meccano Home is as reconfigurable as any erector set. You can mix and match any of its parts, recombining them into totally different furniture, objects, or sculptures. Think you’ll get sick of that desk and chair you bought? Don’t sell it on Craigslist: recombine them into a new entertainment center.
The secret behind this endless reconfigurability is Meccano’s proprietary screw and nut system, which allows you to assemble and disassemble furniture without any damage. They appear to be bigger than their Erector Set counterparts, but just as easy to use. (Just don’t lose them.) And if you’re a DIYer who’d like to design your own Meccano Home furniture from the get-go, you can even buy each piece individually.
If you speak French, you can order Meccano Home furniture here. Hopefully this concept comes to the States under the Erector Set brand too!