Wednesday, June 25, 2014

SmartDeco: Cardboard Nightstand

Quite some time ago, the company SmartDeco contacted me to review their cardboard furniture. Cardboard furniture! Exciting! 

They sent me a nightstand to work on. When it arrived, it was winter and I was so horrendously busy that I didn't have the time to even take it out of its box. Fast forward two seasons - a couple of weeks ago, the planets aligned: perfect outdoor weather to work with the large pieces on the deck where the light was great for photos, perfect opportunity for the girls to help me with it since they were out from school and perfect use for the finished nightstand when we'd made it (saving that bit for the end of the post). Perfect timing.

So out came the box - and it's a good size, so working on it on the deck was just lovely.

We opened it up and took our first look.

All that good cardboard!

Single wall corrugation, but thick liners (i.e. the flat layers) and incredibly sturdy.

There were several cardboard pieces, 

all folded along their natural score lines, plus one plastic sheet.

We loaded up the video instructions on their website here, and got to work.

There was no need to cut anything - everything was precut - just fold, peel 

and stick.

The girls helped. It was extremely easy (and fast) to assemble.

And play with during.

We put together two drawers, three shelves, one top and the main body.

Then we combined them all and made our Smartstand,

Here is the front,

and back,

 and with the smaller, top drawer removed to show the middle shelf.

The last stage of the construction was the addition of the clear plastic top. This was to protect that surface and allow it to accommodate beverages and vases and anything spill-y that would be otherwise disastrous for cardboard. The plastic sheet has holes in its four corners, through which we push the included flat-head plastic pins to secure it to the cardboard layer.

The whole structure is lighter than its wood alternative, making it a lot more comfortable to move around. It is also very sturdy, which did not surprise me, considering that I work with lots of cardboard and I know how robust it is as a building material. Still, the solidness of this nightstand exceeded my expectations. The credit is partly due to the quality of the cardboard itself, but the design is also a contributing factor. Each part - like the drawer, for instance - is several layers thick, folded in on itself, resulting in a reinforced wall.

Here is the nightstand, posing with Kate, to give you an idea of its size.

The drawers literally slip in and out of their sockets. 

In the absence of actual slides, they still move very easily but not as smoothly as their counterparts on rails.

What did we do with our nightstand? If I'd kept it, I'd have left it white 

or doodled on it like this
Magical Cookie Box, Fairytale Party 2014
or this
Cardboard Tiffin Carrier

and if the children had had it, they'd have painted and colored it in a riot of rainbows, like this.
Bunny Hutch

But we didn't keep it. We gave it to our lovely neighbor at her graduation party. We thought she might like to take to her new dorm room away from home - it's light, portable, recyclable and (should she choose) disposable at the end of her stay. We sent along a brand new pack of colored Sharpies so her party guests could sign and write notes on it.

I did keep the cardboard box it came in, though. To turn into more cardboard things. Can anything be more wonderful than a cardboard product in a cardboard box? I think not.

Read what people are saying about SmartDeco and see their entire line of cardboard furniture on their website here, along with dimensions, prices, color options and video instructions for assembly.

Note: This product was sent to me, free and unsolicited, for objective and uncompensated review.


  1. How cool! I could think of all kinds of uses for something like that. Must go check out the others!

  2. wow, that is clever!! And what a smart gift for a grad!

  3. This is not related, but thanks for the Make a bag series..

  4. I love this idea, especially the customizable aspect. Makes me wonder about their other styles of furniture and where I can put them. :)

  5. Wow these look really good. The farthest we went is to make this cardboard shield and sword for kids. What you did is AWESOME!

  6. This is such a clever product! I was actually thinking as I read that it was the sort of thing a teenager would love.


Thank you for talking to me! If you have a question, I might reply to it here in the comments or in an email.