Trying to find the perfect piece of furniture is incredibly fun. Said no one, ever.
But things are looking easier for those wanting to spruce up their home without breaking the bank. Design.Online is a new Aussie furniture brand hopes to revolutionise the way you shop for home furniture – all from the comfort of said home.
Launching in 2019, the Design.Online concept is simple: customise and order from a range of furniture staples – think sofas, beds and chairs – online, and receive your order in three hours (if you're in the Sydney metropolitan area) with a no-tools-required approach to assembly. Who doesn't love the idea of contemporary designer furniture that's affordable and easy to put together, meaning no need to Airtasker a qualified carpenter to set up that new couch.
One thing that the team behind Design.Online are incredibly passionate about is that stylish and quality furniture needn't require a second (or first) mortgage to own.
"Design.Online was born from an idea to democratise great design with the sole purpose of enhancing the way you live. With over 40 years in furniture design and production [through parent company King Living], we saw an opportunity to design products with better functionality," explains David Hardwick, Head of Product.
"Design.Online is geared towards those with less money in their pockets or those who don't want to invest in significant pieces of furniture at that stage of their life. We looked at how we could design products that could make the lives of the millennial demographic, in particular, easier."
Accessibility (and flexibility) is key
Customisation has come out as one of the major details brands wanting to ensure customers can get the best personalised experience. Design.Online has taken that on board.
The Smart Sofa, for example, is available as a modular which allows you to purchase either a chair, chair with arms, two-seater, three-seater, or a three-seater with an extra chair. This allows buyers to purchase only what they need for the space at hand.
"Flexibility has always been a key design feature to our product. That idea of effortless assembly thanks to universal joining is paramount, so if you do move around as Millenials often do, it's not a hassle to bring our products with you," says Hardwick.
"Our products are very easy to set up, no tools are needed and we maximise that flexibility by making it simple to change things around; reconfiguration is important and possible with Design.Online."
At the heart of the Design.Online range is three core products: the aforementioned Smart Sofa, the Sleep800 Mattress and the Flex bed Stirling. Three items that every person needs, and three items that are often the most difficult to find, be it due to style, affordability or sizing constraints.
"When designing our core range, it was important to look at how people use certain products and what they ultimately want from that product," says Hardwick.
"So, we came up with those three products you need when setting up a place. But more than that, our customers have maximum amount of flexibility with the smallest amount of components, which was challenging but I think we have succeeded pretty well with what we have come up with."
A sustainable mindset
With sustainability at the forefront of the Design.Online model, environmentally conscious practices ensure each and every product is made using materials sourced from sustainable resources.
All design and prototyping is done in Australia, with the manufacturing of the products held in a state-of-the-art facility in Shanghai, China, which is led from Australia in order to oversee control of every product.
"Sustainability has always been a key part and at the heart of all good design, so minimising our carbon footprint is really important to us," explains Hardwick.
"All of our products are designed to either be refurbished or replaceable; in the rare instance of an end of life situation, we will take the product back and deconstruct it and send off various elements to be recycled or disposed of responsibly."
"We feel like we are custodians of the product, and even though it has been sold, we feel responsible for it and would hate to see it not being used for what it was intended to do."