If you’ve decorated on a budget, you’ve probably braved IKEA, where the promise of a brighter and better living space comes sealed in a cardboard box
But what do we lose when big-box retailers rule the home furnishings marketplace—and, by extension, our homes? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to surround ourselves with handcrafted pieces that perfectly suit our needs? While making your own furniture is not a requirement for a well-planned home, it is certainly possible—no matter one’s budget, skill level, or space—and immensely gratifying. For Dust Free Friends, Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald of the London-based architectural firm 6a architects offer the plans for a series of small pieces of furniture that can be simply assembled with a few common tools and in even the most confined spaces. Inspired in equal parts by the utilitarian forms created on construction sites and the do-it-yourself designs of modernist furniture designer Enzo Mari, each of the sixteen chairs, stools, shelves, and other small pieces of furniture is built of affordable and lightweight plywood, which can be dressed to suit any taste. The plans are easy to follow and just as easy to modify, making the possibilities nearly endless.