My obsession with beautiful furniture undoubtedly started in Denmark, where I drooled over it in friends’ houses (not literally), the most exquisite design shops, and of course the Scandinavian Design Centre that I would frequent on a regular basis to fill up an imaginary list for my house should we ever win the lottery. Danish design is especially timeless, so it doesn’t matter if I win the lottery now or in 20 years time… Mind you, we were never burgled when we lived in Copenhagen, as our furniture at the time consisted of a mash-up of stuff that came with us from the UK and things we had picked up to furnish a much larger rental house from that big Swedish blue and yellow shop. Our neighbours were burgled a few times however, and computers, jewellery and even money were left behind whilst iconic furniture and lights were taken – probably stolen to order.
When you live in Scandinavia, the design is something that quickly gets under your skin, along with candles, a liking for marzipan and an obsession with liquorice… The hours I spent wandering the likes of Hay and Illums Bolighus were not wasted, even if I did quickly learn not to pick up stuff to look for the price, having once turned over a Kay Bojesen wooden bird only for its head to fall off and roll across the floor!…
Before we left Denmark we added a couple of pieces to our eclectic collection (from the sales mostly) and furniture continues to be a bit of an addiction for me now (I save up for it over shoes even – oh how times have changed!). Of course there have been times I think we’ve had a lucky escape – like when we almost bought a beautiful feather filled sofa one reckless child free shopping trip. We came to our senses when we remembered we had small children at home, and that would have been quite a lot of money to wreck with hand prints in what would probably have been a short amount of time (that sofa is exactly what I am going to buy as soon as I have finished crying about the last one leaving home however!)…
Bavarian furniture is of course very different, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t love it any less. When you’re surrounded by it, it becomes the backdrop to your life. After much searching in the weeks before we left, I found a 1918 antique Alpine chair (complete with obligatory heart carved in the back) that had to come home with me. It doesn’t necessarily work in our reasonably modern house, but I don’t really care. It’s part of our story, and I love it.
And now that we have a house that we own again (for however long we live in it) I find myself turning my back on that great big blue and yellow Swedish shop even more. I think I associate it with houses that haven’t really been ours, and that could be why we are taking our time to choose furniture that fits, and that is pretty much timeless so it stays with us. There’s no real rush (although I do wish we had sorted a dining table with Christmas just days away!)…
Up until two weeks ago, we sat with 9 remaining removal boxes packed with books and ornaments and piled high in one corner of the living room like a particularly boring art installation, whilst we deliberated and bickered over shelving that we both liked. I even got a few eye watering quotes for built-in shelves, swooned over shelves from swanky London shops (and told myself to stop being stupid remembering that beautiful Danish sofa) and then I found Tylko… Or maybe Tylko found me? They do a good job on their social media so it’s likely you’ve spotted them before.
This is a modular shelf system (believe me I know all the terminology now!) that you design yourself with a super clever augmented reality app (I have used it to design imaginary shelves and sideboards in all sizes for nearly every room in the house), you design the height, the width, the dimension of the shelving, the pattern, and decide on a colour. Once Mr R had become obsessed with various VR Room Design programmes (the builders are now booked for the 25th February, I can’t wait!), I let him design a Tylko wall unit (with my approval of course) and pressed the order button before he could change his mind.
During the manufacturing process we were sent updates as to what sections of our order had been made, and given a date for when it would all turn up at our house. After three weeks, it arrived in the form of nine large boxes (in much prettier boxes than the original sitting room art installation though) one dark and stormy night.
The manual that comes with it, is personalised to your shelf system, and really easy to follow. Another thing that I loved about it is that it’s not flat pack in the traditional sense – you don’t need any tools to put it together so it’s a lot less stressful and there are no allen key induced blisters. The colour coordinated sections mostly slot cleverly together, but the kit does come with a felt covered whacking tool for when there’s a slightly awkward section that needs a little help. The pieces also have numbered stickers so there’s absolutely no chance of going wrong. The instructions are so straight forward that Mr R and I managed to put the thing together without much help from the 13-year-old, who is the real flat pack furniture expert in the house.
The wood comes from sustainable Finnish birch forests, and each piece is made from 13 layers of compressed birch plywood and all custom-made to order. It’s guaranteed to last generations, so it should actually outlive the trees planted to replace those that were sacrificed…
It took us two evenings to put together truthfully, mostly because our wall unit is HUGE, and we started the building project quite late on the evening it arrived. Once we got going it was quite addictive, I was even a little sad when the last door was placed on its hinges. The packing all went to the Toddler’s pre-school for real art installation projects, and I would say there wasn’t an excessive amount of packaging used.
And the end result? I love the few bits of design furniture/Scandi objects that we picked up along the way, and now I have another timeless piece of custom-made furniture to display a lot of the smaller pieces too, the 9 remaining removal boxes have gone and it looks amazing (even my Dad who’s something of a carpentry expert was impressed with the quality!). Now we just need to get rid of that one wall in the sitting room, the blue paint everywhere (that the previous owners were obsessed with), and I am honestly starting to feel like this house is home (for now!).
I would really recommend Tylko if you have seen them advertised and wondered what the quality’s like, and whether it’s worth the price tag – I honestly think it is. I will definitely be returning to buy a couple more pieces to add to my own personal Furniture Appreciation Society!
Disclaimer – I paid for this furniture myself, but I did receive a small percentage off the full price in return for an honest review, which is what you are getting above. All words and opinions are mine and mine alone!…
After our visit to Denmark, we also became fans of Scandi design and I became a fan of online shopping at the Scandinavian Design Centre. I’ve got a couple of Kay Bojesen pieces (monkey and skier) and two Hans Bølling ducks.
I also remember your help with my Dad’s black Danish dish. I think the love of modern design must come from him.
I love this unit – really shows off those wonderful memories xx
Now you are talking about one of my favourite shops now that we are back in the UK!!! :D I think that’s when we first became friends wasn’t it? Thanks so much, glad you like it! xx
Wow that wall unit looks lovely, and I really like how you have decorated everything on the shelves.
Thanks so much Fatima! :)
Absolutely loving the look of the Tylko wall unit, it is something I need in my living room
I would honestly recommend it! Thanks Anosa! :)
Super Busy Mum says
WOW! Now that is a unit! I would absolutely adore this in my front room….and my bedroom! haha!
I want one in most rooms! :D Thank you! :) x
Nell (Pigeon Pair and Me) says
This looks absolutely gorgeous. I’m going to check them out, as we really need shelving units for our dining room and the spare bedroom. I think these would work really well in both those places. Thanks for the tip!
I would really recommend them. Such high quality and they really do hide a LOT of stuff! :D Thanks Nell! x
Olivia Jade says
Haven’t heard of this brand, but the shelving unit looks great! The blue and yellow shop does similar, but I think this one really hits the ball out of the park! :) xx
They do similar, but it’s nowhere near this kind of quality! Thanks Olivia! :) xx
I love how you refer to it as the big Swedish blue and yellow shop, but I do know where you’re coming from and it’s great getting decent furniture that actually is easy to put together! I recently helped my friend put together her sofa which had little instruction as possible so having a colour coordinated sections to build your furniture sounds like a dream! I will keep Tylko in mind when I consider buying furniture for my future house
Thanks so much Winsze! :)
Oh my gosh, the concept of this absolutely a stroke of genius! Even the extra touches when it comes to putting it together is so well thought out! What a beautiful storage display too x
Thanks so much Sarah! :) x
Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels says
I love this, want this and need it! It looks fabulous and I love the whole concept. Kaz
I honestly didn’t expect to like it as much as I do! :D Thanks Kaz. x
Yeah Lifestyle says
I was just having a discussion with my husband on how we can make our house look a lot more neater and this is the perfect idea. I have just sent your blog link to him to have a look.
You won’t believe just how much stuff they can hide too! :D Thanks so much! :)
Mayah Camara says
I have a unit like this in my home! Might be because my flatmate is Finnish lol! It’s a nice form of storage and is really stylish all at the same time
Thanks Mayah! I have a few Finnish things too – like 50,000 Moomin things! :D