It's at times like these that we turn even more to the independents, supporting the creative community wherever we can. Alongside the t-shirts, pin badges and posters we've all snapped up of late, we're now focusing our attention on Plaey Workshop's first-ever range of self-assembly home furniture.
Called Everyday Plaey (that lifts our spirits), the collection includes a stool, bench and magazine rack. Simple and affordable, the range is influenced by "mid-century modern values on the accessibility of designed pieces for the home", according to its founder, Matt Kelly. As Plaey has previously focused on bespoke commissions for art galleries, interiors and independent shops – this is the first opportunity to own a Plaey design you can live with every day.
Each product is designed within a number and colour framework, made from six elements. All furniture pieces are made from birch plywood, with one bright colour of laminated plywood and valchromat. It arrives flat-packed for self-assembly and is constructed by either simply slotting or screwing the parts together. (No frustrating IKEA instructions to worry about!)
Plaey worked collaboratively with Studio Build to provide a framework and concept for the Everyday range. Build developed the visuals to envelop the products, including a variant of the Plaey identity, graphic assets to explain the Everyday system, through to packaging stencils and assembly instructions.
With more products in the pipeline, including the Everyday plant stand and a coffee table following soon, the hope is to grow a furniture range that people can collect and add to. Plans also extend to creating unique limited-edition versions of the Everyday range, collaborating with designers, print-makers and artists. That's something to look forward to.
"Initially, we discussed making products from a limited number of elements – critically that these elements could be flat-packed and easily assembled at home by the user," says Matt. "This was a nice shift in my thinking process and forced me to develop how the elements could simply join and fit together. I'm enjoying this new way of working and how the principles are informing the designs."
Michael C Place adds: "Alongside working on the concept of Everyday Plaey with Matt we developed a simple identity system for the range. This graphic system sits comfortably with the master Plaey brand, based around a more DIY/Self-assembly style. This DIY spirit manifests itself in a 'Stencil' version of the brand elements, logo/logotype, packaging stencil. We also worked with Matt on some simple copy around the idea of the range too. Launch material was also produced to promote the Everyday Plaey concept using Instagram as the primary platform."
Everyday Plaey is launching this week and available from www.plaey.co.uk/shop.