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Move Over, Ikea? New Hem Furniture Is Stylish And Convenient, If Not Quite Affordable

A look at the Fab spinoff’s debut furniture line reveals sleek, easy-to-assemble pieces that are easy on the wallet–for some people.

One of the worst things about moving is disassembling all that furniture you worked so hard to put together just to load it up in the van and then put it all back together again. Hem, the debut furniture brand spun off from the e-commerce site Fab, makes all this less painful: most of the stylish, elegantly simple pieces, many of them customizable, can be assembled and broken down without tools. Marketing itself as “the first affordable high-end design brand created to serve online-direct customers,” Hem wants to make it easier to buy long-lasting furniture online.

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Swedish for “Home,” Hem was developed by Jason Goldberg as a collaboration between Fab, which he founded in 2011, and Fab’s two recently acquired companies, Massivkonzept, a German store for custom furniture, and One Nordic, a Finnish design firm specializing in easy-to-assemble products. Hem’s online storefront will offer a range of digital customization tools, so you can add personal design touches to the furniture, whether it’s the dimensions, color, or arrangement of shelves. The debut line goes on sale today.


The 100-piece collection includes the Scandinavian-influenced Hai Lounge Chair, designed by Luca Nichetto, which collapses for easy transportation or storage, thanks to concealed hinges on its minimalist metal frame. The legs of the Alle Table, by Staffan Holm, attach to the table top sans tools. And the Custom Shelf, by Hem Design Team, (which includes many designers formerly of Fab, such Anne Lopez, Isaac Krady, and Evan Clabots) lets you decide on how you want to distribute the shelving and storage space. It’s one of the few pieces that does require some tools, but customers can choose to have the assembly team come help out.

In an email, Fab CEO Jason Goldberg insisted that, “We are definitely producing higher-end designs than say Ikea, CB2, and West Elm, with high-quality finishes and materials. We are not targeting the lower end or value end of the market, rather we’re making high-end designs affordable and attainable and frankly easier for people to buy.”

Affordable for some people–the Hai Lounge Chair is $1,199, cheaper than, say, an Eames chair ($4,500), but still not as cheap as an Ikea chair ($29). The prices are most comparable to those of Blu Dot, the Minneapolis-based chain that produces slick contemporary furniture.

By working directly with factories, mostly in Poland and India, Hem claims it can offer lower prices on furniture that won’t fall apart–and doesn’t come with plastic baggies filled with millions of confusing screws, pegs, and indecipherable instructions.

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Hem’s collection will be available for order today here.

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.

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