“ Brand: Argos / Type: Drawer Chest „
After several years, I should know better than to buy Argos furniture; every time I am tempted by the cheap prices, but always disappointed by the quality. The Malibu chest of drawers was no exception.
Like many parents, once my son grew into a teenager, I looked for a fun and modern (but cheap) way to decorate his room and to store his clothes. I invested in a small wardrobe, a three drawer bedside chest, and a four + two drawer chest from the Malibu range. Of the three purchases I found the largest four+two chest to be of the worst value; as with many Argos items of furniture the poor quality of the materials used is totally unsuitable for larger items.
I paid just over £55 for the drawers a couple of years ago. This item is currently selling for £64.99 in the Argos sale, reduced from £86.99.
I chose blue for the colour of my Malibu furniture; this meant that a light pine coloured frame and top panel encloses white drawers with blue facing panels. The look was smart and modern and just right for a teenaged boy's bedroom.
The whole chest is made from melamine; both the pine panels and the blue drawer faces have fake wood grain painted onto the laminate for a wood effect finish. The handles are all large and round and made of real pine. They are the most solid part of the unit!
The chest of drawers is 109cm high, with a width of 74cm and a depth of 40cm. Five large drawers stretch the whole width of the unit, while two small drawers at the top are half the large drawer size. I was very happy with both the size and layout of the drawers. The two small drawers at the top are ideal for storing the hundreds of bits and bobs that boys seem to collect - equally they are a good side for socks although a bit on the small size for other male underwear (boxers etc). The large drawers provide plenty of storage space and are the right depth for storing folded jeans or t-shirts. I would have preferred the drawers to be a little deeper - at 16cm they are a little shallow for my preferences.
The drawers slide in and out on rather nasty cheap beige plastic runners; grooves in the side of the drawers fit into the runners providing a rather sticky and slow movement.
The drawers come flat packed and I found them extremely heavy to manoeuvre - but I do have a bad back.
Once unpacked, the unit is quick and easy to assemble. The instructions are clear and I managed to assemble the unit on my own in under an hour.
The problems with this unit come from the cheap fittings and materials used. The outer shell is very stable and rigid; It has not marked or faded over the years and does not wobble. I could sit on it with confidence, it is so strong.
The construction of the drawers is the downfall of the unit. The drawers do not sit level or tight within the shell and unequal gaps show in between the drawer edges. When you pull the drawers out they swivel and bend rather than coming out in one smooth piece. Even though I carefully pull the two handles out in perfect synchronicity I still find that one side of the drawer emerges in front of the other, twisting and weakening the drawer and making it stick on the runner.
The poor quality of the plastic runners mean that pulling out the drawers when they are full is difficult, and the natural instinct is to pull harder. This frequently tugs off the front of the drawer, as it is only held on with small glued wooden pegs - leaving you very frustratingly with a drawer font in your hands and clothes spilling out all over the floor.
The bottoms of the drawers are made out of very thin mdf. This is much too thin and if anything heavy is put into the drawers the bottom sags and eventually gives way, popping the whole floor of the drawer out from the sides.
The floor of the drawer is held in place by the front of the drawer, slotting into thin grooves inside the drawer sides and back, and clipping into the front of the drawer, where the glued pegs hold it in place. Putting the drawer floor back into place necessitates removing the front of the drawer all over again, removing the pegs and finding more wood glue to secure the front to the sides again.
My experience with all Argos furniture has been the same; the quality is poor, the durability is terrible and although the furniture at first appears to be a money-saving bargain - in the end it is always better to wait a bit and save up for a better quality piece of furniture.
A NEW CHEST OF DRAWERS
As my youngest daughter is living away whilst at university, she doesn't get to spend very much time in the family home. Because of this she felt it was only fair to swap rooms with her brother and his fiancée as her (former) room is considerably larger. Some items were changed around with this move of rooms but it wasn't possible to fit her furniture into the smaller room.
This change around meant that my daughter used her brother's furniture, which wasn't as new as hers, yet was largely okay, apart from an overused and abused chest of drawers set. As she isn't home much my husband tried to repair this piece of furniture (a purchase from the now demised MFI store) but it was beyond it really. Also, my daughter has so many clothes already at home plus all those that had to come home for the summer (she had vacated her first year accommodation and is set to move into a shared house in September) that more storage was necessary. For the university summer holiday everything had to be cleared and a place found for it, not possible for everything! In my opinion, she has far too many clothes and art and craft paraphernalia, all competing for space in a compact room.
It got to the point when I knew we had to buy a new chest of drawers and quickly; any excuse for her not to put her clothes away will do!
I only had time to do minimal research but was shocked at how much even basic furniture seems to cost. I decided to purchase from Argos although I believe most of their furniture isn't that great. But I felt as the furniture in this room wouldn't be overused then cheap and cheerful would suffice on this occasion.
I actually though that the maple colour would be the best match for the other furniture in the room but discovered it was out of stock in several stores nearest to my home. Rather than wait I decided to go for the beech colour as it didn't look much different from existing furniture and, due to the layout of the room, wouldn't' stand out as not matching. The handles were similar to existing furniture, as was the style.
I reserved the item to collect from store later that day.
Firstly I wanted something that would fit into the space left by the broken chest of drawers and so of a similar width and depth but higher, thus providing more drawer space.
I wasn't too bothered if in respect of colour that it exactly matched the existing furniture in the room but wanted something that if not the same either complemented or blended in.
I wanted a chest of drawers that would cost under £100.
Looking on-line I saw that Argos stocked this five plus two drawer chest in the following colours: white, pine, wenge (dark wood), beech, maple, blue and also pink. These are priced at £86.99 except for the blue and pink fronted ones which are priced at £79.99.
This product can be bought in store, ordered on-line or by phone and delivered to your home (standard delivery-£3.95) within two days, or, as I did, reserved in store and then collected.
Other matching items are available.
The Malibu chest of drawers is flat packed.
Easy to follow instructions are available for fitting it together.
The chest of drawers was fairly easy to assemble although it does require some space to do this in. Conveniently, at the time, my son was away and so my husband had ample floor space (vacant bedroom) in which to fit this together.
As my husband assembled the drawers he informed me that the quality was poor, in his opinion, and this product wouldn't last long. I replied that this is as we expected but if it was even worse then perhaps we should return it. His response was that he'd already assembled some of it and hopefully it would last a while with the light use it was intended for.
All the drawers (seven) and the base had to be assembled and the handles fitted.
I would say it took my husband just over an hour to assemble this piece of furniture.
I think this chest of drawers looks nice when assembled and is probably quite deceptive. In my opinion it is best described as "cheap and cheerful."
The side of all the drawers consists of plastic with a veneer to the outside.
The base of the drawers is hardboard.
These drawers are all shallow, and not at all sturdy.
The runners are of a basic plastic and so the drawers do not glide open and closed.
The unit base is only mediocre in quality but will probably outlive the drawers.
HOW DOES IT LOOK
It looks good, surprisingly so, and when assembled and drawers are closed it looks nice and is a definite improvement on the previous chest with its broken drawers.
It looks pretty much contemporary in design with smooth and clean lines.
I like the 2 small drawer facility as it is easier to separate clothes to keep them stored tidily, and I think these small drawers are particularly suitable for storing underwear. They would probably also be suitable to store jewellery, make-up, arts and crafts, a few books, or any 'bits and bobs' needing a home.
VALUE FOR MONEY
I suppose this product was cheap when compared to some other similar ones although as it isn't of great quality I think it probably should be cheaper than it is. If it were to be used often then it would prove better in relation to value to purchase something more expensive but, for the occasional use it should have in the next few years, I think it's probably not too bad a buy but only in these type of circumstances. Anyone wanting a chest of drawers for a children's or teenager bedroom would probably be better having a better look around before purchasing this chest.
My daughter has far too many clothes and needs to have a serious de-cluttering session. Even if she did though, I don't think she will ever have enough storage but, for the sake of neatness and ease this was a necessary purchase.
It looks good but isn't of great quality, (as expected) but as I wanted to purchase a new chest of drawers quickly and at not too high a cost, I would say that overall this is an okay purchase but not really recommendable to others unless perhaps it's used to furnish a not often used guest room or, simply not used much.
(taken from www.argos.co.uk):
* Size H109, W75, D40cm.
* 5 wide drawers and 2 narrow drawers with plastic runners. * I would debate this as no way would I call any of the drawers wide.
* Silver-coloured handles.
* Weight 31kg.
* Packed flat for home assembly - self-assembly: 1 person recommended.