“ Brand: Ikea / Type: Chair „
I have always been a fan of IKEA furniture; big and solid, they usually have a simple design that I like. When I was looking for 6 chairs to go around my pine kitchen table, I was immediately attracted to the Kaustby chair, especially as they were selling for a very reasonable £39 each.
The Kaustby is a sturdy chair made out of solid pine, with a tall ladder-back design which I have always liked because of its simplicity and comfort. The ladder-back has 4 rungs, which narrow towards the top to a substantial height of 103cm, giving it a touch more elegance than the straight ladder-back together with an impressive and stylish tallness.
I chose an antique pine stain rather than the other two colours available, as it matched my kitchen table. Although this stain was rather orange in the beginning, it has mellowed over the years and is a little bit less aggressive now. The other colours available were a grey or a black; both of which looked very nice, but would not have matched my existing furnishings.
The seat of the chair is its strongest feature when it comes to comfort. The seat is a gently sloping triangular shape, measuring a wide and comfortable 44cm at the front end, and narrowing to 35cm at the rear end. This gives plenty of room for a person's legs, and the 41cm depth means that I can sit right back into the chair comfortably, sliding right back so that my back is fully supported. IKEA sell seat cushions of a similar triangular shape from £3.50 upwards. These chair cushions fit the chairs exactly and can be attached around the rear struts by Velcro straps, creating a comfortable look which seems as if the seat pads were designed specifically for this chair.
The chair weighs 6kg which is very substantial and fairly heavy to lift. As a result the chairs in our household are often scraped backwards over the wooden floor. Although the rest of the chair is well finished to a smooth and polished sheen, the bottom of the legs are unsurprisingly rather rough and I have had to put adhesive pads on them to stop them scratching our laminate flooring.
The chair is sold in a flat pack which contains two side frames ready constructed, 4 back rungs, and a wooden seat. All Allen keys and screws are provided.
Assembly is extremely easy, with the usual IKEA visual instructions to follow. One person can easily do this on their own. Side frame ready constructed, and it is necessary to lie this on its side and insert the back struts, gluing them into pre-made holes with the glue provided. The back and front bars of the seat are inserted into the holes in the same way and the other side of the chair is glued onto this. It is then necessary to stand the ready constructed frame upright and insert the black screws into 6 point on the chair and tighten them with the provided Allen key. The chair is then turned upside down and 4 Philips screws are tightened to keep the seat in place.
~~Things I do like~~
This chair is big and comfortable to sit on. It is sturdy with no wobbles or need to tighten even after 2 years of use. Two large teenage boys have tipped backwards, wriggled and jumped on these chairs over the past 2 years, and the chairs remain very solid with no loose joints or weakened screws. These chairs are definitely very hardwearing and durable.
The price was excellent and the general look of the chair is stylish and practical.
~~Things I don't like~~
There are several things that are not so good about my chairs. The first is the colour which, as previously mentioned, has determinedly stuck at a rather unnatural orange colour and has not mellowed or faded with time. This contrasts with my IKEA kitchen table, which has turned a very pale pine colour over the years.
In addition, the wood used is too soft for seat construction. Almost immediately I found holes and gouges in the seats, which looked very unsightly. I soon discovered that these came from the studs on my son's denim jeans. Over the years the chairs have also acquired scratches from the cats claws - not because they have sharpened their claws on the chairs, but on the seat, where they have simply been jumping up to sit.
The chairs look extremely basic and functional, with the black screw heads unhidden and giving a rather industrial look. Although I find this a good look for my kitchen, the chairs may not look so good in a dining room or any other room that is not a kitchen.
Overall I am extremely happy with my chairs. They were very cheap and, as they are kitchen chairs, I do not mind that they are basic in design and have become a bit tatty. I would recommend them to anybody who wants a good value, functional chair for the kitchen but I am only awarding them 4 stars because of the soft wood on the seats which has so quickly become damaged.