These days, if you want a piece of furniture - well, you'll probably have to make it yourself. Flat pack boxes and pamphlets of indecipherable instructions are typical, as is finding a packet of screws with one less than is necessary. Infuriating.
Here's a solution, which points to the direction of how it should be - not how it is. The place you need to know about is Unto This Last.
Let me tell you how it is different first. Most furniture places tend to be large warehouses located in industrial retail parks, or the outskirts of town - making them note very practical for the average person. You could, of course, mail order, but then you have the problem of being in (or not) when they deliver. Unto This Last are located on Brick Lane, and therefore convenient. Also they make their furniture to order, so keeping down the costs for them and for their customers. The final part is my favourite. They make their furniture according to the principles of technology, in fact a digital router is their tool of choice, meaning waste is minimised, as are mistakes.
With more than 2,000 items to choose from in their catalogue, you won't be stuck for choice. There is everything from storage to seating, tables to accessories, and the designs available will make you glad you didn't plump for doing it yourself.
And the name? Well it actually comes from the title of a book by the same name by John Ruskin, written in 1860. The theme of the book was the return to local craftsman workshops, contrary to fears he held about the Industrial Revolution. It may be a different millennium, but better late than never I say...