Did you know Matalan sells furniture? It’s online only at MatalanDirect.com, but they sell a good range of furniture that’s stylish, on trend and affordable.
We’d never experienced Matalan furniture before, but were sent a corner bookshelf in oak, from their bestselling Quinn range, to review. The style of the piece is inherently contemporary – it’s based on the popular ladder design – and it’s an attractive and functional piece of furniture that could effectively be used in a variety of different rooms.
The Quinn corner bookcase arrives in two boxes – one long, large one which contains three vertical pieces of wood, and one square one, which contains four shelves in graduated sizes.
You also get the super essential instructions, all the screws, dowels and fittings you need, plus a little Allen key to help you put the whole piece together. So there are no worries if you haven’t got a tool kit on hand, as you can assemble it without the need for any other tools.
Once unpacked, the wood seemed to be of a good, sturdy design and the oak finish a lovely warm colour.
Assembling the flat pack Quinn bookcase
Is it easy to put together? Well, it seemed to be…
The doweling rods were easy to insert into the shelves and the shelves initially seemed to fit well into the uprights. It could be put together by one person, but we found it useful to have two of us.
One shelf though seemed to be missing a screw hole, so couldn’t be as securely attached as it should be. When everything else was screwed together it looked finished, although we somehow ended up with a slight gap at one side at the very top.
As it wasn’t really the perfect, nicely aligned finish we’d hoped for, we took it apart and did it again. Sadly, that didn’t really rectify the problem. Whether it was something we’d done wrong, or perhaps that the upright piece of wood wasn’t quite cut to the right size at the top, we’re not sure.
Here’s an image showing the gap on the right hand side – it’s not a major issue, but something that could be annoying in the long term, knowing it’s there and not quite perfect.
The gap issue aside though, the finished bookshelf is a lovely contemporary design and definitely fits into the ladder style shelving trend.
It’s nice that it’s a corner design and can fit into a spare gap. It also felt reassuring that it was going in a corner, as it didn’t feel 100% sturdy when standing (it might be better, for example, if you screw it to a wall for super security).
Styling the Quinn corner bookcase
The bookcase would work well in a living room, dining room, study or even a small space in a hallway or on a landing.
In our case, it fitted perfectly in a corner of a bedroom, against the side of a similar coloured wooden wardrobe.
There are five shelves in total, each a different size. We used the bottom shelf for books, and the others to display vases and other decorative accessories.
Of course, there’s not a lot of scope for storage on the smallest, top shelf (just room for a small owl), but the lower shelves do provide ample space – in fact, more space than we’d anticipated.
The bottom shelf is a brilliant height and width for large hardback books. We could have easily filled all the shelves with books – as you can see, the other shelves are quite deep too and could easily accommodate more hardback or paperback books:
It’s a really elegant and functional piece of furniture. In terms of value, it’s pretty good too – the original price was affordable at £79, but it’s currently reduced to £59 in the sale, so an even better buy.
If it’s a style of furniture you like, there are other coordinating pieces in the Quinn range, and options in a white finish too. One nifty aspect is that other pieces can be joined together if you wish. There are spare screws provided and easy-to-spot connecting points on the Quinn bookcase.
It was good to see the value and options that Matalan furniture provides and it’s definitely something we’ll be exploring again in the future.
(Disclosure: We were sent the Quinn bookcase to review, but all views and opinions are our own).3