Why you should care
Because if you never have to assemble another piece of IKEA furniture, it’ll be too soon.
If you’re like me, an urban dweller under the age of, oh, 35, you’re likely: a) renting a 500-square-foot apartment for the same price as an entire house in North Dakota; or b) to relocate every year or so because of a job or a breakup or, you know, just to mix things up.
Restoration Hardware catalogs hawking monster-sized dining tables or have-it-forever coffee tables are not your bag. You want good design, without the designer price tag. Something cool that’s not … Ikea.
That was essentially the impetus behind a brilliant invention from Detroit-based designers Kyle Hoff, 26, and Alex O’Dell, 23: The Floyd Leg: literal, clamp-on legs that allow you to (somehow, easily) turn any flat surface into a table. The duo launched their company last month on Kickstarter — to crazy success; we’re talking 1,424-percent-funded Kickstarter success. They reached their $18,000 goal by day 2, and the 30-day campaign ended with a whopping $256,273 last week. They’d hoped for 100 orders — and got more than 1,000. I think that’s what MBA profs call consumer demand.
After years of living a nomadic existence, in which Hoff kept acquiring and disposing furniture (because why spend more to move a couch than you paid for it?), he started tinkering with design and materials to create simple and reusable table legs that could turn any flat surface into a transient piece of furniture.
Wait a minute, that’s it? Why haven’t you thought of that before?
When O’Dell was visiting his friend Hoff’s place last year, he saw the prototype for the Floyd legged table — a remnant piece of plywood propped up by four metal legs that Hoff was using as his desk — and a new business idea was born.
Don’t need that door between your living room and kitchen? Turn it into a dining table.
Hoff comes from a family of steel mill workers, three generations of men — father, grandfather and great-grandfather — all named, you guessed it, “Floyd.” Crafted from durable cold-rolled steel and powder-coated black or white, the Floyd Leg is a sleek modern style that complements the rustic look of reclaimed materials you might use as a surface.
Hoff and O’Dell encourage customers to scour salvage shops or simply look around the house and repurpose. (Don’t need that door between your living room and kitchen? Turn it into a dining table. No tools or building knowledge required, I swear.)
Floyd Leg fans have already started to offer up design ideas (adjustable legs! rubber footing!). One engineer fan even sent over a structural analysis, and many are getting creative with surface material (a surfboard! a rogue solar panel!). New colors and concepts are already in the works. Personally, I’m clamoring for a Floyd Leg set that’s standing-desk height. Think amateur deejays spinning records off a rad tabletop made from old high-school bleachers.
As a design writer who rents (a not-so-roomy walk-up) in Seattle and frequents salvage shops more often than the mall, I’ve always daydreamed of turning an old door or wood-framed window into a table. Or kitchen island. Or foyer stand where I can drop my mail … but I’m no carpenter. There’s no angle iron in my let’s-hang-some-artwork toolbox. And I definitely don’t own a welder. I couldn’t build my own table, let alone the legs for one.
Apparently, I am not alone in this dilemma. “People are shocked,” says O’Dell. “So many people have said, ’This is something I’ve been looking for! But really, it’s just this? It’s so ridiculously simple!’ It’s almost like they’re offended.”
Floyd Leg sets come in 16-inch (coffee table) and 29.5-inch (standard) heights and are available for purchase at thefloydleg.com. Orders will ship in April.
Or maybe just jealous that they didn’t think of Floyd first? But once they decide to drop a (reasonable) $189 on their first set of four legs? Sheer joy.