Overall, I was favourably impressed by three items of furniture that didn’t cost a great deal to buy but are attractive and reasonably sturdy once assembled. The units aren’t ‘showy’ in any sense but they are stylish enough, especially considering the price. Decent quality chipboard, the ubiquitous cam bolt and lock method of assembly and just a little bit of shaping on doors and drawer fronts make this better value, in my opinion, than a similarly-priced set from IKEA.
Click on any image to see the range in more detail.
Handles are plastic but look like brushed aluminium and are quite smart and sturdy enough. All the holes are pre-drilled.
The wardrobe, with its inbuilt drawer unit, was more complicated to assemble than an IKEA one, but it took extra time rather than requiring much more skill. All the parts fitted together and the instructions were clear enough. All those extra horizontal panels and dividers make it a fairly heavy unit for its size when it comes to standing it up and moving it – an equivalent IKEA unit would have a separate drawer unit that you slide in afterwards, making it lighter.
There are no adjustable feet (but then the IKEA ones aren’t much use in my experience, and break away all too easily). A set of plastic wedges that you can cut to fit if needed is included. The plinth and rear rail that the whole thing rests on are solid and make it relatively easy to slide the wardrobe into position, at least on a carpeted floor. The doors and drawers fitted well, including the mirrored one in the middle.
The two chests of drawers use different drawer mechanisms (actually the same ones IKEA uses) but were just as simple to put together. Building the four-plus-foor drawer unit this morning was almost exactly the same as building an IKEA chest – same drawer assembly (two dowels and a cambolt each end for the front, slide in the drawer bottom then hammer four plastic pegs in to secure the drawer back. Screw on the metal runners and a couple of plastic wedges to stop the bottom rattling, and you’re done). They still take a while to do, though, especially when there are eight of them.
The chests were simple, too, with their dowel and cam bolt system. The tops aren’t especially secure, having just one cam bolt and one dowel at each end, but they’re not going to fall off, and everything fitted very precisely together, including the backs, which are pinned in place. The side panels are rebated and the tops overlap the top rail in each case so that fitting the backs in place properly will guarantee the units are square.
Any problems? Well, one cam bolt for a wardrobe drawer either went missing or was absent (I had a spare and I suspect the original will turn up), but otherwise everything was present and correct. The divider that separates the two lots of four drawers is only attached at the top. Again, it won’t fall off and the drawers themselves stop any lateral movement, but a few more pennies spent there wouldn’t have hurt.
Otherwise, my conclusion is that the Argos Vancouver range offers good value for money. With that kind of budget available I would buy it, and I can’t say more than that. It’s available in different finishes and various configurations of wardrobes, chests and cabinets.
If you like the look and sound of the Argos Vancouver bedroom furniture, click on the images to go directly to the Argos website.