In an interiors marketplace dominated by budget Scandinavian mass production, it’s hard to imagine a company doing flat pack furniture differently.  That’s exactly what the Polish founded Tylko have done with their range of made-to-measure storage solutions.

Stuff stored with space left over. Now to buy more things to fill those empty spaces!

While refurbing our own Kreuzberg apartment, we thought we would share a little bit about our experience customising and building our lovely new kitchen storage unit.

Rather than take on the Swedish behemoths across the board, Tylko have honed in on the shelving and cabinets section, armed with one of the most intuitive and effortless web apps we’ve seen.  Their range covers practical book shelves, stylish sideboards, chests of drawers and even a special unit designed for your record collection.

One of the best things about their site is that all of their storage units are fully customisable with a nifty app that allows you to effortless create something to fit your space with a few intuitive controls. These are most impressive when used on a mobile device, working with your smart phone’s camera to place the shelf to scale in your home using augmented reality. Check it out in their demo video.

The Tylko app uses augmented reality to help you customise your shelf.

The nicest Berlin apartments tend to be old (“Altbau”) with lofty ceilings, but occasionally some questionable choices from the architect.  Bathroom in the kitchen anyone? Yes it’s really a thing! Needless to say, sometimes finding the perfect dimensions in a building that is protected from tennant modifications can present a challenge.

In our case we were able to get the perfect height to maximise space without hitting the cornicing on our ceiling. If you wanted to slot it into a gap in your built in kitchen, or that awkward living room corner, then no problem, you can just change the width and height to fit.  If you need an extra helping hand with that then their team has stellar customer service to dig into more detail.

There are also a clever option for customising the amount of shelves and cupboards that you want using their “Density” control.  Let’s be honest, most of us that want to design our own furniture don’t want to build the whole thing online piece-by-piece, so this seems like a good feature to me!

In terms of pricing, a Tylko shelf will set you back more than a typical Ikea unit.  However the price is reflected in the build quality. All pieces are made of tough composite that can withstand just about whatever you throw at it, not to mention the weight of your massive vinyl collection.

Options with your music gear in mind.

We can attest to those durable materials after enlisting two more friends to stand ours up from the kitchen floor to the wall.  It took four of us to lift it safely (probably could have managed with three but a few beers were drunk in the process), but once up it felt solid as a rock.  Just don’t try and undertake it alone.

Build done, now time to lift.  Heavy!

The sturdiness comes from their interlocking screw based system, rather than relying on rubber shelf supports or wooden dowel rods to hold the thing together.  The metal bracketed cupboard doors also have a high quality hinge which gives a satisfying closing action that will send warm fuzzy feelings into your nether-regions with every open and close.  No? Just me for that one then.

So good we put our faces on it.

Overall we were really impressed with the whole experience with Tylko, from a well designed website, helpful team, inspiring lookbook with design ideas, an easy build and excellent quality final product.  They are obviously confident in the product as they offer free delivery with free returns within 100 days if you are not satisfied. Plus the whole process can be handled in German, English or Polish, with email support in other languages too.

If you are want to declutter your place, and think that some stylish shelving might be a better approach than the full “Marie Kondo” book burning ceremony, Expats In Wonderland can wholeheartedly recommend Tylko.

For interior design inspiration, head over to their Instagram account to see their lookbook of styles, and some top interiors influencers putting the shelves to work in ways that our tiny peanut brains couldn’t quite fathom.

We’ve already been eyeing up a sideboard so that our couch points at something other than the lonely TV.

Full disclosure: In order to help us review their brand, Tylko were kind enough to send us our very own made-to-measure shelf.  Thank you very much.