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As the number of direct-to-consumer (DTC) furniture brands building, packaging and selling their own products continues to grow, Cozey hasn’t arrived first by any means, but the offering is interesting.
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The Canadian brand entered the U.S. market earlier this year with a small stable of furnishings that builds upon a reputation of simplicity, modularity and functionality. Mainly, the big focal points are a series of sofas, an expandable, wall-mounted shelving unit, a few tables and the Stella Media Unit.
The Stella comes in several different configurations – door/no door, two colors and the ability to attach up to four units together through a connecting point beneath each unit (you can also use them individually). While formally marketed as an expandable media console, you could use the Stella as a side table, nightstand or just for storage.
So with an unsightly open space beneath my wall-mounted TV, I was eager to see if the Stella Media Unit could fill that area with functionality and poise. After a few months with the setup, it mostly did its job, if not leaving me a little underwhelmed.
Assembly Is a Breeze
Perhaps the biggest selling point of Cozey pitted against, an IKEA option, for example, is that Cozey pieces arrive mostly assembled. All I had to do was open a box and attach some legs. If you’re going to attach more than one unit, you may want a second person to help balance things while you attach both legs. Things can get a bit cumbersome. I needed my fiancée’s help to position all four when connected.
One of my biggest gripes is that Cozey packages with a lot of styrofoam. Not only is each individual unit lined with the stuff, but it’s also packed in the interior in a way that it breaks apart as you’re trying to remove it, and creates a big mess. Given how hard it is to recycle styrofoam, there has to be a more recyclable and cleaner way of getting the product to a home safely. Have a vacuum on standby for the bits and chunks that will inevitably fly out.
Even with all of that padding, one of my testers actually showed up with a crack running along the top corner. To Cozey’s credit, they sent out a new one promptly.
Pros and Cons of the Cozey Stella Media Unit
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the Stella falls on the design spectrum. It leans modern, yet also a bit industrial, but also somehow a bit contemporary — like something you’d see at the local furniture store. There’s not a lot of personality in each individual unit, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I do think that three or four of these lined up together looks better, as four of them did underneath my TV.
The hinges seem really sturdy and move up and down with ease, but enough toughness to not fall haphazardly. (It’s a big bonus that these come preassembled.) All of the edges are fluid and flush, which looks like in a variety of settings, and the light “oak” colorway is neutral and adaptable.
I would guess that durability won’t be too much of an issue here. Is this a generational piece you’ll be loving a decade later? Maybe not, but it’s certainly going to last through at least one house move, and the build quality suggests it will stand up to repeated use. I get the feeling I’ll have to adjust the connecting points from time to time to realign them as they naturally move through use. It should be easy to keep clean given the finish on the exterior.
When I think about what else I’d consider in competition with Cozey, I’m certainly inclined to check out the Canadian brand first. It’s a solid offering with real value, and no long waits. Free shipping is a huge plus, too.
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