Can you guess what’s in the box?

Photo: Mien Casulo

Here’s a little help. It takes two people to lift and carry the box. It measures 47.2 inches in length, 35.4 inches in height and 31.5 inches in width. It's from Europe. Oh, and it’s ideal for people with itchy feet. All will be revealed.

The concept is CASULO, and this is what the creators have to say about it:

“CASULO does away with the problem of temporary furniture rentals and offers a winning solution to all the problems moving involves. We are facing an enormous challenge, for in the working-world of the future we will have to adapt to a more mobile style of life. The CASULO concept offers an inventive and achievable opportunity to face the demands of mobile living.”




Yes, that’s right. The yellow box contains an apartment’s worth of furniture. It’s the ultimate in frugal living, inventiveness and modern living. Inside you'll find:

1 wardrobe
1 large desk/table
1 desk cabinet with locking drawers
1 revolving, height-adjustable desk chair
2 stools
1 single (twin) bed
1 mattress
1 tall set of shelves.

Note: The stools and the drawers of the desk cabinet also serve and double as additional storage containers.

Don’t think it can be done? Neither did I, until I saw the video and photos below.






It’s a masterpiece of design by Marcel Krings and Sebastian Mühlhäuser, at the Köln International School of Design in Cologne. It’s not yet available for purchase, but when it does go on sale it will be available in Europe first.

However, as an experiment in frugality and minimalism, it’s thought-provoking to say the least. How much do we need to live in relative comfort? Admittedly, there’s no sofa in the box, no Widescreen TV, no sound system, and certainly none of the typical comforts of home.

But as someone who moved house 5 times in 7 years during my college and room-sharing years, this would have been perfect for me. Forget the truck rental, just put your apartment in your back seat and move on. Most of the time, I was so busy working or out with friends that I rarely noticed what was in my apartment anyway.

The CASULO is for people on the move, those in job training, students, and people who have to change their location frequently. The unit is ideal for people in the service industries. People who must move frequently and rent empty rooms need no longer accumulate sets of inexpensive furnishings whose transportation costs are higher than the value of the furniture.




This is by far one of the most inspiring and original ideas I’ve seen in a long time. I wonder if they could work out how to put an apartment in a messenger bag? The mind boggles.

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Xin Lu's picture
Xin Lu

That's pretty darn cool.  In my old room when I lived alone I pretty much just had those things, and a computer. 

Guest's picture

If this thing is reasonably priced it should sell like crazy. However, I've found that most of those Euorpean designer furniture items cost ten times as much as I think they should (except at IKEA, of course).

The only piece I own is a Bulo desk I bought at a lawn sale in a swanky area of Miami; I paid fifty bucks, it was in almost new condition, and when I did my homework I found that it retailed for over 3 grand! For a desk! Nonsense.

Guest's picture

Too bad the color is that lime-green/yellow! Other than that what a cool concept!!

Guest's picture

I would get it just for the bed. I still don't have one!

Guest's picture

I'm speechless. That is amazing!

Guest's picture

That is some amazing design. I can see that in being a hot seller when it comes to market. Now if they could make it in other colors it would be even more fun (and marketable).

Guest's picture

The bed and desk chair look like they seriously lack comfort. But if they were for someone where those were less of an issue the concept really does sort of work.

Really these days a good laptop can suffice for stereo and a basic substitute for a TV.

I worked in one city and my family lived in another for about the total of a year over a two year time frame. So I spent most of that time borrowing or renting empty rooms from friends. The best piece of temporary furniture was our old SCA re-enactors rope bed. With a good futon mattress on top it rivals our waterbed with memory foam as far as comfort. It looks sort of like this one and fits into a car or mini van easily.

Guest's picture

I can't even refold a map after I open it. How in the heck would you get it back into it's "packaging?"


Guest's picture

Wow. That box holds the most useful furniture for a compact space. This would be great for keeping your essentials to a bare minimum and easy to pack up when you need to move.

Guest's picture

On the one hand, it is a clever idea. On the other hand, it seems you could pretty much replicate this setup (minus the "packs down into a dense rectangle that's probably too heavy to carry on a roof rack" factor) with about $200 worth of el cheapo particle board crap from k-mart, or $100 worth of used el cheapo particle board crap from the thrift store or Craigslist, or about $0 worth of el cheapo particle board crap from your friendly neighborhood dumpster. And, I didn't think I'd ever hear myself say this about any product, but I think it's uglier than el cheapo particle board crap.

Just not lovin' the Casulo.

Guest's picture

Yeah, you could replicate it, but they had the idea. Big difference.

Guest's picture

This apartment in a box might work for kids between 10 and 15 or so, but considering the materials and construction these things would break if an adult used them as a replacement for real furniture. It is a cool idea, but it just isn't workable with normal everyday use. And the market for an apartment in a box, only to be used temporarily, is rather slim. Maybe a moving away from home present from parents to cheap to give their kid the furniture in their old room?

Guest's picture
Barb C

I love the idea. I showed my teenage son and he thought it was great, he is ready for one when he goes to college. I do wonder what the actual cost will be, and suspect it might cost more than I would be able to shell out. I also wonder how sturdy the furnature will be. Will it hold up to the day in and day out use it would get?

Guest's picture

very smart design. the video totally fascinated me.

Guest's picture

very smart design. the video totally fascinated me.

Guest's picture

If you actually read what the description says, it's not meant for everyone, it's meant for people who move often, like those in service industries, job training, etc. I think it's a fantastic idea, because I know a lot of people who don't care as much about comfort, and a lot about being frugal.

I think it's the coolest design I've seen in a long time. I doubt that the stuff would fall apart ... you'd think they would have tested out the durability of everything.

Guest's picture

...If I were to have to live with such a snappy thing all around the globe... I would not want it to make me feel I am just some permanent utility... easy solution: I'd just draw stuff on it... but how about.... Lapland Birch ? should be sturdy as it's structure is spiralling and whirling, and organic too... possibly a bit heavier... but *organic*. And definitely has a beautiful grain if covered only in toning translucent layer of varnish.

Then *nobody* could say it is ugly... or unhealthy.

Guest's picture

It's a pretty cool concept, but the chair and bed look awfully uncomfortable... and it all seems kind of flimsy; it looked as though the shelf wobbled a bit when they put it up in the video.

Guest's picture

I have dream of having an apartment with furniure that is completely carryable by one rather small female (me). Still ... I don't know. No place for guests to even sit if you invited them over to such an apartment.

Guest's picture

I like the idea because I am a graduate student and it seems I am forever needing to move ~ from a dorm to an apartment to another dorm...and that's meant packing and unpacking and finding furniture to fit my new space and getting friends to help me move. You know how that is - especially when there are front steps to go up and down and friends are hauling beds and tables and things. Good thing I can cook up a storm! Went to the House and Garden show recently and saw a similarly neat product called Featherweight Furniture. It's really comfortable, durable (safe from my kitten's sharp claws) and portable. See what you think: I have a love seat and the fact that it's got easy access, out of sight extra storage is cool.