Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Furnishing on a Budget

Yes.  So we spent a whole bunch of money getting a new room.  We set aside what I thought was a very generous amount for furnishing and landscaping.  But it turns out the landscaping is going to take the entire amount, and then some, so we are left with hardly anything to furnish the room.
There were a few things that I really wanted for the room:

1.  Corner (L shaped) sofa, long enough for two people to lay
2.  Wall mounted TV (size not very important, we are pretty pathetic when it comes to nice TV's)
3.  Storage for toys
4.  Extra seating
5.  Table(s)
6.  Rugs for two 'zones' for the sofa/TV area and one for the toy storage and extra seats

1.  The biggest factor, I felt, was the sofa.  For six weeks, Niall and I scoured the local haunts (mostly gumtree) for something that would work but wouldn't break the bank.  We set a budget of £200, which was too low, but what we felt we could afford.  I spent time at Ikea, looking at all the sofas, figuring out which could be switched, covers that could be used, etc.

Finally, when we were in Amsterdam, a sofa appeared.  I texted at the airport and picked it up that afternoon, not long after we got home.  It was over budget, but I haggled and we got it for just slightly over budget.  I had to move around some pieces and unpick and resew the cover, but we got a Karlstad sofa.  It's now discontinued in the UK, but it is in very good condition.

Total cost:  £223.50

2.  The TV we got by bartering.  We traded a pull-out sofa bed (that we're going to replace with a two seater Chesterfield in the front room.)  It was a pain drilling the holes for the wall mounted plate (plasterboard, battens, old exterior wall=150mm holes) but we got it mounted!  (Thanks, Niall)

Total cost:  Free!

3.  Storage for toys was provided thanks to Ikea.  We actually bought something new.  Not second hand, not bargain corner.  Kallax was £75 plus the boxes, so it fit the budget.

Total cost:  £100

4.  Extra Seating:  We pulled in the rocking chair, which had been up in the office, downstairs.  Originally, we got a Parker Knowles chair from a neighbor's skip (dumpster.)  I stripped it, recovered it, we got a carpenter to make the rockers, and ta da!  We also put the 'throne' in here.

Total cost:  Free!

5.  Shelf/Thin Console Table

The extension is long but narrow.  (Just under 3 meters/ about 9 1/2 feet)  There isn't a room for a coffee table to the side of one part of the sofa.  But I know my husband and his love of tea.  And tea cups were sure to be perched on the sofa ledge, left on the floor, or put on the window sill.  So we needed something.

The builders left behind some wood, which I cut to size, sanded and oiled (boiled linseed.)  Then we bought some cheap table legs from Ikea.

And Niall has a place for his tea cups.

Total cost:  £15

6.  Rugs

I see so many rugs that I love.  But they're all in the US.  After serious (weeks long) internet and in store snooping, I've basically decided there aren't patterned rugs that both Niall and I like that are also in the UK (and don't cost four figures.)  The next idea was plain rugs.  I pulled down an Ikea rug we have from upstairs, but Niall gave it a pass.  

So I went to a local carpet store and they had a very nice piece of carpet that was an offcut and worked perfectly.  I cut one piece for the couch area and another for the chairs and boom.  We've used carpet offcuts before, and if there's problems with fraying then a bit of glue along the edges does the trick.

Total cost:  £50  

The landscaping should start sometime next month.  And we'll work on getting some more things on the walls and window coverings!

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