Thanks again to our friend and Oscar carer Maya for being in today, we got our large black SturdiBag dog carrier today! It was so easy to set up and oh my gosh does it squish down into the smallest of spaces!! I am SO glad we ended up buying this! All I had to do was stick in the mattress that came with it and Oscar was already crawling inside. Something tells me he will take to his new bag with ease 😛 If anyone was debating to get a Sturdibag then I say go for it! I found ours from Zooplus.co.uk that had a sale on for £49.90, but I secretly got an additional 10% off as well so only paid £44.91 down from £100+ from some sites! Score! Seriously, this bag is so great!! Can’t wait to use it when we fly to Finland next month!
Day 50.. well I’m half way through my 100 and I get to celebrate it by turning a new leaf in a new job 🙂 And what else is interesting, The Frugal Interior Addict ended up working in… Interior Addict! 😛 It’s just too apt 😀 Keep you all posted on my progress when once I get the proper time, but for now its time to go to bed so I can be up and fresh for tomorrow! 😀
As we all know I love my free/cheap high quality things! I’m not sure if you all have been seeing these Tempur ads on the Tube, etc, but I got invited to do the Tempur Challenge a while ago and actually found it to be quite fun. So today I decided I’d write a small snippet about that.
The Tempur Challenge esentially means that you have to try out all 3 different types of matteresses that they have, fill out a survey online, and then in about 10-14 working days you should get a FREE Tempur Travel Pillow worth £60!! I don’t know if many of you know this, but the Tempur material was first developed for Nasa astronauts for space missions. This then trickled down to beds, and now pillows as well.
We wen’t into Heal’s on Tottenham Court Road to their bedroom floor and told the sales guy there that we were here to do the Tempur Challenge. The sales assistant wasn’t in the best of moods on that particular day and didn’t really seem like helping us out at all to be honest, but he begrudgingly helped us and explained to us what we have to do. Basically, we had to test out each mattress for a minimum of 10 minutes. This meant we just had to lie on each mattress for 10 mins, then move over. Theres a total of 3 different types, so it only took 30 minutes and honestly was kind of the perfect way to spend a Sunday. I mean how can you complain about having to do nothing, but lie in bed 😛 The experience would have been made 110% perfect if the sales guy would have given us even a smile or even tried to explain a little about the mattresses, but its ok because unknown to him I already have quite a bit of knowledge. Plus It also meant we got to lie in peace and read the labels ourselves. Anyway, after we had done our part we went back to him and got a coupon that you can use exclusively at Heal’s and an online link to claim your Free Tempur Travel Pillow. Again the sales assistant didn’t really bother up-selling or asking us anything when we finished the Challenge, but I suppose I do understand that he probably knows that 90% of people just want a free pillow. We then made our way home, I filled out the survey, and voila in under a week I received the Free Tempur Travel Pillow! I actually really want the whole set now, but where on earth am I going to get £1800-£2300. My Memory Foam mattress is still serving us juuust fine thank you very much 😀
All in all I definitely enjoyed the ‘Original’ mattress the most. Probably because I am already so used to memory foam and I just felt like that mattress gave the most amount of support. It comes in at £2280 for 2 single mattresses. Second place went to the ‘Sensation’ mattress as I can understand why people who are used to sprung mattresses would enjoy it. It was lighter, but gave great support as well. It comes in at £1815 for a kingsize. And third place would probably go to the ‘Cloud’ mattress as it was a mix of all in one, but somehow for me it didn’t hit the spot. This one came in at £1815 as well. These are all on sale by the way at Heal’s! Also you can get £50 off with the coupon if you really like them and can afford one !! But mattresses really are very personal at the end of the day. We just happened to like the ‘Original’ one the most, because like I said, I think we are already very used to having a memory foam mattress and enjoy the support it gives. And of course the ‘Original’ mattress had to be the most expencive 😛 Just my luck.
As an end note I highly suggest going to Heal’s and having a little lie down! Even if it is just for the free pillow or because you really do want a Tempur bed! It only takes 30 minutes and an easy online survey. It’s also the perfect time to do it as like I said they are giving away £50 off on top of the discount they’re offering! But be quick as they’re only valid until the 27th of May 2014! Does anyone here own a Tempur bed? What is your favourite one and can you help give tips as well? 🙂 Hope this helped some people realise what the options are out there for Tempur beds and if not for that then for the chance to grab a free Tempur Travel Pillow! Ah, its so lush, I’m actually using it now too while typing and keeping an eye over our little Oscar 😛
I have to start off by saying I had tons of fun yesterday at a friends BBQ and Birthday in Holloway.. and yes I am now slightly suffering the consequences 😛 So I do apologise If what I’m going to write today might not be the most Shakespearean of pieces, but I will do my best! 🙂
This then brings us to our bedroom, which is an ok size. I mean it fits a double bed, built in wardrobes, and theres still a little bit of room to walk around. However, having huge nightstands or bedside tables wouldn’t be the wisest of choices. Well ok lets be honest here, they wouldn’t fit.
I had a 30cm gap to play with, and let me tell you this, finding a table or stand that looks nice and is in a good budget in that small of a space is tricky!! I tried to think outside of the box and even went so far as to look at piano stools, plant stands, and old vintage phone stands. All were OK options, but for some reason just didn’t resonate with me. They were also all a tad too high, and you don’t really want a bedside table next to you where you have to reach up to get a glass of water or put your book on. Imagine knocking the table in your sleep a little and oops, the glass falls, and it all dribbles on top of your head. It’s not something I’d like, so i’m assuming I can’t be alone on that one
I turned to eBay once again and found this store that does quite cute and shabby-chic French style furniture. I then found a table that really looked like it might fit! A shabby chic French style small side table. Although it was in a golden colour with French text on it that wasn’t quite my taste, I still liked it. I’ve attached pictures of the tables the shop owner has in store now as I can’t find the pictures of the golden one anymore. He has tons of items incase anyone wants to check it out! I sent the shop owner a message to get the measurements of the table. He responded on the same day and told me the measurements, which were (if I remember right) 25cm deep, 35 cm wide, and 40 cm high. That could not have been more perfect! The original table had some French writing on it and like I said was in a gold colour. I couldn’t see any other versions on his website, but before purchasing I decided to just go ahead and ask if he possibly has other ones in other colours that might not be up on eBay yet. Once again, he responded on the same day, courteous as ever, and actually told me that If I wanted he could make a table from scratch to my exact liking if I wanted him to! It would only take a few days he said, and would cost the same amount as the original table (which might I add was a steal at £29.95!! including P&P). I think he might have changed his P&P since then, but hey you never know if you don’t ask like I did, you might just get it for free or cheaper! 😛 Either way it would still be £35.90, which is still a bargain for a ‘made just for you’ product! I then told him I wanted one in the same size, but without writing on it, and in just an off-white colour. He even went so far as to ask me what kind of finishing varnish I wanted on it! I told him to do whatever he thought was best as he is the pro 🙂
After about a week I got my product delivered in perfect condition. I absolutely love the small table! It fits in perfectly and I know that if I ever need to I can use it for different rooms in our house or if we ever move again I can definitely use the table in a different setting. This is one of the reasons I do like eBay or Etsy.. because you can ask the shop owners for things and 90% of the time they are more than happy to help out. I also much prefer giving my money to a hand crafted item that was made just for us, knowing that it will support a small business owner. If given the option I will always go down that route. Next time you see something that you really like, but might not be 100% exactly there yet, then why not just send a message to the shop owner! You never know, you might get a brilliant response from an owner like William from Willamfurniture!
I thought as I’ve been sitting at home sneezing and coughing away and finally had enough energy to make myself some mushroom, rice, and chicken soup that I would sit down and update my blog as well.
I personally hate seeing laundry. It’s just gross. I mean who wants to sit in any room and have to stare at used undies or smelly socks? So when it comes to laundry I always think “out of sight, out of mind” is the way to go. I spent ages looking for a laundry set that would look nice, be in a budget, tie in with our bamboo/natural wood theme, and as usual serve another function than just a laundry bin. I finally found one on ACHICA, yet again! They had a brilliant sale on and I got the set for less than £50! The set comes in a D-shape, so a half circle basically. I really liked this as I could easily push it up against the wall and make the space seem a bit larger. Not only that, but it has a comfy lil cushion top, which means it can also act as an occasional seat for surprise guests or parties. Actually, to be honest, I used both pieces as seats on my birthday a few months ago! Worked brilliantly!
I decided to use the larger “basket” as the actual laundry basket that we now use in the bathroom. It’s also nice because after a long bath you can have a comfy seat on it afterwards and your *ahem* bits don’t have to suffer the cold of the toilet seat. Not to mention it hides all the laundry as well 😀 The smaller piece of the set I decided to use in our entrance hallway as a small storage stool as well as a stool to sit on while you put on your shoes. It now houses a lot of random bits and bobs and things we want when we go out and quickly need them e.g. our umbrella, our picnic bits, etc.
You can find cheaper versions made in wicker or sea grass, but I just personally like bamboo more and thought I might as well spend the extra £5-10 on something I like looking at, but it’s of course completely up to you! Do bare in mind though that those versions tend to not withstand weight a lot and can’t be used as seats..
If you want to check out the Premier Range then head over to ACHICA, Wayfair, eBay, or then Variety as they seem to be selling them as well. The range comes in the D-Shape, Round, or Rectangular. If you want something more wooden then check out Ikea, they have a storage unit a tad similar and you can always buy a cushion for the top if you want! I’m now going to make myself yet another Lemsip as my head is not my best friend at the moment 😦 Stay healthy y’all!
Having an open plan kitchen in a compact size lounge I already knew I wouldn’t be able to get that 50 foot dining table fit for kings and queens.. well or at least lesser lords and ladies 😛 I knew it was something I would really need to compromise on in the sense that I was always used to having quite large dining tables growing up and realised moving to London I simply wouldn’t have that luxury anymore. At the same time however, I didn’t want anything half thought-out and at the same time I wanted it to be a budget table, because I figured out I would inevitably upgrade when the day came to move.
When I first started to hunt for a table I really had my eye on a vintage Danish Hans Olsen teak table for Frem Rolje. I mean it was just perfect, so so perfect. It was sleek, beautiful, stylish, vintage, so well designed, and utterly space saving in ever sense. The chairs fit into the table, as well as only have 3 legs, so moving around them is a lot easier. The chairs are slightly reminiscent of the famous Costes chair designed by Philippe Starck for the Café Costes restaurant in Paris in 1984. Philippe designed the Costes chair to make more room for the staff working in the café. To be honest I have a feeling Philippe had some inspiration from the Hans Olsen chairs as the Hans Olsen chairs and table were designed in 1953. Anyway, I fell in love with this set completely and wanted it so badly for our flat. The only sad part is.. the Hans Olsen teak table set sells for about £2,500. You can get slightly cheaper “knock off” versions for about £300-400, but that idea just depressed me. Not because they were replica’s, but they were bad replicas. I have nothing against getting replicas usually as I know from industry experience replicas are most of the time made in the same factories as the originals anyway, but sadly these knock offs were just not made to the same measurements and were a lot clunkier and didn’t have the same appeal. That said though, I had a bid on one on eBay and someone did the classic “last second bid” move on me and I lost my bid. So after that I really lost heart and thought I wouldn’t find any decent table for our flat anymore. Inevitably, even I knew the bid I was paying for was a tad high (at the time it was £270), but it was just so perfect, and have I mentioned extendable as well?! I always think something that you truly believe in is worth spending that little bit extra on. However, like I said, that dream was gone after I realised someone bought the set from right under my nose during literally the last seconds of the bid.
This ALL happened in a space of about 2 hours when the hubs and I were going through Ikea up in North London looking for some cheap bits and bobs (and candles, I’m addicted to them). When we were walking around I noticed a table I surprisingly haven’t noticed before. The tables name was Fusion and it was displayed in the Ikea dinging table section. I got so excited about it because it was as close to the original table that I knew I was never going to get to. Now I have to say, I hardly ever buy Ikea furniture. It’s just a personal preference. I like my items to be “unique” in some sense. Also I always feel like Ikea can sometimes look way too scandinavian and way too mainstream. But this table got me, and it got me good 😛 Sadly, of course with my luck, the table was ALL out of stock.. from the WHOLE of the UK! Yup, we asked and called and did stock checks and there were a total of 3 tables left in the whole UK Ikea stock, 2 in the brown colour, and 1 in the lighter colour that we wanted. None of which were even close to where we lived. The staff even told me the table might be discontinued. I was SO beyond upset. I really felt like I wanted to cry, because finally I found a table that would do everything we wanted, with the budget we wanted, and was right there, in front of me, but we couldn’t even buy it. We even asked if we can buy the display one and the manager told us we couldn’t 😦 So, we took the long ride home where I sat sulking all the way. My hubs thankfully is so understanding and really tried to stay positive and console me. Yes, I know how sad it is that I can get this upset about furniture, but honestly… you have no idea how much time and research I put into things, and when the idea in my head doesn’t follow through – when I’m so close I can touch it – a simple sigh just wont do anymore. I was also still so freshly distraught over the whole eBay impasse.
So, we get home and I immediately jump on the computer to see where we can get the Fusion table from. I got onto eBay, found a lovely couple that was selling it for £100 (its £180 in store by the way) for collection, and were in London! YAY! 😀 All I had to do now was grab it! But, as always, I had to bargain. Me being me. I messaged the owners and managed to get the price down to £90 if we came to collect it the next day. We managed to get a van for free for the day from the company the hubs works for, picked it up, set it up, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! We saved a total of £90 in the end! I could have of course gotten it for even cheaper, but I didn’t want to travel outside of London or wait for a bid to end. And also the other cheaper options were damaged in some ways or another, so this was definitely the best at the time!
Ok, so its not the vintage designer piece I wished it to be, but it was definitely the more sensible option and it does the trick just perfectly! I love the shade of it, and the size of it is just perfect for our wee open kitchen/lounge. I can really see how the designer of the table, Sandra Kragnert, must have taken inspiration from the Hans Olsen table. And lets face it, the Costes chairs as well. The table we have is preloved, but it just adds to the character. And its still in perfect shape! The chairs fit flush agains the table to save space and the rounded edges of the table give the set a softer tone all around. The rounded edges also add to illusion, as sharp edges tend to draw your eye to them. The space created below the table by the airy legs of the chairs and table also make the area seem “airier”, which in turn makes the space seem larger as you’re eyes can look through this. Now, this won’t be my first post about preloved items. I think the best thing we as consumers these days can do is reuse what we already have. Perhaps one of my DIY projects in the future might be to reupholster the seats or then buy some lamb throws to check on em to make em a bit more textured, but thats for another day and another budget 😛
What are your thoughts on reusing and on this space saving table in general? Would you forgo your vintage table for one that does the same things and saves over £2000? Especially if the final price is a fantastic £90? If you have a small dining space to play with, then I really do suggest this Ikea Fusion table. And if you’re like me and don’t mind some items being preloved, then head on over to gumtree or eBay and see what there is on offer!
A product with endless uses! A wonder of an interior design idea! I stumbled upon magnetic hooks after spending hours looking for the perfect coat stand. If you suffer from a small flat, or a small hallway, then you might have also gone through the same issues as I have.
I spent hours trying to find a coat stand that would fit perfectly in our small hallway and wouldn’t take too much room. Also, if you’re renting (like we are) then the option of having coat hanging systems drilled into the walls simply isn’t there. I eventually had to give up on the idea as the ones I liked were too pricey and the ones that were in our budget were simply too ugly.
We have a very tiny hallway and I knew I wanted to keep it clutter free. I believe a lot (ok, ok, to a certain extent) in the power of feng shui. There are lots of things to follow and learn according to feng shui, so it’s quite impossible to keep up with it all, but a lot of it I actually quite agree with. And according to feng shui the entrance to your home, or your front hallway, can be compared to the oesophagus of the human body. It needs to be clear, clutter free, light, and airy. It’s vital to keep the entrance clear because if you’re entrance – or your ‘oesophagus – can’t breath, then your home can’t breath. It can immediately cause tension and negativity the moment you step in your home. In respect to the front door, it can also be compared to the human mouth. We breath, and we also eat using our mouths. We get nourishment via our mouths. If your mouth can’t open or can’t provide you nourishment, then you will directly suffer because of it. The same applies to our homes’ front doors. If it can’t open or if the good feng shui can’t get in through it properly, then your home will suffer. So in this sense I highly understand and respect feng shui. I agree that the front door and your hallway should be simple and clutter free. Of course sometimes there are just things out of our control, like how the flat is built and where the door is, etc etc, but you can always work on them or make the best of the situation. And thats exactly what I needed to do.
We have a small hallway and not much room, so in the end I decided I really can’t clutter it up with a coat stand.. not even shoes (but thats for another post! 😉 ). Hence, after tons of research and some creative thinking I thought to myself “hey, the door has a metallic automatic door closer… why not get magnetic hooks and stick them on that and just use our actual door as a coat hanger?” and thats exactly what I did. Save space, save time, but best yet , save money! Then started the long and frugal process of finding a magnetic hooks that didn’t take too much surface area, were actually strong enough to withstand sufficient amounts of weight, and were cost effective.
I ultimately found the perfect hooks from eBay! They came in two different sizes and thus two different strengths. The smaller size that held less weight was £1.89 for two. I opted for the larger size as I wanted to make sure our coats wouldn’t fall, and hey, for £1 more I didn’t think it was such a huge deal breaker 😛 The hooks came in a packet of two for a price of £2.89 INCLUDING delivery! You’ve got to love my frugality ;P I knew I wanted more than two, so I simply ordered 2 sets of two. The shop online only sells them in pairs and the next size up from that is a packet of 10. And I didn’t exactly need that many hooks! Four will do just fine for us 🙂 So I thought for a total price of £5.78 I might as well give them a try. I ordered from the eBay shop andelite0 and waited for the delivery. The delivery came within 2 days, so that was great! I came home and gave them a try, and low and behold.. they actually worked! I absolutely love them. If you didn’t actually know any better or pay attention to them you would actually think it was part of the door. Tons of friends actually asked me where I got them from and told me what a great idea it was. By using the hooks I can still move them around, or even remove them altogether if I want. Not to mention the fact I now saved a load of space in our small front hallway. The larger hooks (which are the ones we got) can hold up to 15 lbs of weight. Thats almost 7 kg! They definitely hold a few jackets on them, but of course if you put too many on one hook the hook will eventually start to slide off, but that has hardly ever happened. The actual hook part spins 360 degrees so you can have it facing whichever way you want. Meaning even if you have them under something, or on the side of something, you can still move the hook around to face the direction you want it to face. We use them both ways to really get the most out of them!
At the end of the day if you’re looking for a different way to hang up your coats, jackets, and scarfs, then why not give magnetic hooks a try! I love how much space we managed to save in our hallway by doing this, plus really not spending any money at all! What do you think? If you’re in the same pickle and can’t (or don’t want to) drill permanent holes into walls then check them out and see what you think! Just attach them to any metal surface and voilà!
The 2nd most important purchase you will probably ever have to make for your flat is the sofa/couch. I spent ages pulling my hair out on the verge of a mini breakdown trying to find a very specific type of sofa bed. I knew I had to work with a small flat and knew I wanted a corner sofa. I knew we had no storage what-so-ever. I knew I needed it to be a bed as well, because inevitably friends and family are going to sleep over. And I knew I needed it to be cheap and under £500. You have to think about your sofa – much like your bed – being an investment and not just a quick purchase. A good sofa should last you years and should be versatile enough to get you through seasons. It should also portray your personality. I like my surroundings to be simple and clear, but thats not to say I don’t love flats with funky sofas.
Now I’m telling you from the get go… finding a decent sofa let alone a decent sofa bed for that sort of budget is painstakingly difficult. Especially when it came to all the boxes I needed it to tick. I looked everywhere. I mean EVERYwhere. I almost started crying it was that dire. I didn’t want to just settle and buy something I knew eventually would not satisfy me, but at the same time I knew I simply couldn’t stretch my budget. I needed something to fit, look amazing, do the job, and not make me die from malnutrition since I wouldn’t be able to afford food for months after purchasing it. Don’t get me wrong, I did find cheaper sofa beds than the one we opted for, but none that had as much storage space, was as multifunctional, or looked as stylish as ours. I wanted something simple, elegant, and modern. Something neutral, since neutral sofa’s are usually the best way to go. You can always bring them to life or change their look with colourful throws or cushions. I also knew I didn’t want anything 100% black. It’s great if you have the space for it, but having a small flat, black is a no no, because it simply sucks up all the light and makes everything look smaller, and the item look bigger. I also knew I didn’t want anything 100% white either as I don’t want to deal with the constant terror of getting it dirty. So… I was left with brown or grey, and in my opinion grey is a lot more workable. Not to mention grey is in at the moment. Grey is a cool colour associated with metals, but can be great as it can be made either more masculine, or feminine. It gives a crisp finish and acts as a clear canvas. As grey is also neither black nor white, it is essentially viewed as void of colour, and this gives it it’s wonderful ability of not drawing too much attention to it. This makes grey a great cloaking colour and perfect for smaller spaces. White is always best as they make rooms look larger, but like I stated already , I personally wanted to avoid white as I can’t be bothered picking out every hair and follicle that decides to inevitably make its home on a white sofa.
I finally found a Polish store on eBay that sold sofas called Meblolandnet. They were quite cheap, but most of all, a lot of them seemed to have great space saving solutions! I found ours for £399 plus £59 postage and packaging. The corner sofa came with 2 pillows and one black adjustable headrest. The service also included door to door delivery and set up. And the best part.. you didn’t have to pay UNTIL the item was delivered! Meaning we only had to pay if and when the sofa came. This made me feel a lot more secure about the whole thing as I knew I had nothing to lose.
Our sofa has 2 relatively huge storage compartments and a pull out feature for the bed. Remember a lot of the clutter from previous posts? Well, this is where the other 30% or so has managed to go into! One compartment we use for miscellaneous stuff and DVD’s for easier reach, and the other for guest bedding and pillows. One of the armrests actually has shelves built into it, utilising that space as well, and could for instance have books or DVD’s displayed in them. The other armrest has a shelf along the inside of it as well, creating a hole, and thus creating more “air around it” making the space seem larger and more usable. The tops of the armrests also have a wooden panel on them, which virtually gives you more room and functionality as well. It’s a great place to keep your drinks when you’re having a cuppa or a nice area to have candles on.
Sadly enough though the company no longer trades on eBay. And to be honest I’m not surprised. As with anything cheap it always comes at a price. The price we paid meant we had to wait for a month to receive the sofa (not too bad actually!), but when they finally did deliver they delivered at 1:20 AM! At which point it was WAY too late to start assembling the couch in our flat, even though the poor Polish delivery men said they would and could. Their communication skills with customers are lets say, subpar. The hubs was so heated about the delivery that he actually managed to grab £20 off the final price as the delivery was hideously unacceptable.
However, thats about the only negative thing I can say. The final product is amazing, the quality is great, the look is fantastic, and the sheer functionality of the sofa still makes me smile! They still sell via their own website (in Polish however), but if you don’t mind waiting or having a delivery possibly arrive in the early hours of morning/late hours of night, then definitely give them a look! Their prices are still very competitive and they have some pretty good solutions. You can also use google translate to translate their website (thats what I do sometimes) to help you navigate it. I’m not entirely sure if they still deliver to the UK, but it’s still worth a look to see what is out there and what the potential is to get with your money. All in all I’m thrilled with our sofa, where the hubs and I spend weekends with it pulled out just watching movies and snuggling up. At a total of £438, I think we got ourselves a winner! What do you think? I apologise in advance for the pictures and at my pathetic attempt to put things in the shelves, but wanted you to just have an idea of what they look like (yes yes I’ll spice the sofa up with pillows and throws later, but thats for another post! 😀 )