Tag Archives: Frugal

Magnetic Stainless Steel Hooks – Space-saving, strong, versatile, and oh so cheap!

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.

Magnetic Hooks

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.

Magnetic Hooks

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.

Magnetic Hooks

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!

Magnetic Hooks

 

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!

Magnetic Hook Magnetic Hook

 

Storage Sofa Bed – Multifunctional, Cheap, & Space Saving

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.

Storage Corner Sofa Bed Storage Corner Sofa Bed

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.

Storage Corner Sofa Bed Storage Corner Sofa Bed

 

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.

Storage Corner Sofa Bed Storage Corner Sofa BedStorage Corner Sofa Bed

 

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.

Storage Corner Sofa Bed Storage Corner Sofa Bed

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.

Enzo Corner Sofa Bed

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! 😀 )

Storage Storage Storage (Bed) & Memory Foam Mattresses

Ahhhh – the bed. Probably the most important thing you would need to buy for your flat is the bed. It’s where you rejuvenate, sleep, relax, and… uhm… do.. other things *ahem*.. Anyway, I think we can all agree its something you should probably invest in slightly. I mean who’s favourite part of the day isn’t snuggling up under a nice duvet in a plush bed? But who said a bed has to stop there?

When we accepted our flat we knew it was going to be unfurnished and thats exactly what we wanted. Because for once we didn’t want to live in a place where every single piece of furniture looked like it came out of about 90 different studens’ uni years. Also, I was definitely aware of the serious storage issues we would face and knew when we moved in I would have to be smart about things. I would say I spent a good 3 weeks trying to find good beds that made sense, looked alright, felt comfy, but at the same time was multi-functional! i.e. it REALLY needed to be more than just a bed. Thats when operation hide-all-the-crap started.

The first thing we had to agree on together collectively was the size of the bed. We both compromised and knew we couldn’t get a king size (well we could have, but then that would be our bedroom… one massive mattress..) and settled for double. But because of this we also agreed that we wouldn’t buy the most expensive double bed we could get as one day we would want to upgrade. So, the frugal obsesssive research began.

Memory Foam Mattress

I  quickly came to realise I wanted to try out a memory foam mattress as my sister and her hubs recently got one and I read up on so many great benefits of having one. Some of which include better sleep, less back pain, more allergy friendly, and most importantly for us was the fact that if one person moved on the bed, the other person wouldn’t bounce around and feel it! If you’re anything like me then memory foam mattresses are great! I sleep like a drunken star fish. I flop around and take over massive amounts of space. Then adding to that the fact I still to this day have not learned to not drink loads of water before bed, makes me need to pee in the middle of the night. This used to wake the hubs up, but ta-dah not anymore! Plus when you have a big bulky muscleman sleeping next to you on a normal bed, the second they move, the drunken star fish bounces up on the other side of the bed and wakes up. A foam mattress actually stops that almost 100%. In regards to the mattress, you can find TONS of different variations, but what we went for was a medium Halo Memory 250 Mattress with Pillows from worldstores. And oh my god do I love it. Both of us moan with happiness when we get to lie in our bed, its that amazing! Once you get the mattress though you just have to let it rise (along with the pillows) for a good 24 hours before using it as they come vacuum packed. It’s also a bit factory stinky at first, but that goes away quite fast. However, a mattress is a mattress… we still actually need to get to the storage bed. As I said we needed a bed that actually served more than just a place to sleep, it needed to have a function.

IMG_4107I spent that 3 weeks checking GroupOn, online sources, bed stores, etc, for a storage bed. All of them were either quite hideous, hella expensive, or the storage space provided by them was just pointless or completely unmentioned. The problem still remained – we have all those suitcases we HAVE to put somewhere. And my massive one simply doesn’t fit in the other “storage” beds because of the lack of – yup – storage! I wasn’t kidding before when I said we have absolutely no storage space, none, nada, zip. I finally found a deal on worldstores for both the mattress mentioned before, and a Genoa Ottoman Bedstead. At the end we managed to grab the whole set (with pillows!) for less than £332! (Shhh if you buy em together you get an additional discount). Thats less than a double bed and mattress from Ikea! A NORMAL bed et co from Ikea! I was so happy! Not to mention the fact that the customer service I got from worldstores was actually quite great! I asked them loads of questions and measurements about the storage bed before I even went and bought it. The delivery was fast, cheaper than other places, and actually on time (for once!).

The bed was kinda fun setting up with the hubs as we both got to bicker at each-other while trying to figure out how to work the “pump” mechanism. I.e the thing that helps the bed move up. Now, remember the previous post with the huge amounts of luggage and Storage Bedother miscellaneous stuff? Guess where 65% of that all went! Yup, INSIDE the bed! This was and still is an absolute saviour when it comes to hiding all the unused things we have! If you have serious storage issues and have a small flat I really do recommend a storage bed! It works just as well, is just as sturdy, looks great, is cheap, but actually serves more of a function than just a simple frame. Also, I’m all about clear surfaces, probably the Nordic  in me. I literally get stressed if I see a mess. So this was perfect for hiding clutter. Out of sight, out of mind! If you need any more information or have any questions about what type of storage bed or mattress to go for, believe me, I am your man. As I have spent more than my fair share staring at hundreds (literally) of different ones as well as trying to find one with the right budget. And what bliss it turned out to be! Clutter be gone and sleep be good! Oh so so good.

 

And so it begins… The Frugal Interior Addict

This is going to be the very first post on this blog and one I’m really excited about because I get to blab about my favourite subject! Interior design! Ok, plus it’s a fun way to keep my mom in check of whats happening as well . So, as we know, I live in the ever so glamorous London… or not. More like I’m always too broke to do anything and now understand how well off we all had it when we still lived with our parents. I mean I literally feel as though at the end every month I’m excited to finally get that paycheque, only to have half of it fly right out my window and into the hands of another person. But, hey-ho I suppose thats life and like everyone else I just grin and accept thats how things roll in London. At least I have a roof over my head! Have to be happy about that fact.

My whole life I’ve managed to more or less work in the same area, which is design. I studied business and marketing and actually managed good grades, but like any uni student, I quickly figured out I have no idea what on earth I wanna do. But somehow something always drew me back to interiors and everything it comes with really. And this is what I want to share with the world.

I want to bring to others what I obsess over… I mean literally obsess over. I can spend eons fussing over a throw for the couch (and oh my god don’t even get me started on the couch factor!). I struggle with – and I know I simply can’t be the only one out there – serious space issues, storage issues, and lastly budget issues. As much as I’d LOVE to have a credit card that never ceases to have funds in it, reality is, I don’t and every time I want to furnish our new flat out with something I have to go out with a very strict budget in mind before I can even start. Finding stylish, yet affordable (and functionable!) solutions for our wee little flat is a constant up-hill battle for me, and I love it!

Being at a certain age now I’ve really come to terms with what it is I like and how I want my everyday surroundings to make me feel. And this is the journey to that.

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The hubs is going to hate me for this, but this was our move in day… no storage what so ever and the bed only came the night before. Mission impossible to get all of our stuff fitted somewhere began. And when I say we had no storage space, I truly and utterly mean it. No attic, no cupboards, no place to hide anything. No place to put a vacuum cleaner into either! Well, now that theres literally a clear picture of where it all began the process of obsessive research can begin 😛