There’s been quite a bit of shopping action in this neck of the woods. Mainly for the house I hasten to add. I haven’t added it all up yet (I’ll be doing that later this morning). A fair bit of this has been baby related. She has been crawling properly for around a month now and we’ve been struggling to find stair gates that will fit our crazy house (I’ve mentioned before that it is tall and thin like a straw with not one but TWO flights of stairs). We’ve managed to get three that will work though so far only one is installed. We’ve aldo had to get a few plug socket covers and those thingies that go on cupboard doors (not actually out of the packet yet).
We’ve spent a bit more than planned because we’ve only just realised that we could do with certain things. Our living room is really small and we’ve made a big effort over the last year or so to do things that will make it look bigger. These things have included:
- Wall mounting the TV and getting rid of the old TV cabinet
- Putting our lovely big table into storage and buying a small table for 2 (though can extend to just about fit 4!)
- Moving the bookcases in (weirdly this actually makes the room look larger). This provides a bit more sneaky storage (storage boxes along the top etc).
- Sanding the floorboards and revarnishing them with paler varnish.
- Painting a couple of things (like the wooden mirror frame) white to make it all look lighter and brighter. We’ve also given the walls and ceiling a fresh coat of white paint.
- Taking down a lot of the pictures and photographs so the walls looks less cluttered.
- Moving the big bit of marble (again don’t ask. Or rather, get my Husband to explain!).
- Replacing the door as one of the panes of glass in the old one was missing. We got a second-hand door and had it fitted for under £50.
So, some other things have been happening this week in the bid to a) make the room more user friendly and spacious and b) make it look better for selling. Firstly we decided to buy a rug. We have stripped, original floorboards which are lovely to look at but bloody uncomfortable if you want to sit on the floor (which we never did because it was so uncomfortable). When Baby used to play on the floor we’d put down blankets etc but they aren’t much good now that she is shooting off all over the place (and are also annoying because you have to kep getting them out and tucking them away again). We decided, after some years of dithering, to get a rug. I spent ages looking online, trying to get something for around £50-£60 but just couldn’t see anything I liked. I also think that rugs are things that you need to be able to touch before you buy! Because it is for our main room, and we’ve already put so much work in, I didn’t want to get something that I didn’t really love because rugs really seem to dominate small rooms like ours. In the end I went to a nearby town and found a rug on sale, reduced from £165 to £99. On one hand this was over our initial budget (and felt like a really big spend) but I fell in love with it the second I saw it and the colours look perfect with our existing furnishings. It has been so nice to be able to sit on the floor in comfort and actually relax and play with Baby and she seems to love it too (though she’d rather sit under one of the chairs or the table).
The other thing we’ve ‘re-thought’ is the coffee table. We have a corner sofa unit and, previously, had a coffee table in front of it that was way too large (we bought it because it was cheap!). It meant that if we had people over everyone had to shuffle around the coffee table to sit down, made the room look small and was generally a pain in the bum. Also, Baby was banging into it constantly. We’ve looked for something better for about 6 months but couldn’t find one that would be enough of an improvement to justify the cost. In the end we decided that we’d be better off not having a coffee table at all and getting a nest of tables. This means that they will be out of the way most of the time but can be whipped out if we have people over or need them for something else. Again, I looked on ebay but the only ones I liked the look of were anywhere from £40 to £80. I also looked in a local second-hand shop but could only find occasional tables – not nests. We found a brand new one in a local shop for £39 which I thought was pretty good.
Although we’ve spent quite a bit of money I’m glad that we’ve managed to support two local, independent shops in doing so. I’m also glad that although we’ve spent more money on the house, it has all been things that we can actually take with us when we move!