So for the first time in our lives, and definitely in our marriage, Bear and I are moving into an unfurnished home. This has meant that we have had to actually think a bit more seriously about our furniture and think about how we can afford to furnish our home.
Our new home has 3 main rooms plus a little bathroom and a small boxroom/bedroom. Bathroom will be basic but doesn’t need any extra storage or furniture to get across its purpose. The small bedroom will at some point be furnished but that can be something we do once we’ve organised the rest of the more immediately used rooms.
Master Bedroom which will require a bed and a wardrobe, storage will need to be clever to fit everything in.
Living Room which will also be my place of work and include a desk and shelves. Space saving has to be the priority as it need to also fit a small dining table and chairs, as well as my desk and a sofa with space on the floor for an inflatable mattress if we needed extra bed space.
Kitchen which although doesn’t need much may be where the dining table is stored and will definitely be where I grow seedlings which will hopefully turn into the vegetables of summer meals!
With very little budget (especially with me jumping into low-income art work) we needed to be very clever and very humble. We decided to do three main things:
1. Accept a little help from our parents which we had been trying to turn down (we didn’t want to take advantage and being married didn’t feel it was our parents job to look after us anymore but they kept offering).
2. Buy secondhand or get free as much useful furniture as possible whilst still being discerning about what would actually fit and be functional.
3. Design and construct (with a little help) the pieces that would otherwise cost far too much.
Help came in the offer of Ikea furniture. Although I would normally run from such mass-produced/mass-waste products, for the bedroom particularly there is very little chance of getting pre-made secondhand furniture up our tiny twisting staircase without picking up the roof and chucking it in. So we will be gaining a bed and a customised wardrobe to fit snugly into our bedroom. Curtains will be recycled, covered, dyed and hung. Sheets and covers will be our original ones, and any decor will be photos or pictures we already own – simples!
Secondhand furniture is mainly for the living room. We definitely need a sofa, preferably three-seater, just something comfortable so we can have people over. We also have plenty of pillows and even a few beanbags which I will be re-covering in order to give extra seating if required. We also need a dining table and chairs which we can put to the side/fold up/move out the way when we are not using it. Unfortunately we found both a sofa and this kind of table and we may have lost it simple by not moving fast enough – sucks! Lesson learnt though and we will be visiting the British Heart Foundation’s Furniture store on Saturday to pick up some nice items! Also points for giving to charity whilst furnishing a new house!
Designing was possibly my favourite part as it was basically designing my own art desk. After measuring up and figuring out what I needed, my Dad and I worked out what was needed and he is cutting up the pieces! I will be painting it white, be including a drafting table within it that will lift out and tilt, and be facing the window to get the most natural light I can. This is awesome and will be far cheaper to make than if I bought one, in fact it will be cheaper to gain materials than it would be to buy a basic 4-legged Ikea thing that wouldn’t fit or work with anything I’m doing. It will be customised to me and that’s awesome!
Obviously the next few weeks will be busy – putting flat pack furniture together being the quickest probably – and I hope to blog about each step and share my progress, successes and failures. In the meantime, if you have any advice for first-time furnisher I would love to hear it in the comments!