When we first moved into our London flat we had nada in the way of furniture, kitchenware or anything home-y (obviously we couldn’t fit a couch into our suitcases during our move from Canada). So before we had our first overnight visitors around Christmastime, we needed to get our act together and give these digs some life. Since we’re only in London temporarily (’till the summer), we wanted to spend next to no money. Here’s a reminder of what the open-plan living room/kitchen looked like when we moved in:
Luckily there were a couple of things left by the previous tenant: the 4 bar stools you can see above, a tall black shelf unit, some table lamps, and a handy stool/foot rest.
First up was to get some inexpensive seating. I’m a used-furniture-website addict, so I was quickly onto the local London sites to see what deals I could find. The difficult thing about getting used furniture in such a big city is that if you don’t have your own vehicle for transportation (which we don’t), the cost of your purchase can double or triple if you have to sort out a delivery service. We knew we absolutely needed a pull-out sofabed as our main couch (we don’t have a guest bedroom for visitors), so when I found this beige one in decent shape, I snapped it up. We had to hire a “man with a van” delivery service to help us move it which added on another half of the original cost (ugh.), but it got here and it’s comfy and clean. Phew.
After another few weeks of site-searching, I came across this bright orange IKEA poang chair. It was a steal at £30/$45 (for the chair AND footstool). And luckily it was from a neighbourhood not too far away, so we brought ‘er home in a taxi. The colour is scrumptious and the fabric is wool. Love.
In the same week, I came across an ad for a moving sale in another neighbouring ‘hood. Dan and I hit it up and came out with 3 coffee/side tables (wood, black and plastic) and a rug. All for £25/$40! Yes, please.
Knowing we could do with one more chair to complete the living room, when I saw this one in someone’s garbage while walking home, I quickly grabbed it (hoping no one was watching and judging). All it took was a bit of glueing to fix the wobbly-ness, sanding and a coat of bright paint.
We inevitably had to buy some bits and bobs from the el-cheapo department store ASDA (England’s Walmart equivalent), but it really didn’t take much to complete the space — just some kitchenware and organizational things like shoe racks.
Stay tuned to see how we put it all together and added some DIY artwork for the final touch.