4 July 2013

Pots full of colour are a joy at the moment in my garden.  The ranuculus have turned out well, more pale pink ones are coming soon and the margarite were an orange sticker job from a while ago, they’ve got massive now.  The peonies are the best £4 I have spent for a long time, this is only half of the bunch, a bargain indeed.

4 july 005

pretty  peonies

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Gumtree vs Ikea

There is a constant dichotomy for me when  I am looking for furniture.  I love the clean lines and great prices at Ikea, the furniture is good looking, easy to get home and the whole experience is pretty good on a quiet day.  I also love the thrill of the chase and the individuality that you get by looking for furniture from Gumtree and second hand shops.  The two shopping methods can go hand in hand and result in a really interesting looking home.  I am betting most of you have at least the odd thing from Ikea, it is so hard to go there and come out with nothing!

Somehow I feel like I’ve failed a bit when I get something from Ikea.  Take the Malm chest of drawers, plain, simple, white and functional – the only thing is I swore I would not buy them again because they fell to bits last time after 9 years of hard labour.  The design has been improved since the last ones I had, they now have a bar under the base of each drawer to stop it dropping and I have to say that they really suit my bedroom.  I have that little bit of me that feels like I’ve sold out, given up the hunt for unique, and have joined the thousands of regular folk who have these drawers.

ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming
ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming

Gumtree is hard work. You might not be first to see the item if it is highly desirable, you need to carry it down lots of flights of tenement steps if you buy from a flat (not unusual here) and you don’t really know where the item has been – you have to use your gut to decide whether you can cope with that or not.  This chest of drawers is a great piece of furniture.  After agreeing to buy it, I realised it was actually falling apart a wee bit once it was moved, what do you do?  Say no thanks before you battle it down the stairs?  Well, I didn’t this time and C has repaired it a bit.  L has it in his new room now and he loves it.  So does his pal who saw the 3D despicable Me at the weekend hence the glasses.  It was a challenge to get it home but I feel like we are extending the life of an interesting item that comes with an unknown history.  The little shelf in H’s cupboard is from the same house and it fits perfectly.  Another triumph.

gumtree find, well made, character full and unique
gumtree find, well made (once upon a time) character full and unique

So, there you have it, my thoughts for today on furniture buying.  Where do you go for furniture? Have you got a favourite place to look?  Edinburgh is great for furniture shopping , from specialist mid-century modern items to your traditional antique shoppe.  Modern furniture and charity furniture warehouses are here too.

P.S.  Great programme on as I write about supermarkets, have a look on bbc  i-player, ‘Summer’s Supermarket Secrets’  – fascinating.  Boys are loving it.

Have a great weekend, nearly there x


4 thoughts on “4 July 2013

  1. I too have pieces from Ikea- 3 expedit bookcases actually in 3 different sizes and they have survived well. I love finding second hand items too and mixing it all up. Our Malms started to smell musty with the plyboard in the back so we sold them and use a dresser now. Good luck but I personally think mixing it up is fine. You can always sell your ikea items later (often at great prices) if you change your mind. mel x

  2. I am a big fan of Ikea – affordable, scandi design, generally good stuff. But yes, the cheap stuff doesn’t last. I’d love to use gumtree and ebay more but I am quite impatient which doesn’t help!

    Your ranunculus are absolutely gorgeous. x

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