We finally got some new furniture for our flat! Isn’t she beautiful?
Before moving to England, I googled some alternatives to IKEA for finding affordable furniture. As much as I love IKEA, it tends to have a “look” to it, don’t you think? Maybe that’s just me (because I know their products so well), but I didn’t want an entire place that said “IKEA”.
fern, and wood planter from Flower & Glory // cement planter from the Red Mud Hut
I’ll definitely shop there (and already have for the flat), but I want to have furniture from all types of places and styles, so that our flat feels like a true representation of our eclectic tastes.
One of the shops that came up in my search was Swoon Editions. It’s an online store with a cool concept – ditch the store front, middle men, and everything else that jacks up the price of furniture, and just connect directly with the people who make it. All of their items are online only, which poses a bit of a problem – you might end up waiting months to receive a product you have never even seen in person!
Made.com (which I also researched) has a similar concept, but actually has a few showrooms in and around London, so you can see stuff in person.
Zabel media cabinet from Swoon Editions
Richard and I both fell in love with this media cabinet, called Zabel. Despite being a bit more money (double) than we had hoped to spend, we couldn’t find anything else we liked quite as much. It felt unique, and modern, while still being “warm” – I tend to find lots of modern furniture lacks warmth due to all the chrome/glass etc. The only problem was that we had to wait about 3 months (!!) to have it delivered. Some items on their website can be delivered right away, but others have to actually be made and shipped from their manufacturing country (in our case India).
As much as a nicer sofa, or bed with storage would be nice, the media cabinet turned out to be our first priority. It doesn’t take much to convince me to buy something new and nice, but Richard’s a bit tougher to crack when we aren’t exactly flush. However, he absolutely hated our former media setup, and was determined to find something to replace it. (Woohoo!)
fiddle leaf basket from Homesense
Oh, and did you notice our beautiful plant in the corner? I was so beyond excited when I came across this plant in our local Lidl. They had a small section of plants on sale for £9.99 and I couldn’t believe it when I found this fiddle leaf fig (the only one) amongst the rest. I cut the top off to encourage branching (and replanted the cut to make a new plant). So basically I get two fiddle leaves for the lowly price of £9.99!! And if you’re looking for your own fiddle leaf here in the UK, well you’re in luck! The Columbia Road flower market always seems to have them, and not for much more than I got mine!
But back to the media cabinet. We’re planning on mounting the tv on the wall, once we finalize exactly where we want it to go. I am looking forward to accumulating a few decorative items to dress up the top once the tv is out of the way.
my humble rendering of our planned bookshelf and wall-mounted TV
Beside the cabinet, we’re planning on building a bookshelf just like this one, from CB2. I’m thinking of making the shelves wood, and either staining them black or a mid toned wood. I’m torn, as I love the warmth of wood, but think black will allow the items on the shelves to be the focus. Thoughts?
In other living room furniture news… we still have the same sofa, and coffee table (which Richard loathes), but they are now grounded by this awesome rug! I’ve always wanted a cool antique rug, and searched for a while before coming across this beauty on eBay. It was right in my price range, and the perfect size to have all the front legs of our furniture on it.
Eventually we’ll have a side table or two, and will pull the rug out from the wall a bit. I’m thinking of doing a modern box frame coffee table with a couple poufs tucked underneath it. Maybe DIY something like this coffee table from West Elm? I was first inspired to do this after seeing the living room at Orlando Soria’s condo – he even has the sort of pouf I have in mind!
doesn’t his place look amazing?
Richard is dying for something to put his feet up on, but I don’t think a sectional will fit in here. So poufs it is! (Or is it pouffes?) Maybe light grey ones like these? I’ll DIY them if I can make friends with someone who owns a sewing machine… I really love those french seams.
Oh, and you can’t really see in the photos, but our living room window is currently home to a lot of plant happenings.
Richard is trying to grow more Nepali chili plants, from cuttings of his two larger plants, and I am still trying to propagate succulents! I instagrammed about these ages ago, and they are finally starting to do something. Just when I was thinking about getting rid of them…
On the other side of the room we have our mini dining space. In the corner by the window is our freezer (not shown) that we plan on eventually building a cabinet to hide. But beside it we have our new, wee, farmhouse table! I found this one on eBay, and then we went to pick it up. Unfortunately it wouldn’t fit through our front door (too sharp a turn just inside the door) so we had a friend help us get it through our second floor window!!
I still want to replace the knob on the tiny drawer with a smaller wood one, stained to match. I even have the knob and just need to find some stain. Procrastinating – 1, Amy – 0…
Our chairs are old church seats, but are missing the bible holders on the back. You can see where they used to live, and I kind of wish the people who had these before us didn’t remove them. I want to stain them or possibly use some Danish oil on them to darken the colour a bit. Make them slightly richer in colour than the table? I’m still not sure.
don’t you just love those legs?
The room is still so far away from being anywhere near done – curtains, lights, artwork, side tables, sofa, freezer cabinet, accessories, bookshelf, etc. are all still to come. However, I am very pleased with the things we have bought so far.
Hopefully it’ll all come together before the year is up?