Garden furniture

To go with our new decking and flowers, we bought some garden furniture so we can fully enjoy these sunny days.

Garden furniture

It’s a six-person set, but to squeeze six people round it on the decking, even sideways, would involve someone being very squashed next to the fence and someone at the other end of the table teetering on the edge of falling into the grass.  That’s why we’ve decided to have it as a large four-seater, and kept the other two chairs for the patio area by the French doors.

Two chairs

We just need a table to go with them – we’ve kept the old one for now but it’s kind of had its day.  You may also notice some odd slabs in this picture, this is because Barry’s taken the slabs across to make the patio area bigger, but now they’re a bit obvious.  They’ll weather (I’m reliably being told by Barry, who’s reading over my shoulder)!

Garden furniture 1

The furniture’s a set called Sienna from Homebase, black metal with a purple parasol (hence the purple flowers).  We haven’t actually had the parasol up yet, what with the sun being so fickle, but I can assure you, it does look pretty good – we saw it in store.

Check out the photo here for our fabulous dual coloured fence (it hasn’t been finished yet).

Branas, I’ve been expecting you

20130730-125526.jpgYou may recall that we have an Ikea Expedit unit in our lounge, and back in… ooh, February, erm, 2012, I expressed a desire to pop some little white baskets in those gaps.  Those little white baskets cost £15 each, and as we wanted to fill 10 of the holes (the bottom two rows), that’s a hefty trip to Ikea without all the random napkins I pick up on the way round.  And the meatballs, of course.

Well, we’ve been forced into buying something for them, mostly because our five month old has just started rolling and I swear she was eyeing up those DVDs.

Our first stop was, which is one of those sites that buy your stuff for next to nothing and undoubtedly sell it on for a huge profit.  I couldn’t be bothered to eBay all the stuff, with all the Post Office faff and my track record in buyers (I had another one recently with a dress I sold to a person who clearly can’t read), so I downloaded the app onto my phone and zapped the CDs and DVDs with the barcode scanner.  That was fun for a bit, but it gets a bit depressing getting £0.21 for your childhood.  We’ve also kept really random ones (we couldn’t possibly give everything away), so I couldn’t sell Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill as I clearly remember buying it with my own money, nor could I allow Barry to pimp Con Air.  He’s kept Bad Boys I and II (naturally) and Ghostbusters, but wasn’t bothered about any of his CDs.

In the end, we sold 185 items for £61.07.  Don’t work out the average, it’s so depressing it’s unreal.  The most we got for an item sold was £3.00 for a series of Friends.  Sob!


Anyway, off we popped to Ikea, but those eagle eyes among you will have noticed that £60 will not 10 baskets buy.  We’ve ended up buying two lovely baskets, and the rest cheap white cloth boxes, a veritable bargain at £2.50 each.  I think they’ll get dirty fairly quickly, but they’re a good placeholder for more baskets or drawers later down the line.

Nursery done!


The nursery’s now been painted, hurrah!  In the end we went for Sorbet (Dulux) on two walls, which is a pale pink, and then B&Q’s Grey Hints for the rest of the room.  When the decorator was painting the grey, I was worried it wasn’t quite grey enough and it would just look dirty white, but it seems to have dried really nicely and they’re good contrasting colours.

We’d quite like to put a shelf or two up (especially as we have nothing to put the baby monitor and temperature egg thing on), so we’re on the look out for reasonable shelving, although I could always paint a pine one white I suppose.

Nursery paint

It’s really satisfying to have the room painted – the furniture is all finally where we want it now, so we’re just waiting for the arrival to really complete the room!

I’m expecting a few fabric samples from eBay for the nursing chair and stool and then I’ll have a go at reupholstering that – my lovely friend Charlie is going to lend me her sewing machine (thank you!).  And if it turns out like a dog’s dinner, I’ll put a throw on it.  Nobody need ever know…

Nursery inspiration

I had a look round a lot of websites for inspiration on nursery themes and colours, and this was by far our favourite, from Project Nursery. The soft pink and grey is really soothing and calm, and it’s also very girly, which I love!

My friend Michelle saw this and immediately went and bought a tester pot of Dulux’s Sorbet, which is a similar pale pink, and it seems pretty perfect! We’ll go for a lighter grey than we’ve used in the living room, and try to break it up with the white furniture and pictures.

My friend Helen’s given us a rocking nursing chair and stool which are currently cream, but I think we’re going to try and dye the covers or re-upholster them so they’re grey to match the room.

Nursery furniture

The nursery furniture’s just arrived and is currently a work in progress.  I’ll show you the Mamas and Papas promotional shots and I’ll upload our photos as soon as we have everything together.

This one on the left is of the furniture set up for a boy’s room, and the girl’s one shows it for later on when the cot can magically become a bed.


Source: via Michelle on Pinterest

It just arrived yesterday and so far, Barry’s built the cot and the wardrobe, so we still need

to build the dresser.

Room of shame

Thanks to our incredibly generous friends and family (namely my brother, Martin, and my friends Charlie and Helen), the room that is destined to be the nursery is filled to the gunnels with baby clothes, baths, baskets, footstools, etc.  Not to mention the freebies we’ve received and the bits we’ve been buying like nappies.

Anyway, you get the picture.  Actually, you don’t get the picture, because I’m too ashamed to take one.  It’s our room of shame, as everything is just getting dumped in there at the moment.  It’s like those programmes you see where people hoard things for 20 years and then a presenter goes over to make fun of them.

I’ll post about this separately, but we’ve just bought a nursery furniture set, so no more room of shame!  I can’t wait to get everything washed and put away.  Then I’ll take a photo!

To paint, or not to paint

As I mentioned in my very first post, our living room was black and red before it got reincarnated as the current green/grey paradise.  With us plumping for white for the flooring and picture frames, the existing black and red furniture doesn’t exactly match.

We got rid of the giant red light quickly (someone got a very good deal on eBay for that), and the remaining culprits are the Ikea Expedit units in black times two, and the red drawer inserts that go with them (although I’ve just noticed that Ikea don’t seem to do red ones any more).  We get away with the sofa as it’s mostly grey.

I’ve ummed and ahed about painting the furniture, even going as far as to paint a splodge of the Boudoir on the back of one of the drawers to see if it would hold.  It came off with my fingernail.  I’ve consulted a colleague at work (hello again, Michelle!), who’s advised me that to paint this kind of finish, for either the drawers or the units, would involve sanding, priming, painting, repainting, and then an adhesive spray for dessert.

The beauty of Ikea is that it’s so cheap, you can just go and get some more.  The current shelving would fit in our room, or spare rooms, or could just go on eBay, but I’m really reluctant to hand over another £124 for the two units, plus £52 for two sets of drawers, cheap as they are.  Having said that, it would probably cost me more than that in time and money on all the priming and spraying equipment.  There’s the additional worry that if we went all white, it could look plasticky and cheap.  Or like heaven.

Decisions, decisions.  Anyway, despite my innate aversion to wicker, I do like these little Branas baskets that Ikea do (surprise, surprise), and would definitely find space for them somewhere.

Recommendations are welcomed.  Although this isn’t a pressing issue, it is something I could be doing while Barry’s tearing walls down/plastering them up again, and I’d quite like my own corner to be proud of.  Speaking of plastering, here’s the latest picture of the “bathroom”.  And the radiator’s been ordered.  Sweet warmth is on its way!

In other news, K -8 days.  No pressure.