I haven't forgotten about my promise (and your interest) to do more homeware, home renovations and content on my house. I am crowning September 'home month' and there'll be a new post about home ownership, decorating and general moving every week so that's fun.
Today though I thought I'd share some info on where we got our furniture. I say we, I mean me. Joss (luckily?) has very little interest in homeware and what we bought as long as he got a dishwasher and I didn't get anything stupid or spend a lot of money so 99.9% of decisions came down to me - and that included where to shop.
I did a blog post back when we moved on things we'd genuinely bought which you can read about here but it was more a list of little bits we'd got our hands on (or an Ikea catalogue if you want to look at it that way).
So a little bit of background maybe if you haven't been here before? We didn't move very far, I was already living part time on Joss' family farm/cider orchards and uhhhh, we're still living there. I just officially live there now and we have our own space (not just his bedroom) with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room and a BIG kitchen and a few hallways. Yes, a few. It's a proper country farmhouse style house, it's very much NOT all white walls and pink blush tones, as Instagrammable as it'd be it just wouldn't suit the style of the house and Joss would 100% spill something all over it and ruin it. Life innit.
I'm going to do a post on my kitchen on it's own because it's the biggest room and required the most amount of work but for today, here's where I got my furniture;
We were very lucky with the furniture we already owned or got given to us by family and it's 100% the reason we managed to keep costs down - because a lot of what we were given was the most expensive pieces of furniture you can buy.
Joss' bedroom already had a double bed, bedside tables, 2 chest of drawers and a wardrobe which we moved into our place and Joss' brother had a spare wardrobe which matched the set so we have that too (yes we have a wardrobe each, it's bliss). There was also a bed and bedside tables in one of the spare bedrooms, a room which is too small for a wardrobe so we were all kitted out there too.
We had nothing for our living room but about a month before we were due to move my parents decided to get rid of their three piece suite and buy a new one so we inherited a 27 year old dark green three seater sofa. Is it my ideal colour? No. Did it inform the way I designed the room that I now LOVE? Absolutely. Did we have to take a window out to get the furniture in? Yes. Joss' parents were also getting rid of their furniture around the same time and so we nabbed a deep blue armchair and a brown leather recliner that is Joss' pride and joy.
For our second spare room I already had a full length mirror which lives by wardrobe and the room also doubles up as an office space for Joss so the desk, deskchair, printer table and bookcase he already owned from his uni days moved into there.
Our two hallways needed some storage, all of which were pre owned by friends or family. Our porch already had a big chest in it which we store wellies and car stuff in, we used a shelving unit we had our TV on as some storage cabinets, Joss' Mum gave us an old bureau she didn't have room for and we reused a big IKEA cabinet we were using as a larder that now homes all our 'stuff'. You know the like, the notebooks, picnic baskets, photo albums, first aid kit...all the things in a home that have no place. In the hallway by our front door I wanted to keep it quite open and welcoming but I needed LOTS of room for storage. Joss' Mum had some IKEA units in her utility room that were being chucked out so I turned them on their side and 8 cubby holes store our shoes and one stands on it's end in the corner and has things like our mop and sweeping brush in. The only thing I really wanted was a chair and my actual dream was the IKEA wing chair (in yellow preferably) but I couldn't justify nearly 200 quid for a chair that would only be sat on to take our shoes off. Luckily for me just about the same time we moved I was helping an elderly gentleman move house and he had a similar wingback chair he was getting rid of and very kindly gave to me for free. It's green, the pattern is old but actually it really fits in well with the house.
My advice? Move when you know other people are moving or having a clear out or nick all the stuff from your childhood bedroom.
I mean this should ultimately be your first port of call, if only for inspiration (and I challenge you NOT to buy something). Ikea was where we got the bulk of our furniture and was nearly the only place we got the 'bits' like cookware and lamps etc. We spent a lot in Ikea we did and we had to have it delivered because even our trailer wouldn't take the amount we had. If you don't live near an Ikea it's well worth the delivery charge (normally around £35.00) to send your shopping to you if you're buying a lot of items and they bring it right into your door too.
We spent just over 500 quid on furniture in Ikea, certainly not a small amount of money but for that we were pleased with the amount we got. We're not flashy or fussy people, we have to be able to justify the cost to ourselves and we went for the basic cheapest options for most of what we got and they're great. For our 500 quid we got delivered;
- A day bed.
- 2 mattresses.
- A bedside table.
- 2 rugs.
- A chest of drawers.
- 4 dining room chairs.
- A dining table bench.
- A coat & hat rack.
- A TV unit.
- A coffee table.
It's also worth noting if you are buying an Ikea bed that sometimes they're not the exact measurements of a normal single or double bed so it's recommended you get a mattress from Ikea too. We also got sheets, a duvet, 4 pillows and a bedding set from Ikea so save hassle too.
I massively underestimated Argos for it's furniture potential, the last time I shopped there probably being circling toys in the catalogue at Christmas when I was a kid. I can't remember how I even ended up on the website, I must've Googled an item of furniture I wanted and it came up as a recommendation but we got some good buys there.
The downside to Argos is you can't go and look at some furniture like you would in IKEA or somewhere like that but their returns process is pretty decent so I wasn't overly worried and actually we liked everything we got. I was searching for a cheap equivalent to an Ottoman storage chest with some storage compartments in it but I couldn't justify the price of a real leather one just for storing duvet covers and spare bedding so I found an Argos collapsable one for cheaps. I was surprisingly pleased with the quality and even though it's fold up it's super sturdy and you can sit on it easy without breaking it.
One thing to watch out for is sales. I knew I wanted a pine table with white legs and I assumed I'd find something in IKEA but turns out table and chairs sets aren't that cheap. But in Argos I found exactly what I wanted and it was extendable and it was down from £179.00 for the table to £89.00 so I ordered it to be delivered the following week. The next day because Argos had been in my searches an advert for the table came up on my Facebook sidebar and the table was down to £49.00. I cancelled my initial order, got a refund and bought the same table at the cheaper price, way cheaper than I would have got it any other place. We then just bought the cheap bench and 4 chairs from IKEA linked above and even though it's all mis matched it looks like it's aways been a set.
*our items are old stock now, similar linked below.
(Now Flying Tiger). I love Tiger for all my stationery/cute presents/things I didn't know I needed but I'd never thought of it for home furniture. It depends on how big your local store is but I got some pieces I didn't know I wanted in Bath and in Cardiff. They're super cheap but actually really well made but there's no way of knowing what's new in as it's a store only brand. I just happened to spot things in store when I went that were perfect for the house including a shelving unit, a side table for the hallway and a trestle table for the living room which houses my cacti.
I didn't actually buy any furniture from Wilko when we moved but we did get a lot of bits and bobs including kitchen stuff and a lamp. That being said I've bought from Wilko before when I went to university and when I moved back to my parents when I graduated and those pieces of furniture have come with me to my new house.
Wilko is also really reasonably priced and it's handy to be able to get furniture when you're getting your bits and bobs and whilst I've not bought big pieces of furniture I've got a lot of smaller pieces like shelving units and storage.
I feel like Matalan is still suffering from the days when it used to be cardholder members only but it's a right gem for clothing and it's homeware range is to die for. Again, this time around I didn't actually buy any furniture instead getting decorations, wine glasses and boring things like latte spoons (I can never find latte spoons anywhere). Again, like Wilko though I've bought furniture pieces from there before and those pieces are still with me and are still some of my most loved bits.
Either side of our chest of drawers we have some ottoman style cubes, mine is tartan and Joss' is cream and we use them for all our bags, scarves, hats etc and also for just generally dumping stuff on. I quite like the fact we have mismatched ones but the cream tone in his is in my tartan version and they both match the colours in our (mainly pine) bedroom. Matalan also have a second website dedicated purely to big pieces of furniture which I've never bought from but might be worth a look.
*our items are old stock now, similar linked below.
And that's where the majority of our furniture came from! We got things like our curtains, blinds and curtain poles fro Dunelm, we got a coupla things from Primark but there'll be a post next month on our decorative pieces and the promised kitchen post too.
Shop my dream house bits here!
* These are affiliate links. If you purchase the items above using them I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.