Monday, 19 October 2009

Cabinet stop gap

Another Friday night at Ikea. We must be getting pretty good at it now as we don't fight any more. Partly due to knowing all the short cuts around the store, but also learning the tricks - such as eating first, parking near the lifts where you exit from rather than near the entrance and making a list.

On this trip we bought the two metal cabinets mentioned in an earlier post, and two plastic trays. Not bad. The cabinets in their massive flat pack boxes only just made it into the Volvo (had to remove the back seat headrests though), but were remarkably easy to assemble.

I ordered a 37" flatscreen Toshiba Regza from Amazon including all the cables, a temporary indoor antenna and related bits for under £500 (there goes the holiday fund) which arrived the next day. The upside of having a second TV is that Rob can watch sport and the kids can watch Spongebob... and I can read the newspaper supplements in peace.

The room is starting to feel really useful, instead of cold and bland. We'll get a third cabinet actually, since this will be our storage for the next couple of years. Looking forward to getting all our artwork up on the walls this side of Christmas.

Now to find a plumber who actually shows up as we need that boiler replaced, and soon.

Click the photo below to see a supersize panorama taken at the weekend...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Petite Panton chairs

I've always liked the Panton "S" (stackable) chair, it's a 20th Century Design icon and was the first plastic chair made from one section.

We considered getting half a dozen to use as our indoor dining chairs, but decided against it as the S chair has become too ubiquitous. From various drinking establishments around London to the Mode offices on Ugly Betty, the S chair is everywhere... so instead of being quirky and distinctive, they now feel a little common.

Last week I was on eBay and saw that you could get kids versions for £14 + delivery, so I went for it. I've put them with the little table in front of the TV in the living room on the middle floor. This way we get to enjoy a little nod to Panton's collectable design without having them take over our dining room. The kids really love them too. I wonder if you can get kids sizes of the Barcelona chair?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cabinet sadness

I don't know why I actually thought that this would happen any time soon. I guess it's denial. It seemed like we'd been really careful about the cost of most things and even recovering from massive cost over runs - paying for such exciting unforeseen necessities such as extra support beams and what not - the funds are drying up. Heck, I thought by not doing an entire floor we would've recovered quite a chunk of money, but alas. Not nearly enough.

Back in December I posted the architects drawings of the proposed bespoke wall cabinet - which was originally costed at £1,000 and was then re-quoted closer to £2,000. Even so, it's the feature that will really make the room. From being an impactful bit of design as well as enormously useful, it was the one thing in the house that I was determined was going to happen come hell or high water. Anyway, here comes the high water: we need a new boiler.

Our existing boiler is 20 years old and the plumbing is a mess. The power shower pump isn't in the right place so some mornings the shower runs at a determined dribble. There isn't enough oomph to get all the radiators piping hot at the same time. And our utility bills from NPower are eyewateringly high. With the temperature dropping the central heating will go on in the next week or two so it's time to act.

A new boiler will cost around £1,500 to install (quotes to come in shortly according to Rob) but will save potentially over £300 a year in heating costs. Then there's the glass splash back (£550) which is becoming a priority as every passing week means the wall near the hob gets in more of a state. So now we've agreed to get a couple of cheap metal Ikea cabinets (pictured top) which cost £65 each. This temporary solution can accommodate misc house debris, and can be re-used elsewhere when we rustle up the £2,000 to build the proper cabinet.

I guess it's time to move on and sort a storage solution as we've been here for nearly a year and there are loads of boxes piled high in our TV room which are really starting to annoy me (what's IN those boxes?!)