I might be a little weird, but I love going to home showrooms. I always used to love it when we had to go with my parents. I remember wandering around the pretend rooms, mentally picking out which pieces of furniture,bedding and curtains I would have for my imaginary house.
Now that I live a mere few miles away from an Ikea, I can go all the time. I used to go loads when Arlo was small as a way to pass the time. Nowadays he doesn’t have the patience or the regular naptimes for it, so I jumped at the chance to go alone during one of his days with Grandma. After two hours of leisurely browsing, I was very proud of myself for coming away with nothing more than the mirror I went in for. And one photo frame. It’s become a running joke that I will buy a photo frame every time I go to Ikea. Although it’s not really a joke if it’s true.
During my recent window shop, I realised that, actually, not much has changed since I was a child and I’m still making mental lists of my ideal purchases. Except it’s not so much fun with a real house and no budget.
If I had all the money in the world to spend at Ikea, here is what I would buy.
A corner sofa.
The living room is crying out for an Ektorp corner sofa. We currently have two two-seaters donated by my cousin. In order to fit them both in, they have to overlap.
This photo is from way before our living room got taken over by toys. We were using the dead space created by the sofa-overlap as a little drinks table, but more recently it has been housing my PC (Hello backache).
However, the room would work so much better if that space was better utilised (you can’t knock a couple of square feet when your house is as teeny as ours), a corner sofa would give us one extra seat and we could reclaim those couple square feet of space at the other end of the sofa nearest the door. Also, those sofas have really slanted backs and the base cushions are also quite sloped. Great for lounging, but my god it made it hard to breastfeed Arlo when he was a baby, even with the help of lots of cushions. It was actually really stressful. I used to find it easier to sit on the floor and suffer a numb bum during hour long feeding sessions every couple of hours. Ah, those were the days. The days when I could watch my TV programs and I didn’t know the words to any of the Cbeebies songs.
Seating for Arlo’s room.
During the night, I currently feed Arlo on a freecycled sofa that we’ve put in his room. However, this Hemnes daybed would look so much prettier.
Because it’s cool. I wouldn’t have to worry that I could spend £50 on a light fitting only for it to give me a pattern-induced migraine and/or nausea, because Sam would kill me first if I ever brought this home.
A bed upgrade.
This one is the biggy.
A few things about our current bed (also kindly donated by a cousin). 1. It is really low to the ground so there is no storage space underneath. 2. The frame has a cumbersome four inch surround.
Although losing out on that extra storage space is annoying, the surround is what irks me the most. It’s not made for a 13 by 13 foot bedroom. It creates a gap of around six inches behind the headboard, that’s six inches more carpet we could be seeing at the foot of the bed (it seems ridiculous to care about such a small amount of space, but I can’t help it, I have a problem).
The height of the bed and the surround means that we can’t sidecar a cot. I am definitely co-sleeping with child number two (who hasn’t yet been created, before you all start jumping the gun). Arlo never took to co-sleeping, but I reckon perhaps he would have if we’d set up a decent co-sleeping space and given it a proper go when he was a newborn. I am not making the same mistake again (sixteen months down the line and I’m getting up 1-4 times a night to feed Arlo in his own room, so not practical). Also, due to having a two bedroom house, we will be co-sleeping up until child number two is ready to be roomies with Arlo. That means we need to be able to fit a full size cot next to our bed.
This bed would be great. Storage space? Check. Sidecar cot compatible? Check. Beach house white? Check. While we’re at it, why not make it a king size? (Who am I kidding, we would never fit a king size bed, a wardrobe, and a co-sleeping cot in our bedroom).Although our house would be transformed with the addition of all of these things, and as much as I love ‘aspirational browsing’ as Sam calls it, I am also wary of the idea of buying big furniture items just because they work with your current set-up. What if we move in a few years and the corner sofa doesn’t work in the new place? Or the new place happens to be big enough for a king size bed, but we just spent our money on a new double just because it was the only option for our old house?
I think there is a lot to be said for making do with what you have (whilst living the dream through Pinterest, of course).
Do you have an item of furniture currently annoying the hell out of you? A coveted item that you would love to buy but could never justify the cost? Have you had to adapt your bedroom to suit your family’s needs? (Seriously, any tips about the sidecar cot situation would be great. I lie awake thinking about it. How’s that for forward planning/overthinking?).
(Ikea haven’t asked me to write about them. I wish).