The Great British Catch-Up: Part 3

It’s sofas all the way down

It’s funny; when you start with an empty apartment, the idea of filling the space with everything you’ll need seems daunting. Things start to seem achievable once you’ve bought your first few thousand dollars worth of furniture and spent what feels like a lifetime building it all.

It’s only once the cardboard mountain is spirited away, the dust is swept up, and your clothes are finally put away, that you realize you were right.

Part of this is thanks to the size of our apartment vs. what we’d get back home. I remember walking into the master bedroom when we viewed the place and thought “Well, it’s not as big as I’d imagined, perhaps we won’t get the king-size bed”. AJ was of similar mind, fretting as we walked around IKEA whether it would fit or not.
Since we’ve added the bed, an 8-drawer dresser and two side tables, we’re now looking at adding a full-length mirror. One each, in fact. And there’ll STILL be room.

The other thing was the living room. Once we’d gotten everything in, we were still reliant on the inflatable bed and some cushions and then, latterly, the outdoor chairs you saw hanging from the back of the car in my previous post. Comfortable for more than a half hour it was not.

We had been planning on shopping at Pottery Barn (POTTERY BARN! my Friends-loving people from home exclaimed) but they advertised 7+ week shipping times. I was on the train to work one morning, casually swiping Instagram, when I came across Article.com. They were advertising an arrestingly handsome sofa and matching ottoman for half the price of anything similar from the stores. This was another firm aiming to interrupt the standard trading model, and the reviews online looked pretty good. Better still, the shipping time was a couple of weeks.

We placed the order, and rapidly had a beautiful looking sofa in our living room. Unfortunately, it was far too firm. The biggest thing that had sold me on Article was their 30-days return policy. As long as you keep the (gigantic) boxes, you can return the sofa. We duly researched some more and decided another of their models, whilst not as attractive, would provide more comfort. I called them up and arranged the swap.

Another week passed before the second sofa arrived. It was big. No, it was huge. It was so huge that it wouldn’t actually fit in the elevator. Or up the stairs. It had to go back.

It transpired that the company makes a sectional version of the sofa, so I called Article again, spoke to them, and arranged another switch.

Three weeks later, we had a huge new sofa, matching ottoman (also huge, maybe a little too much) and all it had cost me extra was a couple of shipping fees. It was still far cheaper than something from the brick & mortar stores, and we’d done all of this in a fraction of the time it would have taken just to get one delivered.

Since then, things have slowed down. We’re using our outdoor tables as side tables, a fact that is bugging me more with every day. We have no dining table either, because it’s actually really hard to find one.

We have the option of getting a twee little collapsible one from IKEA, which doesn’t really suit the aesthetic of the rest of the apartment, or something gorgeous, expensive, and far too massive for the space we have available. Somewhere, there is a goldilocks table. Not too big, not too expensive, not too ugly. I just need to find it.
Whilst we could take the option of opening out the living space into the whole room, getting some more ‘lounge’ furniture and choosing to always eat at the couch, our feeling is that having a ‘separate’ dining space is more civilized and gives us the option to have friends over to eat without forcing them onto the floor and whatnot.

It also helps with the dog. Cooper doesn’t understand that “people eating” should be left alone. He understands that “people eating at a dining table” should be left alone.
This is an important distinction and one that I am keenly aware of, as I am his favorite person to bug incessantly by dropping a loudly bouncing ball in front of me as I try to eat soup.

AJ has put some decorative touches up, and I’ve mounted a really sweet mirror to the wall by our front door, as well as some makeup racks in other areas of the house. I hung a picture in our bedroom the other night and it’s kind of incredible how instantly it transformed the wall. We need more!!

This was kind of a boring update, but not everything is going to be thrilling tales of IKEA-building derring-do, complete with video evidence. I think there’ll be one more of this ‘Catch Up’ series before I try and do some smaller, more specific entries.

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