Some Thoughts on Turning 30

LIFESTYLE

In less than two weeks I will be 30. That sentence in itself seems wild. I feel like I’ve celebrated being 22 for the past 8 years and 30 seems so far away. Except it’s not anymore. It’s quite close. So I thought I’d pop a few thoughts down on how I feel about the number. I mean I know it’s just that, a number but it’s the ‘things’ I thought I’d have by the time I reached that number.

I don’t have the high flying city slick career that I thought I would have if you would have asked me 10 years ago. I don’t have the 3 children that I planned (by the age of 26 actually) and we’re not in the home that I would consider our forever home.

I’m not sad about any of that, just amused by how younger Loren thought her life would pan out and what it would look like as I was turning 30.

Sometimes when it comes out of the blue the thought of turning 30 catches in my throat a little. When it does a small wave of panic hits me and my face contorts into sheer surprise, like I didn’t know what number came after 29. I can only guess that this is society’s view on the age (from years ago I don’t doubt) and me listening to what society has led me to believe. It is not actually how I feel because it quickly shifts and I’m fine with it.

I also made a list of all the things I wanted to do in the year 2020, places to go and things to do, however the year 2020 happened and we were all caught short. As far as I know though nothing is stopping me from doing those things in October, even October 2021 maybe! Fingers crossed I’ll still be ticking off great life experiences in 2060. I’ve figured there isn’t really a timeline to have certain things done by, certain situations that may include biology and science yes, but nothing that should keep us worrying and wanting to “keep up with the Jones’”

I know heaps of people that are turning 30 in the next year or so and are at a completely different stage in their life. They may have a home, they may live with their parents. They may be well on with their career and climbing up the ladder where others may be switching careers and starting from scratch. Some may have travelled and some may be waiting until they retire for that. Some may have 4 kids and some may decide they prefer dogs. It’s each to their own and no timeline runs exactly the same and the more people I know the more this comes to light. Even the people you see that ‘have it all’ in your eyes can surprise you with a new or different view on their own circumstance. They might actually want something that you have or to change a matter in their life that you would deem great already. It’s about that perspective.

This goes to show that nothing is ever really ‘normal’ and the only pressure around is pressure you put on yourself.

One thing I catch myself doing is when I let myself be overwhelmed at a younger persons success. ‘So and so is only 25 and has this, this and this’. Yes they do but they might not have ‘this and this’ and even if they have, so what? There are billions of people on the planet and that is one person. They may have taken a different route to you because, you guessed it, everyone is on their own path.

I’ve definitely learnt 30 shouldn’t be taken as a milestone to have achieved certain things by a certain time. It should just be like turning 29 or 31. Come to think of it 2020 made me miss a year so I might re-do being 29, anyone else?

4 Textile Pieces To Switch Up In The Home

Bedroom Renovation

Cushions. We now have decorative cushions in the bedroom. I know I’ve made it now because they actually go back on the bed in the morning. Shock right. They don’t sit on the floor (because let’s be honest who actually uses them) or even worse, they get demoted to the chair-drove. You know that chair in the bedroom? Yes I know you haven’t seen it in a while but it’s still there.

We’ve recently chosen a couple of cushions that I love and really go with our sage green colour scheme in the bedroom but I know I can swap these if I wanted a change or if we bought different bedding, which leads me nicely on to…

Bedding. If there’s one thing I love looking at when homeware shopping, it’s bedding. There’s just so many textures, colours and styles it’s sometimes hard to choose and I’ve seen them range anywhere between £15 and £100 (and probably higher) for a new set so it’s not like the options aren’t there if a shake up is what you want. I’ve found a new level with our set from IKEA because it has a zip close! How I got to nearly 30 years of age without seeing a zipped bedding set I’ll never know (buttons and press studs this far) but it’s a game changer in the speed and overall fiddly-ness. Yes that’s now a phrase.

Towels. In our bathroom we tend to stick with the white, beige and navy colour schemes but I’ve seen fuchsia, teal and purple in some bathrooms when a change up was required. New towels, potentially along with a new bath mat, can brighten up a bathroom instantly without a big budget. I tend to do this but with kitchen towels as I love seeing a kitchen towel with a fun print and we always seem to run out so that’s a reason for more if I ever heard one.

Curtains. This suggestion is likely the most expensive one of the bunch but can really be the feature of a room if your finding the paintwork a little bland. Sometimes in rented accommodation it can be a great way to add a bit of character or personal style or tie in other colours from the room. I have seen very expensive bespoke curtains to high street purchases, from heavy swags and tails to linen coverings again there are options to give a room a different look instead of repainting or stripping it back which can either be costly or time consuming.

Let me know if you’ve made any recent soft furnishing purchases for your home, I’d love to see them too!

We’re Upsizing!

Bedroom Renovation

I can see the finished bedroom on the horizon. With the mattress now in situ, the new bedding washed, pillows purchased then rejected and moved to the living room, it really feels like we’re almost done. I am now very excited to finally sleep in the new bed as we have upsized from a double to kingsize.

A couple of things are still left to do (isn’t that always the case?) and time has really run away with me over the last week or so – I’ve also been busy with another DIY project. In the bedroom shelves need putting up and the radiator needs putting back on the wall but that really (!) won’t take too long.

My mum is making the blind which will be the final piece of the puzzle this weekend and then we will be moving back into the master bedroom. I have started to use the storage under the bed and put all of our clothes into the wardrobes – and thoroughly enjoyed having a clear out at the same time. I have used it as an opportunity to decide if I don’t want the item in the ‘new room’ then I can do without it at all. It really has served me well.

We have had a couple of mattress issues regarding delivery. I ordered from a well known brand and the mattress got lost on delivery and ended up in the wrong depot. A phone call to the delivery company said it was being returned to sender and that I should rearrange delivery with the seller. A phone call to the seller said it was being rerouted and should be with me soon. As it turned out the next day it was no longer making its way to us. It was in fact already heading back to the retailer for a refund and if I still wanted the product a new order would have to be placed, with a waiting time of another 4 weeks. As we *really* didn’t want to do this I went into a local store and ordered one for same day delivery. It couldn’t have been easier. Until. When the mattress arrived and due to COVID the delivery men could only leave it in the hallway. I tried and I tried (and realised I should have filmed it) but couldn’t get the mattress upstairs on my own and had to wait for my husband to come and lend a hand ie. do most of the lifting.

If you haven’t already seen my little update to see what the bedroom looks like so far check out my latest vlog. My sister was a huge help in getting the wardrobes in and the bed up as I was still in the early days post op and I was mainly task supervisor and tool locating. You know, the important jobs.

Now just imagine the same room with a mattress!

Benefits Of Knowing Your Style

LIFESTYLE

I had a conversation recently that really got me thinking. If there is one thing I can talk continuously about its homes, houses and decor and this conversation was no different but what really stuck out to me is how it made me think about my own style afterwards. I then noticed this when scrolling on Instagram and Pinterest at home inspiration and colour schemes and even looking at my own Instagram grid. 

I’ve a couple of friends that KNOW their style and it makes so much sense. They like country-esque designs, mixed with wood and stick to a colour scheme. Others have a strong colour palette of greys and tan mixing modern and country but with similar colours following each room it gives a sense of flow and consistency.

It makes for a strong base. 

If you know your style, each room in your house will have a great flow to it. When one room is similar to the next you can go through to each without a disruption in tone or mood. I notice this strongly in my own home at the minute. When we have guests round I prefer to stay in the kitchen/diner as it’s bright and feels uncluttered. At the moment the living room is half decorated and is in complete distracting contrast that if we were to move company into the living room it becomes darker and more compact. This shows the importance of a house that flows comfortably from one room to another and not just when having guests round. You want to love your space wherever you are in your home and to help this being sure of your style is ideal.

It makes purchases easier. 

And I mean this for both purchases made by yourself for your home and referring to gifts from friends and family. If you see something you love you don’t have to think ‘Where will this fit in my home?’ If you love it and you have a similar colour scheme and style running through the item could go in any room. There have been plenty of times when I have seen something and loved it but haven’t known where it will fit in my home so it was left, or worse purchased anyway and unused.

Less likely to change it.

If your whole joke follows your taste and style you’re probably less likely to change it. If you like and enjoy being in each room you don’t tend to find fault or constantly wish you could redecorate it. You’ll be less influenced by how others have decorated (unless you decide to redo the whole house) because you like the way you’ve designed your space and you’re comfortable in it.

Evaluating my own style.

I am forever changing my mind when it comes to home decor. I have realised that in the past I have taken too many different opinions on board when making a decision for something that is going in my home. I am also quite easily convinced that something will work which never bodes well when making a large purchase. Now I know this of course, I am planning on changing my ways.

The one thing that I have always known is that I like white. Whereas some people may find it cold or boring I find it calming and a blank canvas to add to. Liking white does make it difficult when decorating as the elephant (or dog) in the room is the fact we have a chocolate labrador so some compromise does have to be made.

I also am easily swayed by a good home trend. Grey walls? We’ll have them! Moving to Taupe? No problem! Patterned paper and black skirting? Pass me the brush! Like I said, easily influenced.

I am however starting to realise that actually living with something is different to seeing it look great on social media and we each have our own individual style and limitations of what we want to see every day whilst making it functional. For an example, if I put up a dark floral patterned wall after a few months I’d paint over it with a neutral shade, yet love seeing it in other homes. Similarly if I had nothing but cream through my whole house I’d get bored and want to add a bright blue wall somewhere.

With that in mind it’s clearly all about finding your own style, making your own decisions and filling your home with your own vibe.

Do you agree? I share more of my home on Instagram if you want to come and chat (and see the constant changes I make).

Bedroom Renovation: 3 Things I Would Have Done Differently

Bedroom Renovation, HOME RENOVATION

If you weren’t aware, we have been renovating our bedroom for months. Since the end of last year to be exact. We needed the bedroom walls taking right back so we could have the room plastered and painted and even with all of the time to consider certain things, make changes and know exactly what I want there are still things o would change about the process. I thought I’d note a few down so I can remember what I would have done different, with the idea in mind that of course money is endless. As it’s not unfortunately we have had to make a couple of compromises. These aren’t big things and I am incredibly happy with how the bedroom has turned out however I realised 3 things that I would now do differently (Hi hindsight, how ya doing?)

1. Have fitted wardrobes. The alcoves are an awkward size and even the ‘fitted’ PAX system in IKEA didn’t come in the sizes we wanted. We arranged for a joiner to make us some fitted wardrobes but due to COVID delaying his other work that needed doing before ours I didn’t want to wait, it ha already been a couple of months and I wanted the house back to normal. It was then decided that we would have my old wardrobes from my parents house. This worked well for me as they were the style I wanted anyway and would have repurchased and well, they were free. (I mean I paid for them yeeeears ago but I wouldn’t be spending again.)

2. Have a decorator in. A professional would have had the room painted to perfection in two days and all I would have to have done is make the bed and display some candles. A pro would have included getting the skirting board and coving on and painted in the two days without us having to lift a finger. I’m estimating it would have cost around £300-£400 for the work but in some cases it’s worth having the job done in a reasonable time. As much as I love my family for helping and am forever grateful I’d rather them not have to do work when they could be relaxing or doing their own projects.

3. Chipped in for the plug sockets. The sockets either side of the bed have always stuck out and I’ve always disliked them but unfortunately I didn’t have time to chip them in further before the plasterers arrived and now the room is finished I wouldn’t dream of doing them and messing up the smooth walls. It’s a shame but luckily they will be covered by the bedside tables in this case. They will also look slightly better after having new covers (to include the USB option) put on.

This all being said I LOVE the new bedroom look and although there are some things I would have done differently they would either cost money (that I was unwilling to spend) or would have been too messy. The more that gets done in the house the more I realise where I want to out money and where I believe I can do the job myself or with help of course. For me it’s about weighing the options and seeing what comes out on top.

We are also nearly finished! The mattress arrives later this week. I got impatient and moved both bedside tables, even though we were technically using them in the back bedroom I could no longer wait and the window dressing is being altered from curtains to a blind #mumskills.

Is there anything you would change in your house after a DIY project? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram @lorenjessica_

Why I’ll Always Buy A Project Home

HOME RENOVATION

One of my requests when we purchased our first home was that it had to be a project home. I’ve always wanted to renovate property whether it was my own or someone else’s and well, at the tender age I was when we first bought our house, I had watched enough Homes under the Hammer to know exactly what I as doing. Side note: I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing but its a rough guide. Like, really rough. Sandpaper rough.

That said if we were to move again I would still choose a home that was in need of a renovation and likely would again and again so thought I would state why as I can imagine some people would be looking at me like I’m crazy right about now.

Cost. They tend to be a little cheaper because of the amount of work that needs doing and you don’t have to spend the difference all at once, as long as the house is in a liveable condition and everything works as it should the rest is aesthetic. Before we moved into our house it needed the plumbing and electrics doing before we even moved in and we decorated the living room and bedroom so we had two rooms to relax in but the rest of the house for a long while was a mess. It still is and I still love changing the rooms up.

Satisfaction. That feeling when you stand back to admire your handiwork and you beam because you’re just so incredibly proud of it. You can flip this and there have been plenty of times in the early days where I have stood back to see something shockingly awful and instead of a beaming smile it was a roar of laughter and a sigh. The sigh is knowing it either needs redoing or that it’s staying and you’re going to have to stare at it in its hideousness before you can change it. However, most of the I’m proud of a little DIY job, like the tiles in the kitchen, and I would happily learn a few more skills to have the satisfaction of seeing it finished and likely finished cheaper than getting a tradesman in (unless I have to of course!)

Bare Bones. You can take a project home back to its bare bones, add your own stamp and start from scratch pretty much making it whatever you want it to be. You can keep elements of the homes history and character or you can decide it’s not your cup of tea and take it out and with limitations you can maybe move walls or extend the property. With the right house there is so much potential to make it ‘yours’ and I love that about home renovations.

If you have anything to add in favour or against buying a project home let me know. Maybe I will do a list of the reasons why I wouldn’t buy a home to renovate one day…a lot of work…the hidden costs…being covered in dust regularly…

5 Must-Haves Buying Our First Home

HOME RENOVATION

I recently posted a list of things that I would want a new house to have if we were to move again and it got me thinking back to the must haves that I wanted our now house to include. We were first time buyers so had a lot to learn (we still do) and we were set on a certain radius as we wanted to be close to family and friends. This in itself narrows the options down a fair bit as in a suburban area with a budget we find ourself set within limitations. We just had to find the diamond in the rough so to speak. or even better: the worst house on the best street. Even with certain limitations there were still compromises I wouldn’t make and I thought I would jot them down.

If we hadn’t have found the right house we were in a comfortable position renting a nice cottage and simply wouldn’t have moved at the time but kept looking. We simply wanted to start putting money into our own house and we were in a position to do so. When we moved in our house needed quite a lot of work so I’ve added some pictures to give you a feel of what it was like after just after we’d started but more on that later.

A Garden. We knew we were going to get a dog as soon as we moved in so a reasonable size garden was a must. We hit the jackpot when we bought our house as the garden is a good size and south facing. We haven’t done much to the garden since moving in and we keep saying ‘next year’ and one year will be the right time but for now the majority of it is laid to lawn with an apple tree. (The apples get given to friends and family to make pies – have you seen me bake?)

A Hallway. Another item on my wish list was a hallway so that we wouldn’t be walking straight into the living room. For me I like to get in and have somewhere to take my coat off and have a little buffer to pick up the dirt before heading into the rest of the house. Saying this we don’t take our shoes off when getting in the house and used the back door leading straight into the kitchen for 3 and a half years of the 5 so this point did fall a little to the wayside but I still appreciate having a hallway.

A Project House. Yep it had to be a do-er upper. I wanted a renovation project and boy did we get one. Some times have been harder than others and it’s not cheap but when you stand back from a room and see the changes that you’ve made (with help of course) and know that you’ve learnt new skills doing so, well, I love that feeling. When we need a tradesperson to do a particular job I don’t mind getting quotes and enjoy knowing I’ve done the research to getting the best quote – and quality. I may be weird but I would do it time and time again without hesitation and if anything you can only get better at things you repeat right?

Off street parking. This one doesn’t need much explaining. I wanted to park in front of my house, who doesn’t.

A Good Location. After all it’s all about the location. I know it sound cheesy or cliche or whatever but when we saw our house, we knew. We were only driving round and had 2-3 more to check out afterwards but after seeing one other from the outside I didn’t want to see anymore. I just wanted to get that one, our house now. It was in a quiet location but close to amenities and was the worst house on the best street due to the work that needed doing to it. It was in a good location in regards to family and work and automatically I had set my heart on it. Something I wouldn’t recommend but do we ever follow our own advice? No. Exactly.

Now, call me spoilt or call it simply impossible but if we were to buy again I would want the same as above ADDED ON to the list of things I recently wrote about in my future home post. Compromise? Pffft.

Ectopic Pregnancy – My Story

LIFESTYLE

***Trigger Warning*** Please don’t read if you won’t feel comfortable. I speak quite only about my ectopic pregnancy, being in the hospital, surgery and recovery so please don’t read on if you’re not ready.

It’s been 1 month since I found out that I had an ectopic pregnancy and needed surgery to remove it. Recovery is still in progress but I have come a long way since that first week of being out of the hospital. Whilst I was there I headed to the internet to find some similar stories to mine but couldn’t find any so here I am. Hoping that if one person finds this at the right time then that’s good with me.

We had decided to tell our family the day before I went in to the hospital with pains. This in itself was the best and worst thing we could have done. Worst because they of course got excited and best because they knew the issues without having to explain why I was going to hospital. A lot of people say not to tell others too soon in case anything goes wrong and as much as I understand and agree to a certain extent there are some people that I would tell. In case of the worst happening you still want that support network.

As it was during a peak COVID time I had to go to the hospital on my own and it seemed like a long time I was sat (uncomfortably and painfully) on those plastic chairs. Of course I’ve never been in so much pain than I was and the evening before I actually thought it was IBS. That was the only explanation I had for the fact it was pain from my lower belly right up to my rib cage. I’d had no painkillers on the day I went into hospital until around 6pm on the ward so I am still amazed at how much pain the human body can actually take.

Once seen on the ward by the doctor I was admitted to a private room and after medication I was ready to eat the first thing I’d had since tea time the day before. I was dehydrated so they hooked my up to a drip and my husband was allowed to bring me an overnight bag to reception which someone would collect and bring to me. I wasn’t allowed to leave the room or have visitors and any of the medical team coming in had to put gloves, a mask and an apron on beforehand.

The next morning I went for my scan to be told, by lovely team members, that it was an ectopic. Even though I had been given a debrief from the doctor of what it could be this kind of news still takes you by surprise. You get nervous about what the next steps are and when you’re excited about having a baby it is upsetting but before my scan there was also hope as I had woke up that day with no pain whatsoever. I now realise that was from some excellent medication masking the worst.

The doctor visited again, ran me through the details and it was then I had to sign the paperwork and hear of the risks. This was probably the scariest part for me and this likely is because I’m somewhat of a control freak. The thought of being put to sleep, not knowing and giving someone else the control was terrifying to me but I realised as scared as I was that’s what they do. It’s what they’re trained extensively in and I wasn’t exactly going to do it myself was I? It was here too that the doctor said I didn’t have to be so brave but to me being upset wasn’t an option because I didn’t have another choice.

You get a few moments in life where you realise things about yourself that you don’t see or remember day to day; how strong you are, how capable you are or how brave you can be. There are some moments when you can look back and remember you are all of those things. Remember those times you were stronger than you thought you could be for a second. It’s a good feeling.

My husband was allowed to come in once I had been told I needed surgery as long as he didn’t leave the room. I didn’t realise how grateful I was of this until after the surgery when I woke up, came round properly and the quiet moments between the nurses coming in. I’m lucky we are able to laugh about my bossy behaviour as I woke up from the anaesthetic because there were definitely some moments.

The next day was painful. The surgeon visited and showed me images (I was having breakfast but it looked nothing like my cornflakes so I was ok). It turned out that by the time I had arrived in surgery the tube had already ruptured so I was in the right place at the right time. After a shower and plenty of tests the hospital were eager to send me home later that day all being well. I was surprised at the time but I get it. At home you’re relaxed, in comfortable surroundings and being well taken care of by family. Nurses are absolutely fantastic but you have to share them.

The few days that followed were uncomfortable and slow. (I would have given *nearly* anything to have a downstairs bathroom.) Some of my stitches became infected quite quickly so that needed sorting and I couldn’t concentrate for too long for about a week. My first car journey after the operation was so uncomfortable I cried. 20mph on a smooth road felt like I was on 2 different rollercoasters at the same time. One that drops and one that goes 0-60mph in quick time. During my first shower at home since coming from hospital I had to lie down half way through in fear of passing out. It’s amazing how much effort you use daily in things that you’d normally take for granted. I also couldn’t lie down and slept propped up with pillows. It has only been the last week or so that I can sleep on my side and I am not comfortable yet on my belly (my preferred sleeping position as it so happens). I can’t thank enough the friends and family that have visited, brought food, flowers and cards and messaged with kind words and gave me the support I didn’t know I needed during that time and even checking in now.

One month on and I’m back to walking up straight and doing things around the house. I still can’t bend forward or put any force into anything and the doctor gave another month before I’d be back to *feeling myself and 2 months before I would *actually be back to myself. Two different things that I’ve noticed as you may feel great but your body won’t have fully recovered inside.

You’ll notice there’s no photos on this post. Not because I didn’t take any, I did because I’m savage like that, but because I don’t want to remember or show the meek, cold colours in the room, I want to remember and recall the warmth of the people.

I’m always over on Instagram if you want a chat @lorenjessica_

DIY Drinks Cabinet Renovation

HOME RENOVATION, Uncategorized

I love a good renovation project whether the project is mine or not and I can always appreciate a before and after shot on Instagram for a job well done. Sometimes a smaller project (other than the rooms we are currently doing in our own home) are great to do as you see the result a lot quicker and can mainly do them yourself, not like our current bedroom renovation where we have had tradespeople in/waiting for lockdown to end etc. 

The DIY I’m talking about today was a project that my sister started. Soon to be moving she wanted a drinks cabinet to go in her new place and found one she liked on Facebook Marketplace for £10. She then chose furniture paint in duck egg blue and decorative wallpaper, both from Laura Ashley which came to £16 for both.

It soon turned into a family project as with DIY we all like to get involved in some way and the cabinet had been deconstructed and sanded, with the bulk of the structure painted before I got involved. The doors were then painted taking 3 coats as it was pale blue covering a dark wood. This being said there is still some paint left (maybe for another mini project?)

Once the painting had been completed and fully dried it was time to apply the wallpaper to the inside of the cabinet. They were sanded, again to give the smooth wood an abrasive layer for the glue to sink in. Each section was different in size so needed measuring, marking and cutting out from the roll. It was decided that the more of the peacock print the better and the floral splitting up the panels so the sections were pretty precise in their marking up. Doing this I believe gave the best effect and although it did use a little more paper than it could have it was definitely worth it. It was a standard length of wallpaper so we had plenty to work with and plenty left over but if I was to do a similar project with patterned paper it would make me think about the pattern, which parts I wanted more of and using this to calculate how much paper or vinyl actually needed.

We used PVA glue to attach the paper inside and it really worked well for a project like this instead of wallpaper paste as would be the standard. Once the paper was measured, cut and glued the task then fell to my mum to apply to the wood, she’s the one who wallpapers in the house and arguably has the eye for detail with things like this.

My sister then drilled the handles back onto the doors and the drawer so the decoration part was finished but not the project as a whole just yet. The drawer on the cabinet is a fake however my dad is making it into a real drawer by attaching runners and a base for it to also be used as a pull out tray for when drinks are served, they are just waiting on some parts to arrive to complete it and I can’t wait to see what it’s like finished.

Let me know if you’ve got any big or little DIY projects on the go either in the comments or on Instagram.

I can say that it has definitely inspired me to 1. Have a drinks cabinet in the house and 2. Do a little furniture project of my own. 

You know maybe after finishing the bedroom, putting shelves up in the kitchen, retiling the bathroom. Yeah, after that. 

5 *Different* Places to Shop for Homeware

HOME RENOVATION

Sometimes we can find treasures in the unlikeliest of places. Where we are used to going into a shop and getting exactly what we want sometimes furniture and home wares – often being bigger purchases – can be a little pricier than our budget allows. I’m not a stranger to a few bargain buys from various places other than the highstreet and believe in the saying ‘one mans trash is another mans treasure’.

I do still love the highstreet and there are some homeware brands that I will always purchase from because once you’ve found your favourites it’s hard not to, but over the years have found some great prices in unexpected places and I thought I’d go into a little detail about some of the other places I’ve made homeware purchases from.

1. The car boot. I have found some absolute treasures in the car boot and during summer I like nothing more than to head head out on a Sunday morning looking for a bargain. My favourite car boot find probably has to be my Fortnum & Mason large hamper for £4. It was half hidden and covered in blankets but I managed to see half of the print and had to have it. Car boots can be hit and miss and sometimes the only thing we’ll purchase is a cup of tea but other times I have been known to have left with 2-3 things, including a 20p Paris print in my living room. I tend to look for stalls that are clearly someone just having a spring clean, as I would, and have items that look well cared for.

Bargain Fortnum & Mason Hamper

2. Facebook marketplace. Another place I have previously purchased from. Now handed to my mum, I bought an IKEA cabinet from Facebook marketplace that sat in my hallway for shoes storage. I will say here that if you’re looking for something in particular going online can be a bit difficult. In relation to the cupboard in the hallway this is the old design unit and wasn’t the same as the one in the living room, even though they are both IKEA and technically the same product the style was updated at some point. Luckily they weren’t side by side but there is a requirement to potentially look at avoiding this in the future if I was ever to buy again to purchase another one or something similar to a product I already had.

3. Friends and family. When we first purchased our house hardly anything in it was new. The dining room table was one that my in-laws had in their garage. My bedroom chair was one that my mum wasn’t using and we covered to match our decor. Our bedside tables and wardrobe at the time were from friends that were having a house clearance. I’m sure I could go round the whole house and pick up furniture with a similar story and we are very grateful that we had the opportunity to save money when we first moved in with help from friends and family.

4. Charity shops. Much like with clothes there can be some absolute bargains to be found in local charity shops and some dedicated to just furniture. In here there is anything from coffee tables to three-piece suites and wardrobes at low prices. Sometimes these items may not be classed as modern however with a little paint the shabby chic style isn’t hard to achieve. I’ve done this myself with a few pieces of furniture including a previous wooden armchair and bedside tables that were previously my mother-in-law’s which I painted up to match our colour scheme in the bedroom at the time. More recently my sister purchased a classic cabinet and beautifully renovated it to match her new flat.

For number 5 I have to give an honourable mention to the bargain corner in IKEA. Although it is technically brand new and straight from the shop they have regular deals on ex-display furniture only found in store. These items can vary but sometimes you can find just what you were looking for as I did. I had been wanting Hermes bedside tables for a couple of months and at the time I couldn’t afford them. I then found them in bargain corner at £35 each saving around £50 off the usual RRP at the time because they were ex-display. They were in great condition and just needed the fixings removing. Similarly I was looking for a white gloss kitchen table but couldn’t see it on the shop floor. Lo and behold there it was, the exact one I wanted, fresh from display and marked down to £105.

It is always a good feeling when what you wanted goes into down in price at the right time and when you’re spending that little bit more on big items like furniture the more saving the better right?

Have you found bargain homewares at any of the places mentioned or have any other ideas on where to look?