I never intended for this blog to become a record of only child-related corners. But somehow, without my intending to, it’s looking a little child-focussed. So, fresh from my kitchen window pondering,I thought I’d sort out another more grown-up corner.
Up until a few hours ago, this was what my side of the bed in our room looked like. The fan was out because I was ill recently and Oli very kindly set it up to cool me down a bit. (And of course neither of us has put it away. Oh well.) I had stacked up some magazines and books on the floor ready to read… where they are effectively totally out of my reach as I am now so pregnant I can barely reach my own knees. Oh, and the top two drawers were almost entirely full of Stuff, but I never opened them. Rarely a good sign.
The old bedside table itself was a very kind hand-me-down from Oli’s family when we first moved into our own house, and found ourselves with no furniture and virtually no money. It is not the table I would choose, but equally has been much better than no bedside table whatsoever, which was our only alternative at the time. So now, only six years on, it was time for a change.
But, ye gods how EXPENSIVE are bedside tables? I kept seeing nice ones, and then becoming incoherent with disbelief at how much they cost. A couple of hundred pounds? For something that is basically a SHELF for my night cream, lamp and a cuppa?! And that’s without the fact that I wanted to buy two of them, so any prices I found were effectively doubled. I realised belatedly that, as with so much else, my expectations of what I should be paying for a decent bedside table were so wildly out of kilter with anything available anywhere that I was going to have to improvise.
It goes without saying that I have plenty of plans of what I would do if I had any kind of budget here. On the reasonable side, Warren Evans was the place where we got our wonderful bed, and they do a lovely range of simple, wooden bedside cabinets. If money were really no object I would definitely go for something metal and embossed like this one….. oooh, slight diversion on the Graham and Green website going on now. Wouldn’t a pair of these be fabulous? And a snip at only £450.00 each…. *weeps silently into laptop*
You can see from this picture that we don’t currently have space for two bedside tables (you can also see what I realise looks like a person in our bed, but is in fact my fabulous pregnancy pillow…). But that notwithstanding, I still wanted to get two matching ones. Longer-term, the plan is to move the radiator in our bedroom to a bit closer to the bed. This should then result in a cosier room, and also a long blank wall where the wardrobes can go. Which means that the chest of drawers can shift to where the wardrobes currently are. Like one of those puzzles, everything can then slot around the board and fall into place. Needless to say, for the moment, moving a radiator might actually be at the bottom of our list of priorities, so my interim plan was to buy two matching bedside tables, and to stick one in the attic until needed.
So off I went to ebay. I wanted two tables. I wanted them to be wooden. I wasn’t averse to a bit of painting. We already have the dark wood from Oli’s chest of drawers, and the mid-coloured wood of our bed, so I decided not to worry too much about matching. I spent a couple of evenings, over a couple of months, searching for what was out there. I was looking for something we could pick up ourselves, so something reasonably local to us.
I struck gold!Two of these beauties set me back thirty British pounds, an amount of money that was much more in line with what I’d been hoping to spend. Although I’d started my hunt assuming I would end up painting the tables white, once these had arrived I realised I rather like them the way they are. The wood is a bit orangey, but not in a dated knotty pine way, just in a ‘bit more orange than I would choose, if I were spending proper money on these’ way. I wouldn’t rule out painting them, or perhaps only part of them, at some point in the future, but for the moment they will more than do. They are sturdy and solid, the drawers run smoothly, and apart from one minor ‘ding’ in the wood (which you can just see, on the right hand side here above the drawer) they are in great condition. I am a happy ebayer.
Obviously my first task was to clear out the corner. During which I made some important discoveries. Namely that I do not need to buy any more foot cream. Or hand cream. Or body cream. I keep an assortment of these kind of things in my bedside table, in the hopes that I will get into a regular habit of anointing myself with them. Evidently what I’m good at is buying the creams and putting them in the cabinet. What I’m less good at is rationalising my stocks. And actually using the damn things.
I also suddenly noticed how bare the walls are above my new bedside cabinet. Obviously they have always been bare, but now, with my new minimalist approach, they suddenly strike me as calling out for something lovely. Maybe some family photos? Or some framed postcards? I will give it some thought.
I’d intended to get a basket to sit on the shelf underneath (lovely, lovely baskets), but at the last moment I had a change of heart, and decided to stack my ‘to read’ pile there instead. I would like in an ideal world to have some more decorative things on top of the table: perhaps a vase or an ornament of some kind. As it is, even having my beloved ‘giant diamond’ paperweight is rather asking for trouble whilst India is so curious, so clumsy, and so wayward. So that too will have to wait.
But for now, as an interim solution, I am tremendously pleased. A total bargain, and a complete transformation, all for only £30, and an hour or so’s sorting through random tubes of foot cream. Brilliant.