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Furnishing a flat from scratch - tell me your best buys!

(35 Posts)
butterbeanplant Sat 21-Sep-19 18:37:38

DH and I are about to move in together. For a complicated series of reasons (me living in furnished accommodation, him losing a box whilst moving two years ago) we barely own anything. A bed, old pots and pans / a runner rug from his nana / a few little plants. Not even a bedside table or a vacuum cleaner.

So MN, tell me what you can’t live without. What are your best buys, in particular for the kitchen but more generally. What must I absolutely get?!

OP’s posts: |
BlueBirdGreenFence Sat 21-Sep-19 18:49:34

A slow cooker and lots of snuggly throws to make it homely.

butterbeanplant Sat 21-Sep-19 20:42:47

Slow cooker is necessary!

OP’s posts: |
HollowTalk Sat 21-Sep-19 20:46:40

Lamps for the bedroom and living are vital, imo.

butterbeanplant Sat 21-Sep-19 21:07:34

Hadn't thought about lamps tbh. I'm looking for lamp shades at the moment.

OP’s posts: |
WannabeGlamper Sat 21-Sep-19 21:37:56

I'd love to furnish my home afresh using a mixture of new things and secondhand furniture from charity warehouses etc. Or Vinterior has lots of lovely vintage furniture. I'd also go to local charity shops to see what I could find.

I didn't have this mentality at all when I furnished my first home.

WannabeGlamper Sat 21-Sep-19 21:39:02

I do love my new Henry hoover though 😉.

TeacupDrama Sat 21-Sep-19 21:48:30

absolutely vital

something to sit on, somewhere to sleep, somewhere to put your clothes
do you have room for a table and chairs
do you have cutlery and china?

what you really need
KITCHEN:- kettle frying pan, 2-3 saucepans, set of kitchen knives and decent scissors, roasting tin chopping board, large bowl for mixing/salad set of cutlery and china
what is good toaster microwave, wok if you do a lot of stir fries, potato masher, slotted spoon cheese grater lemon squeezer potato peeler, rolling pin stuff for baking kitchen scales
BATHROOM mostly this has what you need but might need a new shower curtain decent mirror bathroom cabinet loo roll holder
BEDROOM a bed a chest of drawers and somewhere to hang clothes ideally a closed wardrobe rather than a rail, a full length mirror would be nice as would bedside tables and a pair of lamps
LIVING ROOM a comfy sofa, if you can't eat in kitchen and don't have a separate dining room a table and chairs would be nice can double up as a desk a coffee table you don't want to be putting your cofee and wine on the floor then having to move to pick it up again
CLEANING STUFF depending on floors brush/ mop / bucket vacuum cleaner basic tool kit hammer screwdrivers nails so you can assemble your flat pack stuff, picture hooks, spare fuses and light bulbs tape measure so before you buy anything big you can check it will fit through doorways or go up the stairs
rugs throws cushions pictures are not essential but they do make it feel lived in and homely
if you are on a tight budget auction houses are great for tables and chairs, chest of drawers, coffee tables wardrobes these can be really cheap if you don't mind dark wood you might pick up lamps but they won't be tested as all auctions sell everything as object d'art not as working though 90% of the time they do (the same applies to watches and clocks) the only caveat is that you must be able to remove the furniture on day of sale or sometimes within 2-3 days you rarely get kitchen stuff and a lot of the old china has gilt edges so can't go in microwave or dishwasher but sometimes you can pick up huge sets for less than £30
sometimes you can pick up art for pennies too

Chilledout11 Sat 21-Sep-19 21:54:20

Dinner set
Kettle / toaster (Lidl had nice sets in recently) or next do vintage style on a budget.
Towels / tea towels
Agree with lamps. Floor lamps look great (argos inexpensive)
Cushions / large chunky cushions and throws
Pick an accent colour (mustard seems in at the moment)
Nice storage baskets to help keep the house clutter free
Art - framed photos or nice prints (flea markets great for these)
Table/nice coffee table books
Hand soap dispensers

endofthelinefinally Sat 21-Sep-19 21:57:13

Go to a British Heart Foundation shop in a posh town.
You can get everything for very decent prices.

Stroller15 Sat 21-Sep-19 21:57:14

Bed from eBay store. Delivery included and pretty good quality for a reasonable price. I was pleasantly surprised.

LimpidPools Sat 21-Sep-19 22:06:46

Decent pans, at least one decent cooking knife. Don't piss about here. Buy right, buy once. (Personally like Stellar stainless steel pans - last contacted their customer services a decade ago, but they were brilliant. Their lesser lines are Judge and Horwood and these are things it's worth checking tk maxx for. Also, an Oxo goodgrips peeler.)

Get a stick blender for soups. Ideally a stainless steel one that won't taint. And one with a mini-blender attachment for sauces/salsa/pesto. Don't put the lid of this through the dishwasher sad

Decent mattresses/pillows/bedding. And ideally linen, cos nice. And well rested people are nice people. I have no recommendations because I am not well rested people.

Decent quality towels are also good news. The John Lewis (and other) sales can be good news for this sort of thing.

And a Henry Hoover. Unless you have pets. Then probably a Miele or a Shark or something. But only Henry smiles at you grin

LimpidPools Sat 21-Sep-19 22:07:17

Oops. Much good news.

JohnLapsleyParlabane Sat 21-Sep-19 22:09:42

Nabru sofa. Ours is 10yo and still immaculate.
2nd hand furniture, but as good a mattress as you can afford.

butterbeanplant Sat 21-Sep-19 22:32:10

I'm learning so much. Keep 'em coming!

So Henry hoover a must? (why not if you have pets @LimpidPools??)

I have my eye on a nice wardrobe from John Lewis. DH more an Ikea man grin. Thanks @TeacupDrama @Chilledout11 that's a decent list! (didn't know about china and gilt edges shock)

Never heard of Nabru @johnlapsley I'm looking now.

Any specific recommendations for:
affordable but decent knives and pans
kitchen bin
nice washing basket?
where would you buy mirrors from?
Sales are coming up, anything I should look out for?

OP’s posts: |
LimpidPools Sun 22-Sep-19 00:42:19

I think there are other brands that do hoovers that are particularly good at working pet hair out of soft furnishings OP.

I live in a different country now, with a terrier with dreadful needle hairs that work their way into everything. I don't think a Henry would combat them, although I loved mine before I left the UK.

LimpidPools Sun 22-Sep-19 00:47:38

I mean, I say loved... Was pleased with might suffice. Don't love housework.

TheCraicDealer Sun 22-Sep-19 01:13:40

Marks & Spencers' hard adonised pans- really good considering the price and they often do 20% off home events which saves you a few quid. TK Maxx also do plenty of Joseph Joseph and Le Creuset stuff, so it's worth keeping an eye out in there too.

Sainsburys do 400TC sheets which are worth a go- plain white but very reasonable and very, very soft. Unfortunately side effects can include your DH refusing to allow any bedding less than 400 thread count over the door as a result.

Wardrobe wise the IKEA pax range is really hard to beat. Their most basic mattress option is also very comfortable (DSis has it, I have availed of it for naps) and is a Which? Best Buy. DH is also slightly obsessed with these light shades with metallic linings- admittedly they do give the room a lovely warm, cosy glow.

My favourite item of furniture in our house is a sideboard from Not only is it lovely and looks way more expensive than it was, we had an issue with the shitty local couriers and they were really understanding and sorted it all out.

YY to lamps as well- ambient lighting is your friend. I have the Philips Hue bulbs in most of our rooms which are great. Room sort of messy? Dim the lights using your phone and, voila- you can no longer see the washing up or unsorted laundry! You can also set wake-up routines or random timings for when you're on holiday which is great.

Good luck!

Sizeofalentil Sun 22-Sep-19 01:30:18

Nutribullet (we use ours for everything from soup to cakes to hummus), robot hoovers set to clean the floors x2 a day, Poundland does some great mugs, crackle wick (woodwick is the brand but Asda and tkmaxx do cheaper versions) candles, essential oil plug in diffuser and Zara home reed diffusers, fake wood burner from b&q for the fireplace, velvet Rupert sofa from Dunlem, ikea billy bookcases with glass doors and loads of throws.

If I was starting again / had time now, I'd get loads of secondhand furniture and paint with frenchic furniture paint so that it matches.

missbattenburg Sun 22-Sep-19 07:14:32

Make sure everything you sit on or lie on is 100% comfy. Buying a sofa just for looks (for eg) is a guaranteed way to waste your money and you'll soon be looking for a new one.

Good coffee machine
Quality toaster and kettle as you interact with them daily
Wide range of utensils

VeThings Sun 22-Sep-19 07:45:29

I prefer Miele hoovers to Henry or Dyson (have tried them all)

Lyingonthesofainthedark Sun 22-Sep-19 18:47:15

A Henry is high quality and cheap. So that.

You'll need a decent sofa, and a new mattress, and bedding. Everything else is a choice.

Think about Ebay and start looking now. To give yourself time and plan.

Have a colour scheme, keep it relatively simple. You can always add accent colours later.

Lima45 Sun 22-Sep-19 18:51:58

Seconding nabru for the sofa. We bought ours from them as we have a tiny hall and tight corners. Managed to get a huge corner sofa in.

Most comfy sofa ever.

Lima45 Sun 22-Sep-19 18:53:08

Also seconding Henry hoover.
I kill hoovers. Have dispatched vacs, dysons and own brands. Henry still going strong 3 years on

butterbeanplant Sun 22-Sep-19 21:57:46

Hadn't ever considered robot cleaner @Sizeofalentil now youtube-heavy research. Anyone else use them? Flat will be one floor, hardwood and carpet. No pets. Is it worth it? Do they do bathrooms?

@TheCraicDealer swoon is lovely. Serious Q, what do you use a sideboard for? Don't think we've ever had one.

Where would you look for a good rocking chair?

OP’s posts: |

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