View Full Version : Furniture help

6th Sep 2008, 12:28
Firstly, apologies to mods if this is not appropriate.

I'm going to be a grown up for real soon, so will need to get a few essentials. I'm pretty clued up where to buy fridge/freezer, washing machine etc. I do have a slight problem though... I won't have a dining room in my new place and I won't have space for a dining table (or similar) to be in place permanently. I need to get a folding dining table with chairs that fit in under the table before you fold it to put away. (Am I making sense?).

I've looked at a few web sites (the regular furniture haunts) but can't find anything even remotely similar. I'm now looking for help from you folks.

Please bear in mind that I don't have vast amounts of cash to spend, and I'm not a fan of ebay or similar (picky, aren't I?)

Thanks in advance for any help.


6th Sep 2008, 13:16
I believe son bought just such a table and chairs from John Lewis.
Video:- http://www.flixfacts.co.uk/view/video-fl.php?l=en&d=22&f=john_lewis-81122240&cp=no&btg=WN5&t=fl&p=86&g=-1510996413803142343&txt=
360degree view:- http://www.flixfacts.co.uk/view/virtual.php?l=en&d=22&f=john_lewis-81122240&cp=no&btg=WN5&t=fl&p=86&g=-1510996413803142343&txt=

Union Jack
6th Sep 2008, 13:32
If you don't have vast amounts of cash to spend, this should meet your detailed specification http://tinyurl.com/6hp4km (http://tinyurl.com/6hp4km) :)

More seriously, try http://tinyurl.com/6fypql :ok:

Be safe, and stay picky!


Loose rivets
6th Sep 2008, 16:27
I know you have to get up and running quite quickly, but having all my stuff in storage in the UK for a long time left me looking in charity shops wherever I landed up. I have brought some super things for almost nowt.

The ideas was to give it back to charity when I'm finished with it, but some stuff has been so good that I want to keep it.

I got a beautiful rosewood desk. Huge, and with only a few marks. It had cost $3,500 and I picked it up for $50.

I know you don't want huge old stuff, but a single quality item purchased now, could last you for years. Some kids spend a fortune on new stuff, and it's valueless in a year.

And brickabracking is just such good fun.

6th Sep 2008, 17:00
Thanks all, for your help so far.

Loose rivets, I'm a big fan of second-hand stuff, as I'm getting a sofa/chair, cooker, wardrobe and a fair amount of other stuff from friends/colleagues/local ads. I'll have a look in my local charity shops as well, to see if I can find something interesting...

Thanks again folks.


6th Sep 2008, 17:08
Ikea does a table of this sort. Worth checking out if you're got one nearby. :ok:

Charity shop bargains can be great, I agree.

6th Sep 2008, 18:00
Hang on - this is a pilots' forum... and you're asking about growing up.

Didn't anyone tell you......? ;)

Loose rivets
6th Sep 2008, 18:22
Sometimes charity shops can be very annoying.

When I thought I would retire, I purchased some new clothes and threw away some of the older ones. One was from Marks the Tailors in Colchester c 1959 ...try as I would, it wouldn't do up. :\ <<<my face when trying. Two I got in 1971, so it was perhaps time they went.

I took the blazer to Texas where it languished in the wardrobe until the last spell at home. So, I'd paid 60 quid or so for it. Carted it at least twice across the Atlantic and hung it up in the flat. While out walking, I popped into Oxfam for some better class of wine glasses (not kidding) and there, in a long line of jackets was my blazer. Well, very like mine. So like it in fact that one could not tell the difference...save that it was obviously less traveled than mine. Four f:mad:kin' quid !!!

Mind you, a posher class of cast-offs are expected in Frinton.;)

6th Sep 2008, 20:28
I second the IKEA option; they have one layout in our local store that shows an entire living and sleeping area in little more than a 2m x 2m space. Good quality too, much better than MFI or the others.

6th Sep 2008, 21:13
I'm a bit confused as to the Ikea suggestion. I've trawled their website and I can't find anything like what I'm looking for. Maybe I've actually got to go to the store... which is good news as I can have some meat balls and buy lots of other stuff I don't really need :}


Beatriz Fontana
6th Sep 2008, 22:06
Try the 'Freecycle' websites. Google the one closest to you. It's a community of people who are getting rid of - or in need - of stuff. My local list regularly advertises sofas, chairs, bookcases, dining tables, you name it. Well worth joining the list as everything is free. All you need to do is arrange for transport to pick it up.

I have a very nice bookcase courtesy of the list...!

7th Sep 2008, 21:57
Oooh yes freecycle is good. Just this week I freecycled two boxes of kitchen tiles. Couldn't take them back as the shop had gone under so on they went.

Ikea may have changed their stock, but they did do just the sort of thing you wanted Glam.

7th Sep 2008, 23:25
Thanks Lexxity and Beatriz.

I'll check out Ikea when I get up there and I've joined up on my local Freecycle group. Will just have to figure out something to offer before I'm allowed to ask for something, but it should be good when I get it all figured out.

Thanks again for your help.


Ps. If anyone's got any good tips for first time "grown up" living, feel free to advise. It's the first time I'll be living on my own in my own place so it's kinda scary!!! Thanks, folks.

Lon More
7th Sep 2008, 23:34
I saw something while back; the (folding) chairs were hung up on the wall; like artwork. Depends on whether you want to risk the wrath of the landlord.

8th Sep 2008, 00:02
Lon More,

I won't have to worry about the landlord as it'll be me (finally, my own place!) I did consider the hanging chairs on the wall option, but haven't got enough wall space. Got plenty of cupboards though...


8th Sep 2008, 01:04
What, pray, is your objection to the John Lewis table and chairs (which stow inside the folded table)? The price is reasonable IMO when you consider the quality.

Der absolute Hammer
8th Sep 2008, 07:12
Auction houses...once a week general sales?
Fun, sometimes great bargains, especially unfashionable oak etc.
Go for quality.In England buy second hand Millers antiques guide/£1? Give you a price idea. Learn to spot the dealers. Bid in just as they stop.
Do not forget buyer premium.
Ikea and all new stuff just absolute rubbish, no value. Good only for carving initials, like Bismark in Heidelberg!

8th Sep 2008, 09:41

I don't have any objections as such to the table you kindly suggested, it's a lovely one. In normal circumstances, I'd be straight on to the JL website, but having to pay for temporary accomodation (rather expensive) until completion, I'm worried about money. I would ideally like the one from JL, as it looks great and the quality is probably very good, but my purse is heading towards empty... Didn't mean for that to sound like a sob story, I just guess I have to have a bit of patience until I get my finances back on track.

Thanks again, G-CPTN, I really appreciate it.


8th Sep 2008, 09:47
Glam, see if you can find a local discount decorators, we had a vymura factory shop near here where wallpaper could be had for 99p a roll. Alas it has now shut down and the site sold to Barratts. :{

Get the freecycle mails for a few of your local areas delivered to your inbox, rather than logging in each time, you'll soon pick some good stuff up.

Get energy saving lightbulbs, these can also be picked up from your trip to ikea, as can duvets and curtains for a very reasonable price. :ok:
Get a few space saving bits and bobs too. Under bed storage will also be handy too so you can out your winter coats away and things like that.

Check your energy tarriffs first, make sure you are getting the best deal. look on www.moneysavingexpert.com (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com) for tips on things like that.

Get your first grocery shop delivered to save you hassle just after you've moved in. Tescos are worth looking at for the clubcard alone. We use our points to pay for days out.

Also it might be worth your while joining costco, buy in bulk, save money, but that depends on your storage situation.

8th Sep 2008, 10:18
Lexxity, wow, thank you! Very good adivise there. In regards to the Costco option, I might get together with some friends when buying in bulk and share (went there with a friend on her card once and toilet roll only comes in packs of 60-odd minimum:eek:).

I've written all suggestions in my new "How to live like a grown up" note book, so thanks once again, I really appreciate it.


Beatriz Fontana
8th Sep 2008, 11:27
A freezer and microwave will become your best friends...

The supermarkets will insist on making the cheat meals as meals for two, which means us single folk as relegated to the rot further down the ailse. However, a little preparation and forward thinking... buy the meal for two, slice in half, freeze it in its packaging (if possible) so you know how to cook it next time. Then defrost when required either overnight or zapped in the microwave.

And get to know someone who makes their own pies / pasties - such people always make too much... :ok:

8th Sep 2008, 12:14
Been there, done that, but a word of warning - don't buy something just because it is cheap. When we got married in 1971 we had bought a new house (100% mortgage, but we had to pay the insurance and the repayment) and had bought a secondhand Victorian Jacobean dining table from the local junk shop. After a honeymoon on the Isle of Man, we had £30 left in the World.
I had a (double) bed from my bachelor days and I made a hanging rail from a broom handle. I bought a (yellow) lavatory brush from the local hardware store as it was 'reduced to clear' - despite the fact that the toilet suite was blue. That yellow lavatory brush haunted us for years, as we were loathe to dispose of a perfectly functional brush just because of the colour, but . . .

I acquired a couple of truck seats from the chuck-out at work (50p each) and made a stool base from 1½inch square wood (glued and screwed, not jointed) and bolted the seats to them for dining chairs. Later on I got another two so we had a set of (heavy, but very comfortable) seats (suspension units incorporated!). I've just passed-on those very same seats to a tractor-restoration enthusiast, though we did inherit 'proper' dining chairs when my father died ten years ago.

The floors were wood-blocks so we didn't need carpets (though we did buy the cheapest quality bedroom carpet after a couple of months).
Of course, over the years we bought a three-piece suite from Joshua Taylor (still got the same suite) and a new bed (from Heals - still what I sleep on). We also bought drawer units from Habitat - still got them and using them. The cot was a hand-down (although the baby-care equipment was new from Mothercare).

The Victorian Jacobean dining table went to the sale room a couple of months ago . . . (and made more than we paid for it in 1970).

8th Sep 2008, 12:49
HI Glamgirl. I see you are LGW based, so have you thought of Furnihelp? They are a charity based in Horsted Keynes and they stock second hand everything from curtains/linen to kettles, tv's table,wardrobes etc..you get the picture! Not sure if you have to be on benefits to use them, or just low income/starting out..don't have their number to hand, but why not google them and give them a call? They are a friendly bunch- I took a load of linen down recently and they were over the moon...
Oh, and good luck too!! Where are you moving to?

8th Sep 2008, 14:14

Had a look at Furnihelp's website, and unfortunately I'm not eligible... But thanks anyway, appreciate it.

I'm staying in the same area, just joining village life instead, lol. Still got a month until I can get in though...:{


8th Sep 2008, 15:19
Glam you're welcome. I started out at 19 so have lots of useless advice to give. :ok:

We only started buying stuff that would last when we moved into this house, now I am moving upto buying classic pieces, like lloyd loom linen baskets, etc.

We still have the same bed we started out with, £109 king size from MFI. The wardrobes stayed at the last place, they were £20 in the sale sort of things, not great but did the job and everyone starts somewhere.

Do check ebay too. We got our conservatory furniture off it. £390 for a 2 seat sofa, two big armchairs and glass table, the previous owners had only had it for a few months and paid over 2k for it! So bargains, to be had.

Enjoy having your own place, it's scary but well worth it in the long run. :ok:

8th Sep 2008, 16:01
Lexxity, thanks again for wise words. I'm absolutely terrified, I have to say, but looking forward to it immensely as well. It's well overdue, that's for sure.

So far I have:

Bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers (huge!), cooker, coffee table (x2 for some reason), linen, towels, kitchen stuff (crockery, pots and utensils). I will buy a washing machine and fridge/freezer new from somewhere (still researching prices), and later the magic table will come, as soon as I can scrape some more money together. Might get a donated sofa at some point as well.

I'm very excited!!

Thanks again


8th Sep 2008, 17:12
Regarding white goods - I bought a large fridge/freezer seven years ago for £40 and it's still working well.

Even better, an AEG Lavamat washing machine for £15 (inc. delivery!) four years ago and it still works perfectly.

8th Sep 2008, 17:25
Indeed, whilst buying new (and therefore guaranteed) white goods makes sense, so does buying (wisely) secondhand from the local newspaper small ads. For a fraction of the price (secondhand electrical items fetch little other than scrap value, and that tends to be negative) and you can get something that could last you for five years or more. It's a lottery, but means the difference between £200 and £40 (or less). Insist on delivery and installation working before you part with all your money as some freezers don't like being tipped over . . .
Likewise insist on the connection hoses for washing machines, as buying them separately could cost you more than the unit.
Best thing is to find an informed man and commission him to acquire the items for you (or does that negate the 'growing up' bit?).

8th Sep 2008, 20:24
Again, freecycle is your friend for white goods too. Gives you breathing space to save up for new stuff.

Also check in your area for any shops that sell "damaged" white goods. We got our new washing machine from one such place. They buy damaged stuff, be it the boxes or slight marks on the equipment and sell it for much less than the real price. We paid £100 for a brand spanking new all singing, all dancing machine. :ok:

8th Sep 2008, 20:42
all singing, all dancing machineWhat does she want with a juke box?

10th Sep 2008, 01:30
Shelving - offcuts of suitable wood and bricks nicked from a local buliding site .... :ok: