One recent rainy Saturday, my two best boys and I headed for IKEA.
Our mission? To sit on every sofa in the store whilst saying "oooh this one is comfortable!" (Mikey) to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible (Darren) and to buy a shoe rack, another book case and some extra storage boxes for the kitchen shelves (me.)
Despite my commitment to reading books via my Kindle, so as not to actually drown in piles of books (actually this sounds like absolutely the way I would choose to die), they were still threatening to overspill the living room shelving so we needed to deal with it.
Upon getting home, Darren was vastly bemused that after moving all the DVDs to where the books once were and moving the CD rack (yes, we still have one...) in order to fit two thin book cases where one massive one used to be (because I forgot that I couldn't just put the new one next to the old one due to a beautiful wrought iron clock which hangs from the living room wall that neither Darren nor I remembered was actually there when we measured the space) and moved that massive one to behind the sofa... I then proceeded to donate a huge box of books to charity and if i'd done that in the first place would not have needed the new storage at all.
Because... Lianne Logic.
Buying new furniture always gives me the opportunity to take stock of what we have and how very very lucky we are. When I look around our house I can't help but feel incredibly grateful for all the things that we have been given towards it. Our big beautiful king sized wooden bed was given to us when my Daddy and Stepmum bought a new bed. Our bedside cabinets and hope chest came from my Mum's house, as did lots of little things like candle sticks and gravy boats. I have a gorgeous carved cupboard in the living room that belonged to my Stepmum that inspired me to decorate the living room in red and black so as to match its gorgeous dark wood rather than part with it. Our house is filled with things that remind us of our beautiful family - a mirror that I won't part from, even though it's unflatteringly green and a corner (cunningly hidden under a yoga chart) cracked off it when my Daddy screwed it to the wall because it was mine as a teenager and I feel like a time traveller every time I look into it. A slightly green time traveller.
A candle that says "keep calm and drink tea" which my awesome sister Lucy bought me for Christmas. The chimney my brother James welded. The construction rubble my brother Josh helped to shift. A collage of our wedding photos on canvas that our friend (and wedding photographer) Adele bought us for our first anniversary. Cushions from my glorious mother in law. Books that my friend Lisa wrote in pride of place on our new shelves. A book my friend Zoe found for us called "Starchild." Our enormous kitchen table... and it's not just the stuff - this whole house is smothered with love in the form of work done on it. Walls plastered and painted by my Stepdad, the bathroom and kitchen that he built for us. Pictures and candle sconces my Dad has hung on the walls, a piece of skirting board he made to match the existing one and bent every drillbit we tried to use to screw the damn thing to the wall. A star-finished finial for Mikey's bedroom curtains that he made. A shower he helped me seal. Walls my friend Rachel helped me to strip and others who helped me to paint.
I heard someone in IKEA whining about wanting new furniture because their house was full of hand-me-downs and whilst I can completely understand the allure of having sparkling new matching furniture that reflects your own individual tastes - even without having OCD, this would appeal to me on some levels - nothing will ever make your house feel like a home than one which is a collaboration of all the people who mean the most to you.
So thank you to to all the people who have made us gifts of their time, skills and who have also provided furniture. Thank you for loving us.
Ziggy played guitarrrrrraaaaarrrrraaaarrrrrr
Title: Oh You Pretty Things by David Bowie