Wednesday, January 25, 2012

One Nightstand, Two Nightstands

As I've mentioned many times before, most things cost quite a bit more here than they do in the States.  As a result, our house is furnished with a hodgepodge of items that we brought from home or bought here at IKEA and various discount furniture warehouses.  Since we don't have a car, shopping for home furnishings can be challenging, so I occasionally scan the listings on Gumtree -- the UK equivalent to Craigslist -- to see if anyone in the neighborhood is trying to offload something we could use.  (They do have Craigslist here, but no one uses it.) 

So far, all that we've netted through Gumtree is a couple houseplants we bought from some Americans down the street who were moving back to the US, but yesterday I spotted an ad for a matched set of pine bedside tables.  The seller not only lives in Wimbledon, but offered to deliver locally.  Score!  With all the visitors we are expecting this year, I really wanted to get some proper nightstands for our guest rooms.  We only have one, which we bought for £50 ($80!) at a furniture warehouse, that I've been moving back and forth between the two spare bedrooms depending on whether one or both rooms were in use.  A plant stand has been serving as a second nightstand, but can only hold a small lamp and not much else.
BEFORE: Plant stand on the left and our one existing nightstand on right
After a few emails back and forth with the seller, I was able to confirm that:
  • The nightstands would fit in my very narrow guest room
  • They were coming from a non-smoking, pet-free home
  • They were for sale because they were redecorating their bedroom and had already replaced them with new "shabby chic" white ones
  • The seller could deliver them this very evening
Sold!  For £40 ($62), these were a good deal.  They were much nicer than anything I'd be able to get at IKEA for that price.  In fact, I don't think I could even buy ONE decent nightstand at IKEA for £40.  The seller stopped by around 6 pm to drop them off.  He turned out to be a very sweet guy from South Africa (are there ANY Brits in Wimbledon?!) who lives right around the corner.  I think we were equally thrilled by how easy this transaction was. 
AFTER: Matching pine nightstands
I immediately set to work moving furniture around.  My "new" bedside tables fit perfectly in the guest room, and actually make the room feel a little bigger.  The small nightstand went back into the smaller guest room (yes, the other room is even tinier than this one!), next to the twin bed.  I haven't decided where to put the plant stand yet, but there's a good chance it may finally be put to use as a plant stand.  Thanks, Gumtree!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Plus, I love the title of this post. :) (On an annoying note, I just had my third possible trip to London in the past two months probably fall through. I didn't tell you about this one, because it's been so up in the air all along. But I will hope to see your guest bedside tables another time!)


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