So one of my goals for this year for my blog was to be more transparent with you guys. While I know that looking at pretty pictures is something we all love (yep, me too), sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that the people who own these homes we see in all their glory on Pinterest, in magazines or on blogs and websites have areas that are yet to be sorted out or that they feel a bit embarrassed about, right?
I remember how many times I’d shown people our second bedroom before it was turned into my office. It was an UGLY room, basically just storage for lots of crap and the responses were nearly always the same, “Oh my god, I’m so glad you have a space like this in your home too.” “Oh, that’s a relief! I thought I was the only one to have a spare room like this!” And that’s exactly why I’d show it off. Because, while there are plenty of pretty finished parts of my house, we are still normal people with normal budgets and it takes time to tick every single thing off the list.
The truth is, we ALL have little pockets in our home that we’d rather the general public not see. The drawer in the kitchen that seems to breed junk, a closet packed to the rafters that still needs sorting out, an attic or loft space that’s bursting with decorating mistakes of the past (yeah, I’ve got one of those too!). But today, I’m gonna share with you the horrible, shameful wall in my bedroom that I’m always embarrassed about.
Obviously the images shown above are the sides of the bedroom you always see… but have you ever wondered what’s on the opposite wall? I’ve actually shared our ugly wardrobe situation once before on the blog but it was so long ago, I imagine many of you won’t really remember it or wouldn’t have seen it. And since then, it’s gotten worse. Brace yourselves.
Now, I don’t know what it is about these old houses built at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century in this country but none of them have closets. We don’t have any storage in our home whatsoever that’s actually purpose built and so what you end up with is either a lot of freestanding storage or you need to carve out areas to get them built in.
Why I have lived with these horrible wardrobes for so long is actually a two fold issue.
First, I couldn’t initially decide what would be better: freestanding wardrobes or built in wardrobes. The biggest issue with the built ins was the narrow window on the far side of the wall which I didn’t want to block and the fact that on the opposite wall, the doorway is there. This means the wardrobes couldn’t go from wall to wall as they normally would be done and it might just look like a giant bank of doors in the centre of the wall with no natural place for them to start or end. Secondary to that, whilst custom built ins provide more storage than freestanding, we wouldn’t be able take them with us when we moved and when you are talking about thousands of pounds we wouldn’t necessarily recoup when selling, it seemed a bit of a waste of money.
A couple other things you might be thinking, “Couldn’t Wayne just build something for you?” Yes, probably but waiting for Wayne to build me some wardrobes when he works a full time job plus helping me out on every other area of the house means I’d probably be waiting another 3 years for him to do it. “Couldn’t you just get some Ikea Pax wardrobes and DIY something?” Possibly, but when it came down to it, I didn’t want a huge bank of doors. When we’d originally viewed the house, this is what the previous owners had and I didn’t really like it. I just don’t like how they look and I couldn’t justify spending a lot of money on something that wasn’t great quality that ultimately I’d feel very ‘meh’ about later. “Couldn’t you just paint the ones you have to make them disappear a bit?” Yes, but I didn’t want to spend time and money upcycling something I actually wanted to get rid of. The phrase “rolling shit in glitter” comes to mind.
And that brings me to the second problem – budget. I didn’t have a few grand to spend on built ins especially when I couldn’t decide on a configuration that seemed visually pleasing. So I settled on looking for some good quality wardrobes instead of built ins. The price would be less than the built ins but I wanted something that was built to last in a style that would work with the rest of the space. However, when I started looking at what was available on the market, for the sizes and styles I liked, I was still looking at well over £1000 for something of decent quality (bearing in mind I needed more than one) and even these were few and far between.
I considered vintage wardrobes as well but I couldn’t find ones that had the kind of space requirements I needed and if they did, I couldn’t figure out how to get them up the (narrow) stairs and into the room in one piece. So vintage, unfortunately, was out.
So with all these issues swirling around in my head, the money I did have kept getting prioritised to other areas of the house. This wardrobe situation just kept getting moved down the priority list and kept getting ignored (and I’ll be honest, Wayne really didn’t care seeing as that big 3 door wardrobe is what he had when we moved in together!). As time wore on, I stopped seeing these horrible wardrobes that totally took away from the rest of the room and just pretended they weren’t there.
Until this year, that is. I had three big priorities from my 2016 goals post: I wanted to sort out the dining room (nearly there), I wanted to finally finish the kitchen (making plans on that one) and I wanted to sort out this wardrobe situation once and for all.
I had already decided that built-ins were out and that finding a set of vintage wardrobes were also out. That lead to me keeping my eye out for some nice new wardrobes that didn’t break the bank. This search went on for AGES. Every time those ugly wardrobes made me wince (which was pretty often), I’d go online and check out loads of different options. I’ve considered every finish under the sun but finally decided that due to the size, my best bet would be something that sort of disappeared into the black walls rather than try to make these big huge things some kind of feature in the room. Because I needed a couple of them, I didn’t want them to be the focus when you walked into the space – I wanted the focus to be on the other side of the room – the pretty side!
Finally, I came across the Constance range on Very. The style was perfect – a little bit traditional with nice details without being too ornate or showy, a combination of shelves and drawers, with non-mirrored doors that opened outwards rather than slid across a track.
The price wasn’t too bad either. They were listed at £800 for the 3 door wardrobe and £600 for the 2 door wardrobe and both in solid oak rather than laminate. At that price, they were neither too cheap and flimsy nor were they wildly expensive and the reviews on site were good.
Now, I knew Very often had sales and I didn’t want to pay full price because well, I’m a bit of a cheapskate. So I decided to bide my time and wait to see if they went on sale. Sometimes, they’d be £50 off and I’d be tempted but I was sure I could get a better bargain. I was a little scared at some point after I’d been watching these for about 6 months or so that they might be discontinued but I couldn’t bring myself to purchase them at full price.
That was until this weekend as it was a Bank Holiday here in the UK and every retailer seems to have sales on. And a sale they had. The 3 door wardrobe was reduced from £800 to £479 and the 2 door was reduced from £600 to £359. JACKPOT. It was nearly like buying the 3 door and getting the 2 door for free. I jumped and ordered them for delivery next week.
You have no idea how excited I am to finally – after nearly 6 years (cringe cringe cringe) – to check this off my list. I can not WAIT to see the back of these ugly beasts. Yes, we still have ugly carpeting in this room and that still needs to be sorted out but I’ll actually have my storage in here completed! Hurrah!
So get ready for a little before and after soon. Are you shocked I’ve been living with something so ugly for so long? What do you think of my choice? Ever live with something really ugly for far too long because you couldn’t quite find what you were looking for? Go on, fess up!