17 March 2011


The bed was already there. I tried not to think about how many other people had slept on it otherwise I might have never lied down myself. But just to be safe, and because I am little bit crazy, I used two mattress pads and 2 sheets on the bottom. Because thin pieces of fabric will protect you.

That is the way it is in most flats in London. They come fully furnished. It is great on one hand because it meant Rhys and I didn't have to buy furniture and worry about the cost, and then move it from place to place. But on the other hand it meant that in my entire married life I have never owned, picked out or had a say in the entire furnishing of my house. The bed and mattress included.

The mattresses in both our flats were awful. I mean really, really awful. Bumpy, springs sticking out, sagging in the middles, uneven- awful. You would think that after the first flat we would have learned. Check out the location, bathroom, kitchen, make sure the mattress is in one piece. But it is something you don't really think about when you are looking to move.

The bed in Rhys' parents house is much nicer. However, it was Rhys' old bed so it has been around for a while. It is not awful, but it is not brilliant either. Which means that for the last 4 years the beds Rhys and I have slept on have been, uh... less than desirable.

Why am I telling you this? Because the bed/mattress (and perhaps the couch) will be the only exception to our new rule. What is this rule you ask?

The $50 Rule

That's right people, the $50 rule is coming to play in our house. I have borrowed the idea from my friend Abby. She is pretty awesome and you can read all about her over HERE. Her blog is full of great ideas and inspiring life moments. Her '$50 project' results are incredible, I strongly suggest you take a look. Which is why it has inspired Rhys and I to do the same.

To furnish our new home, everything we buy must be $50 or less. Simple. We are excited about the possibilities. Thrift stores, garage sales, the side of the road...the options are endless really. We both like to do 'crafty' things. Rhys is quite the handy repairman, is good with carpentry and can build just about anything. I like to sew, paint and can come up with some unique uses for everyday things. Combine our talents and we are convinced that we can take what we find and make it perfect for our home.

We have created some caveats to our rule:
1.The bed and mattress can cost more than $50. Heck, it can cost whatever it takes to have a comfortable bed. We are ready for some restful sleep!
2. The couch. We may or may not find a good couch for $50. (I am thinking may not is more realistic) but we will limit ourselves. We are primarily looking on craigslist and closeouts.
3. If the initial price is $50 or less, but it goes slightly over to fix it up nicely, that's ok too. Not hundreds and hundreds. But if we are careful in choosing our pieces, and dedicated to making them our own, then we will give ourselves some leeway in the $50 rule.
4. Things given to us dont count. If we are not buying it, it doesn't have to cost less than $50. For example, my brother has given us his old kitchen table. When I say old, I really just mean they wanted a new one. The one they gave us is perfect and way more than $50. But that's ok, because it is a gift. To us it was free- well within the $50 rule!

I am pretty pumped about our new plan. Because we are going straight from the UK to my parents house until we get settled, we will have some time to sort ourselves out furniture wise. Which is another reason this plan fits so perfectly. We have time to buy and refurnish pieces. We have the storage space at my parents and the extra help of mom and dad. I know that I tend to get overly excited, and I know that I have a tendency to be unrealistic. But whether or not we can stick to this plan for an entire house is irrelevant. We are going to try our very best, and I can say with 100% certainty that it will be a heck of a lot of fun trying to!


Katie said...

Ooo, I LOVE this idea! If we are able to sell our house and buy the one we like, I would love to make this a rule. Yay for some creativity!

Would you come sew some pillows for me? I can't sew. :(

Stefanie said...

You can do it! Although we didn't follow a $50 rule, most of the furniture in our house was either deeply discounted in stores, from Craigslist or flea markets, or hand-me-downs. We can work on projects together, yes? I have lots of sanding & spray-painting experience :)

sarah said...

you can totally do that. i can think of one piece of furniture we've bought since we've moved here that cost more than $50 (excluding the couches...). it does involve a lot of creativity, painting, and being willing to wait to find a good deal, but i really like how our house is turning out. you can also try freecycle to get free crap from people who don't want it anymore.