This is not a post about minimalism. This is, in fact, a post about buying something new, which I think is okay to do every now and then. We don’t buy new stuff that often, not only because we have minimalist aspirations, but because we are graduate students. In its simplest distillation, this means that we are poor. And happy, and over-caffeinated. Also that for the last three and a half years (since we’ve been married) we’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor. This is not because we’re so minimalist that we eschew furniture. Just that we couldn’t quite afford a real bed.
This is what our bedroom has looked like (the dresser is one my wonderful parents got for me at a secondhand store when I was in college. The table is from my husband’s student days. Even the lamp, jewelry stand and quilt are gifts/hand-me-downs. The only things we’ve purchased new are the alarm clocks.)
Posh, eh? But here is a secret that will surprise no one: I love shelter blogs. They’re not exactly minimalist (well, most of them aren’t) but I love the creativity that people pour into their apartments/houses/airstream trailers. I love the idea of home. And I’d like to make our home a little more, well, homey. Still, we’re graduate students. I didn’t think a bed frame would be within our budget.
Then…we went to Ikea!
Probably we should have gone to the secondhand store. In fact, we’ve been to several, looking for a bedframe, but never found one in good condition that we both liked. Also, we don’t have a truck, and it would have cost as much to rent one as to buy a cheap Ikea bed in a flatpack and drive it home. We spent a good while strolling around Ikea like starry eyed yokels (there isn’t one in our hometown – we were in an Ikea city for a wedding). My husband was totally enamored of this loft bed in a tiny model apartment:
I, however, had the childhood nickname “Grace.” Not without irony. To me, that bed is just a trip to the emergency room waiting to happen. So I’m very glad to be able to say that we found a bedframe within our (loooow) budget that was a little closer to the ground. I had a couple of other ground rules (ha!) about the purchase. For one, no thinly veneered particle board. If we’re going to buy something this big brand new, my sustainability credo dictates that it has to be something that will last a lifetime. It also had to work with our existing mattress and box spring. I’m not looking to replace something that works perfectly fine. Third, it had to fit our $100 spending limit. And on this shining Ikea day, we were in luck:
This, my friends, is a depiction of the lovely “Leirvik,” which I’m pretty sure is Swedish for “super affordable bedframe that reminds you of the one you grew up with”. It’s like the white four poster from my childhood bedframe married the brass bed my husband grew up with. Sort of fitting, really. We had help getting it out of the flatpack:
Fat George is always helpful. We learned something from this experience about ourselves, as well: we as a couple are capable of assembling a piece of Ikea furniture without killing each other. Perhaps a few snarky comments were traded, but all in all, our marriage emerged from this adventure unscathed. And so it is that I can happily offer…the big reveal:
Ta-Da! That’s Fat George peeking out from the new favorite cat hangout – under our bed. I think it’s remarkable the difference one piece of furniture makes. My husband and I finished assembling it, put the sheets and blankets back on, and agreed: we feel like grown ups now. Granted, we’re grown ups who still have to do homework. But at least I can now do mine sitting in the comfort of my lovely new bed.