Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Putting it all together

Today was one of those days when I blew off Plan A because I can do the Fair next weekend, and I didn't know until after it was too late to get there that there is a steam train event going on this week in Niles. I'll go there tomorrow.

Running around in the back of my mind for the past couple of weeks was the concept that now that I own a house, maybe I should get some furniture. What triggered this is that the bathroom remodel removed a big floor to ceiling cabinet which made the toilet area claustrophobic, and the plan was to put something small there which would be a good place to put my cell phone, or a book, while I was on the throne. 

I remembered Walmart as having things like that, some assembly required. I was already going there to refill my stash of Polident which, for reasons unknown, they sell for 1/3 of the going online price.

And then I thought Ikea has a lot of stuff, and I figured if I was going to Ikea, I should buy All The Things: The bathroom table, a work table for the office, a coffee table for in front of the sofa, and a small kitchen table. So I went to their web site, and found the latter three things and wrote them down.

So off I went. Walmart had nothing I was looking for, except the Polident. When I got to Ikea, the idea was to check out the stuff on the list, to see if it looked as good and felt as sturdy as it looked online. And maybe there would be something right next to it which was cheaper and nicer.

And there was. The nightstand was going to be the bathroom table, but I decided I did not want to mess with drawers. The things they had without draws were shoddy, lightweight. So no bathroom table.

The kitchen table and chair set got nixed because the chairs were cheap plastic and the table was too big. And I already have chairs. So instead I got a smaller, beautiful solid wood table. The coffee table was way overpriced for the quality, I found something for 1/3 of the price, again in beautiful solid wood. And while I was at it, I discovered their mix and match table top/legs deal. I was looking for something about 5' long, and that table top in faux wood brown matched legs for $3.50 each.

It took forever to get from the upstairs showroom to the downstairs self-service section, and about 5 minutes to figure out the shelf labeling system. I had made the mistake of thinking that the product number was the key, when it's more the aisle/bin number. Loaded up the flat cart, which was a Herculean task because tables are heavy and bulky and awkward.

There was a huge line at checkout, with some people ahead of me furnishing the entire neighborhood.

And then there was the wait for the elevator. Only one of the two was running. Stupid. And a pattern had developed where everyone who was going down would take the elevator up, which meant there was no room left when it was going down. They really needed someone to play traffic cop to fix that. They really needed both elevators working.

Got to the car, it was a long walk, and was surprised that everything fit just fine, with the back seats pushed down. It took some juggling to keep the cart from rolling away, but other than that it worked okay.

Home, parked on the street in front of the main steps, and staged the coffee and work tables next to the livingroom door and the kitchen table next to the kitchen door. Then parked the car in the carport and brought everything inside. One thing I love about this neighborhood is it's safe to leave stuff on the porch for a while, it will still be there when you get back. And I don't have to close the trunk before every grocery bag trip inside.

Dinner first. Heated up some stuffed grape leaves and slopped some cole slaw on the plate, and made some lime soda. Watched a couple of episodes of Hollywood Game Night and half of Restaurant Stake-out before starting construction.

First up was the coffee table, which I figured woud be the hardest because it has a shelf. It took a few minutes for the light to dawn that the reason that there was only one black plastic piece when they showed it being hammered in with a screw on all four legs is it was the template for making pilot holes for the shelf mounts. After that it was pretty easy.

Next up was the work table, which was more tedious but also easy. Five screws for each of the four plates which the legs screw into. But it was done in 20 minutes.

Finally I thought the kitchen table would be the easiest, but they fooled me. Four brackets had to be screwed into flat pieces to make a square frame (4 screws per bracket), the frame screwed into the bottom of the table top, 12 screws. The legs get a metal cylindrical insert which is a screw receiver, and a long screw-like headless rod screws into that. And that in turn is bolted into the bracket. Took 45 minutes for that one.

The good news is I got them all put together right the first time, they all look lovely. I now have a place to put my coffee table books, and a nice large work surface in the office and a little dining table in the kitchen which will also be a second island.

As for the bathroom, that was taken care of thanks to the air conditioning project. Where the aircon unit will go out by the carport, there was a small plastic porch chair and a small glass-top table. The chair came inside to be with its mate in the kitchen at the new table and the glass top table went into the bathroom. Birds. Stone.

Plans for tomorrow:
Niles for the steam trains
Janice for coffee late afternoon

Tags: household, interior design, remodeling

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