Saturday, 17 July 2010

Furnishing the Flat

This afternoon I was on a mission to furnish my apartment. It's under 400 square feet, with a tiny bedroom so all I really need is a bed, a closet, a table and fridge.

When I tell people I need to furnish my flat, they all say, "Go to Ikea". But although the Swedish furniture store gives the impression of being cheap, things there are quite expensive especially when you add it all up.

And then other people suggest that if I don't mind used furniture, I should check out the expat websites for things that foreigners are trying to get rid of. However, most of the items there were either too large for my apartment, or too expensive for me. It also required constantly checking the listings for updates and pouncing on things as soon as possible; arranging for a truck to transport the items was another headache.

However, last weekend a friend of mine told me about a discount furniture store called DSC and headed to the location on the 15th floor of Windsor House in Causeway Bay, across from Ikea.

And the prices were pretty good -- some items were about the same as Pricerite or cheaper (definitely less than Ikea) so it made sense to buy everything here.

The bed was the trickiest to tackle. My bedroom dimensions are so small (190cm x 150cm) that I had to find a mattress and bed frame to fit in there. And then I needed a mattress that wasn't too soft and not too hard either in a decent price range.

There were some great bed frames where you could lift up the mattress with a hydraulic system to put things underneath.

However, because my dimensions were so tight, I was unable to get a bed like that and had to settle for one that did have storage space underneath, but it meant manually moving the mattress. Oh well. Better than nothing. They also threw in two free pillows.

Some of the closets were a good deal, but they didn't have any in stock and would take two to three weeks. So I had to upgrade to slightly more expensive ones in order to get them in one week. But the one I chose includes a mirror which I need anyway.

The kitchen table/desk was a no brainer -- the staff showed us a round wooden table complete with four chairs for only HK$799 ($102.85). I ordered one right away, but that may take two weeks to come. The sale of the table included being able to purchase cutlery for just under HK$100 ($12.87) so why not?

Because I bought the bed at a certain price, I got a HK$500 discount, and the total of all my purchases was just under HK$8,000 ($1,029). If I could surpass that amount, I could get an additional HK$200 coupon to buy small household items.

Unfortunately the pickings were slim; the pillows for sale were the odd-shaped ones that supposedly help people sleep better, but only on your side; and the shoe cabinets were too expensive. I settled for a small leather stool in chocolate brown for just under HK$300 that needs to be made.

So for the extra HK$200 coupon, I got a frying pan, a wire rack for shoes, and a power cord.

The deliveries of all this furniture will be staggered, which is not ideal, but it seems this company would rather have as little inventory as possible to keep costs down. And different things are delivered on different days too. Ai....

I also got a relatively small fridge which also has a freezer section in another store. Unfortunately they didn't have a toaster oven otherwise I would have bought that too. The hunt continues.

It was a relief to get this all done... and now after a quick clean of the place I'll be slowly moving in bit by bit...

Next on the shopping list: curtains.

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