Putative flat dreams

February 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm (Heather) (, , , , , )

Sorry I failed last week, folks. I had most of this draft, but I kept having the tireds. And then my mum went back into hospital yesterday for more chemo, and today I’ve got some kind of a sore throat thing, but I WILL post tonight.

I’m at that irritating stage of moving where I spend (at least part of) every Saturday looking at flats, and then I fill in forms and I drop them in and then I don’t get picked for the places. It seems pretty likely at this point that my lack of a tenancy history is causing trouble – people look at that and think I’m going to wreck the place and not pay the rent, and don’t look at the part where I’ve been saving money the whole time I’ve been living with my mum and paying board, and my financial situation is far more stable than a lot of people I know who’ve started new tenancies recently.

I missed a call from a real estate agent today, though, and when I listened to the voicemail (at 6pm, naturally, well after the office would’ve closed) I discovered that they were seeking to confirm that I’m still interested and haven’t found anywhere else. The agent also said that they hoped to have an answer for me by lunchtime tomorrow.

Well. This is the best response I’ve had so far. The flat in question is one I looked at on Saturday and applied for on Monday. Julia gave me the idea of sending a cover letter with my applications spelling out why I have no tenancy history. I also sent the last statement from both of my bank accounts along with my payslip, and in the letter I drew their attention to this summary of my financial position.

So! Tomorrow morning I will have to call the agent and confirm that I’m still interested. Of course, I’m having a minor panic about it, as I do about all moderately large financial commitments – what if it’s not perfect? What if I find something better next weekend?

Except, that would be the best thing ever, if I had this place, because then I could stop looking and spend my weekends on something else. I am: very sick of househunting.

(When I call the agent I also need to ask about the oven/stove… it has a fairly minimal kitchen, which is probably fine for just me, but I would hate to sign the lease and then find out that it only has one of those dodgy little toaster ovens.)

Much though I’m sick to death of actually looking for a place, I don’t seem to tire of dreaming of what it will be like when I find it. The putative flat, the one I have to call about tomorrow, has sort of inspired me. I can imagine what my life would be like in there.

It doesn’t have a bath. I wanted a bath. But it has one of those modern shower cubicles, not like the other ones that I have applied for that either had wired glass or bizarre fibreglass moulded things with a curtain. Both of which were charming in their own ways, but this one is nicer. It also has a powder blue pedestal sink.

(Also it’s just now occurring to me that I could be wrong about pretty much any or all of this. Possibly if I get the place I will have a follow-up column about how I am wrong.)

The kitchen is sort of just the end of the living room. This probably means I’ll have to have my fridge sitting on the carpet. I am sort of inclined to make a face about that, but I think I may buy a square of lino from Reverse Garbage or somewhere and it’ll be fine. Also tiny kitchen at the end of the living room means that I’ll be able to watch my stories while I cook. Dan has finagled me an enormous television, and while it will be a pain in the arse to have to store it until I move, my stories will be very large. I’ve been looking for a suitably large piece of furniture for it. I would really like it to be about waist-high, so that if I wii-box the height will make sense. Possibly this one is too small (or it may not even be strong enough) but I am a bit of a sucker for Leksvik these days.


I can keep my Wii in there, and probably I will buy a ps2 so I can keep playing GTA3 and also We Love Katamari. It’s important. I’m also thinking of getting a DVD or HD recorder, which is also convenient because it’ll have the digital tuner built in, and then I can watch ABC2 which seems to have all the things that are good. And I’ll be able to record Yo Gabba Gabba so I don’t have to get up at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.

I’m going to get a couch. Probably I won’t be able to fit a dining table, so it’ll just be the couch and a coffee table. I already have the coffee table, though. I would really like to get a long and comfy couch so I can lie on it.

I’ve been ogling prints on etsy a bunch. I’m more taken with things with words on than I would ever have expected.



I especially like this one for the bedroom:


While I’m at Ikea I’ll also need some slats for my bed, because a few are broken and I cbf trying to pretend to be a handyperson. Also I have needed a chest of drawers for some months, but have basically been putting it off for the future when some men with overalls that say Ikea on them will already be driving a truck to my house.


The top of my chest of drawers seems like an ideal place for storing my jewellery. Probably if a TV show were to give me an organisation makeover, that is one of the things they would pick on for me. Currently I have necklaces on the dining table, on the bookshelves in the room outside my room, on a box (of books, unpacked since moving in August 2007) next to my bed, on my bedside table, and on my quasi-desk. I can’t seem to not take them off when I sit down, and rings fare no better. Probably I could fix this a bit with a forest of these:


Otherwise I might do something with pins and a corkboard. I’ve seen a number of things around that have one covering a corkboard in fabric and pinning necklaces and stuff up. I also recently saw a crafty thing whereby one can make a pinboard by attaching carpet tiles to a piece of wood, but this would rely on me being able to find non-hideous carpet tiles. But any excuse to buy a hot-melt glue gun will do. Otherwise I might just find some old pretty dish at the markets and repurpose it.

So! In conclusion: with any luck I will be moving soon, and I hope it will be awesome. Househunting sucks, moving sucks, but window-shopping an reading design blogs is rad. Also, I hear shopping is the responsible thing to do right now.



  1. juliadactyl said,

    I wonder how much of our consumerism is Ikea-based right now less due to the fact that it’s cheap and reliable and more because it’s all right there on the internet so you can ogle and yearn for things while you sit at home with no pants on.

    I hope you get the flat! It sounds charming, particularly for your First Flat Ever (which must of course have bizarre ideosynchracies or it’s not fun later on). And then, you can decide where all your stuff will go and it will be YOUR decision. Awesome.

    • Heather said,

      Mmm. I think even before the internet was quite so much of a force in my life, Ikea catalogues would be passed around between people. And we called them interior design porn. They present a more-or-less achievable aspirational model of home, both in terms of price and of clutter – their sample rooms typically aren’t so minimalistic that I can’t imagine living there.

      I’ve tried to look at slightly higher-end furniture places, but they tend to be awfully cagey about prices. I am far too wary a consumer to get excited about things before I know what they’d cost me. So I like that Ikea tells me straight.

      It’s interesting, I saw my flat while it was still full of someone else’s stuff, and there’s not a lot I plan to do differently. But I wonder how I would have imagined arranging stuff if I hadn’t seen how someone else’d done it.

  2. Danoot said,

    shit yeah, responsible fiscal outlay. You are an inspiration to the masses.

    IKEA! I love it so.


    Pinboards for jewellery = rad. I don’t have jewellery, but I do have several pairs of glasses (I don’t know why – I’ve had them for years and I never [never!] wore them until this year [i.e. last 12 months, not calendar year]), and they lived on my notice board for a long time.

  3. naboolio said,

    That’s pretty exciting news about your possible new flat! House hunting sounds rather tiresome. I think it’ll be pretty awesome when Andrew and I get over that hump start setting up our own place and I can buy cool ikea things! Can’t wait.

    I had the same trouble with jewellery storage as well, until I started hanging the necklaces, scarves and belts from the bedpost at the end of my bed. It’s cool now, they’re all there on display for me to choose from. I have a little, decorated mesh earring hanger which is pretty useful as well, except for that I barely ever wear earrings anymore. My Mum uses the pin-board-covered-with-a-pretty-scarf approach for earrings and necklaces. It works really well, and looks pretty. Plus, cheap!

    • Heather said,

      I got the place! I put a deposit down last night and everything. It’ll be mine from the 7th of March.

      I’ve thought about your bedpost plan, and I’ve noticed I’ve got a fob watch and a bracelet slung over mine already. But the foot of my bed is where I throw clothes when I decide not to wear them, and probably it wouldn’t work for both.

  4. naboolio said,

    Congratulations on getting the place Heather! Yay! Major search over! How exciting.

  5. percy said,

    Indeed, many congrats!!!

    I love the “brush my teeth” poster and the fractal trees the best!

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