Best Purchase of the Summer…

Best Purchase of the Summer…

For quite a while now I’ve been longing for one of these chairs. But, the garden has never been quite finished, so the idea of swinging gently, whilst sipping a cocktail, seemed ridiculous. We had far too much else to do, to get the outside areas ship-shape, before I could even contemplate going to look for one. But sometimes, circumstances just happens. Call it serendipity, perhaps…

On a trip to Bauhaus, our equivalent of B&Q, in the spring, I spotted one of these chairs and almost made the purchase. But common sense got the better of me, for once. The colour was wrong – either a tangerine orange (nice, but not right for our garden) or a natural wicker (nice, but with a black frame and the contrast was too much). Plus, it was very squeaky – and although this was the shop model and so that could have contributed to its squeakiness, I figured it wasn’t worth the risk of buying one, and it making annoying noises every time someone sat in it. So, that was it.

Until my next trip to Jysk – I think to buy additional plates to this set. And guess what they had in stock?

No squeaking. All one colour – a perfect colour, to be honest, as it’s not quite black, may well be anthracite? – but the best colour to go with everything else garden wise. And, best of all – reduced. 25% off when we bought it at the beginning of the summer. Really easy to assemble and with proper water-proof cushions – we know because we’ve stupidly left it out in heavy rain – it proved to be the hit of the summer in our garden. It works well along with the sofa so we now have two very comfy options – if you to swing, you can swing. If you want to lie, you can lie.

But now that summer is fading, we’ve had to think about what to do with our garden chair over the winter. To be honest, it’s still warm enough to sit outside at the moment, but all of the sofa cushions are inside, and the sun is lower in the sky, so the egg chair wouldn’t be quite the lounge-fest it is in the height of summer. So, it has a new home – and now has pride of place in our renovated Snug.

Over the winter, we use this room at the bottom of the house a lot, because it’s very cosy, with a big L-shaped sofa and a woodburner and all of the TV channels we could possibly want. Well, this year, I think our winter might have just got better, as with just a tiny swivel, our egg chair, will probably become a coveted seat for TV watching. We are very lucky that we have this renovated space downstairs, providing us with the perfect place to store this summer chair, over the winter. Although, with the addition of a cushion and a velvet throw, it’s kind of become a winter chair. A chair for all seasons, if you like…

irregular crockery

irregular crockery

Our renovated kitchen is small, but with everything we need, and is painted in a soft grey to maximise the feeling of space. Worktops are kept largely clear of clutter, again to ensure that we don’t feel hemmed in. We carefully worked on the design of the room, to ensure that we had sufficient cupboards, drawers and shelving so that most things could be kept behind soft closing doors.

But, even in our new de-cluttered world, I still have a bit of an obsession about beautiful crockery. Not the expensive kind, that you’re too afraid to use, in case it gets cracked, chipped or smashed. Not so much the IKEA kind, either – although we do have crockery from here, it’s the bog-standard sets which are easily replaced when frequently cracked, chipped or smashed. What I like are pieces that are fairly inexpensive and a little bit different. And that’s what I recently found on a trip to Jysk. Check out this store if you’re not acquainted with it, as it’s a bit of a gem. (And, for Manchester friends, there’s one in Stockport).

When I spotted the crockery (above) it was a no-brainer that this were exactly what was needed in the newly painted kitchen. Unlike crockery you buy in sets, these are all individual pieces and as such, none match exactly, making them even better. The colour is predominantly a very soft blue, but greys and greens also run through the ceramic. As well as being mismatching in colour, the shapes are also irregular – the plates are quite oval, but the edges aren’t perfectly rounded. Same as with the bowls – which are the perfect size for pasta dishes and soups and stews. The one part of the “set” that is missing – because we also have small mug/cups – are side plates, which unfortunately, Jysk doesn’t seem to stock. A real shame, as these would finish off the collection.

The crockery is substantial and quite heavy, so less likely to crack or break, and is glazed, so retains its sheen. Best of all, it’s completely dish-washer proof – always a result in my book.