I spent last week in Rotterdam, mainly working on getting the flat fit to live in. The great news is that there is now a floor fitted throughout the bedrooms and the living room. I have also papered the big wall in the main bedroom and either side of the chimney breast in the living room. The fitted wardrobe and the door in the spare room is painted. Curtain rails have been put up in both bedrooms, new plug sockets fitted in the spare room and….
I was busy. The floor is the biggest thing and it’s great to have that down. I’m glad that I arranged for it to be fitted too. The guys had the right tools and knew what they were doing. It looks great. The wallpapering covers the giant yin yang on the bedroom wall. It is still there above the bed but hidden for someone else to find in years to come. The flat now feels more like a home than an half done project. There is still a lot to do but nothing urgent apart from building the Ikea wardrobes.
Propped up in the bedroom are currently about twenty cardboard boxes full of chipboard, allen keys, those little round twiddly things and a whole lot of screws. I actually really enjoy assembling these things. It’s a bit like building a giant jigsaw puzzle. They’re enormous so it will take two of us to lift and manhandle them. Before I left last week I got some practice in building the spare bed.
It got me thinking about the process of designing how Ikea products a) look and b) can be constructed, at home using a, presumably, fixed number of dry fixings. No glue but a whole lot of allen keys. Their instructions are also really well put together using no language, just illustrations. Making the bed was really straight forward if a bit long winded. If only their website was as easy to navigate.
Half the fun will be getting rid of all the cardboard once we’ve unpacked it all. There are a number of cardboard skips behind the shops at the back but I’m not sure these are free for all. They’re usually rather full and it could be that the shops are paying to have them there. The last thing they’ll need is a fly-tipping Ikea junkie stealing their space. Perhaps I should adopt the Colditz method. Cut them up and dispose of them a few square centimetres at a time over a course of several months.
I’ve already been doing this with the old laminate floor. The flat doesn’t have its own bins. Around and about there are depositories in the street that accept rubbish, glass, plastic and paper. On Mariniersweg there are some large ones. I’ve had a large pile of old laminate planks on the kitchen balcony. I’ve taken eight at a time and broken them in half before carrying them round to the ‘restafval’ box round the corner. They are like large metal boxes submerged in the ground with upstanding post boxes on the surface. A lorry periodically comes and lifts the whole thing to empty it. I’m slowly getting through the pile of planks – the end is in sight.