polka dot bedspread

7 Things I Bought for the House During Lockdown

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Like a lot of people (Or so I suspect, anyway…) UK lockdown gave me a LOT of time to look at my house and think of all of the things I’d quite like to change about it. Like moving it to a remote location near the coast, for instance. Or replacing the roof with glass, so that, in the event of another lockdown, we’d at least be able to get some precious daylight, without freezing to death in the garden. Too much, you think?

Given that neither of those options are actually possible, then, I’ve been concentrating instead on things that will make our existing house a little bit brighter and more comfortable, so here are a few of my recent homewear purchases…

Polka dot duvet set

I saw this little reversible duvet set on Instagram, and it had “Amber” written all over it (Note: not really – that would just be weird…), so I had to buy it. As well as freshening up the look of our bedroom a bit, it’s also encouraged me to simplify our bed setup, going from approximately 338 superfluous cushions and blankets to just two cushions, and nothing else. This is what passes as “living with gay abandon” for me, and it felt pretty darn crazy at first, not gonna lie. I have to admit, though, it’s nice being able to get into bed without having to spend 15 minutes “undressing” the thing first, and even Terry has been able to memorise the new cushion layout without any difficulty, so while I hesitate to use the words “life-changing” in relation to a duvet set, the bar has been set pretty low this year (THANKS, COVID), so, yeah, here we are.

This was only £14 for the king-size version, plus pillowcases: when I found it, I’d had my eye on another polka dot set which was at least 5X that price, so I was feeling pretty smug about all the money I’d saved, until I got to the checkout and discovered that this rug had also found its way into my shopping basket:

polka dot rug in contemporary living roomPolka dot rug

In my defence, here…

01. It was £40. Forty. Pounds.

02. Our last rug was one of those long-pile “shaggy” ones, and I loved it when it was new, but OH MY LORD, do those rugs NOT mix well with toddlers. Like, AT ALL. Ours was totally wrecked. It had been trampled flat, had all manner of food and drink (And, OK, vomit…) spilled on it, and, as the final insult, at some point during lockdown, at least half a tub of slime was emptied onto it, and that rug was never the same after that. It had to go. HAD to.

03. It’s a polka dot rug. I mean, I’m not made of stone here, am I?

Now, as you’d expect from a £40, this isn’t exactly what you’d call “luxurious”, really. It is, however, a perfectly serviceable rug, and, given that Max isn’t likely to stop spilling things any time soon, we figured a more expensive one for this room would be a bit of a waste of money at this particular time in our lives. So, while it probably won’t be a family heirloom one day, it wipes clean, is about 100x easier to hoover than the old, shaggy rug was, and has cheered this room up no end, really.

Oh, and those tiny pieces of LEGO have nowhere to hide in it, either, so, to be totally honest, my biggest regret here is that I didn’t get the larger size. I still might, though…

Also seen in this photo is one of two new lights we got for this room: this one is called Wanda ( Er, that’s the product name, I mean: we don’t name our lights. Or not ALL the time, anyway…) and we also have a smaller version of it on the other side of the room, both from Made.com. I’d actually had my eye on these for a couple of years now, and had wanted to change the hideous spotlights that came with the house ever since we moved in, but it took lockdown to force us to finally get round to it, so that’s one good thing to come out of this year, I guess. (Yeah, I know: it’ll be a great comfort to you all to look back and think, “Well, 2020 was the worst year ever, but at least Amber got two new lights for her living room, so it wasn’t all bad…” )

(Since we got these, Max has been periodically telling us he hates them and wants the old lights back. So that’s good to know.)

Another newcomer in this photo is the coffee table,* which was c/o Wayfair:

Scandi-style coffee table

Our old coffee table was a rectangular one, which kind of dominated the space in this room, so we wanted something smaller and lower, which would make the room feel a bit bigger. This one does all of that, while still giving Max plenty of room to spread out his toys – and it’s also the perfect height for him to kneel on the floor while he’s playing at it, too. As for why we wanted to create more space, meanwhile, it was was because of this

IKEA Besta hack in modern living roomThis IKEA Besta unit is probably the biggest change we’ve made to this room, and it’s been a long time coming, really. Here’s what the room looked like before, complete with boxy coffee table and wrecked rug:

living room beforeAs you can see, there was absolutely no storage other than the little table the flowers are on (At the left corner of the photo), which also housed the various electronics (Xbox, SKY box, etc…). These units now hold all of that, with space for lots more, if we need it: and, oh yeah, we also painted that wall white, because OF COURSE we did. Painting things white: it’s what we do. (Because I know everyone will be horrified by the OMGWHITE, let me just say that this wall has been a few different colour now, and I’ve hated every single one of them, so I figured we may as well just go back to basics, while I work out what I want to do with it. Please don’t yell at me…)

The logs, meanwhile, are just there for dramatic effect, because, as you can see, we have no log fire. I’ve seen these ‘log walls’ in a few places, though, and I just WANTED one. It was super-easy to do, and we had to box in that awkward corner, anyway, so we decided to make my log dreams a reality while we were at it: and there’s a phrase I never thought I’d type, for sure…

These units have actually given us way more storage than we needed, so they’re mostly empty for now, but I’m sure we’ll find something to fill them with soon. And, if WE don’t, Max definitely will…

Finally, just to prove the rest of the house still exists, even though I’ve almost completely neglected it in this post – and, indeed, in real life, if truth be told – here’s another new rug, this time in the office:

play kitchen

I mean, I say “office”: I’m sure you’ve all worked out that Terry and I don’t often play with the toy kitchen or giant teddy bear, so, yeah, this is pretty much Max’s domain these days. It’s not, however, somewhere he spends a huge amount of time, or does any eating or drinking in, so we’ve risked a better quality rug here – this one*, which was also c/o Wayfair, and which is currently covering up the only carper left in the house until we get round to replacing it.

Finally, the staircase has also been brightened up a bit, thanks to this canvas wall art from Photowall:

Well Hello There wall canvas

I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately to replace all of the framed prints we had in the house with canvas ones, purely because I always think they stand out more without all of the glare and reflections you tend to get on glass. This corner of the stairs was the last remaining spot where something had to be replaced, and I really liked the bright colours of this, plus the pop art style, which goes well with the rest of our decor, as well as cheering me up a bit every time I look at it.

Anyone else been sprucing up their home over the last few months?

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  • Miss Kitty


    My lockdown has been spent waiting to move house, so most of my stuff is packed in boxes. I also don’t have a full time job at the moment, while waiting for the move, so I have to watch every penny like a hawk. It’s been fun 🙁 and it doesn’t seem as though it’s going to end any time soon.

    I’m betting you’re glad you got your staircase done when you did 🙂 I still marvel at what a difference it made to your house, it seems so much lighter.

    August 14, 2020
  • Jan


    I just splurged on some new art, yet to be framed, and am trying out paint colours. I seem to be months behind the rest of the world on this, who all got painting in lockdown. In my defence, my parents were sick and painting was the last thing on my mind! Love the look of your home, so cosy.

    August 16, 2020
  • Rhona Stevenson


    No remodelling for me but I wanted to just say I think the white wall in the lounge looks so much better and the room seems bigger (though obviously it’s not ;))

    September 30, 2020