Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Great Furniture Tradeout

When you work for the foreign service and you live overseas not only is your housing usually assigned to you but so is the furniture. In fact many times I have looked at pictures on a fs blog and thought "Hey that's my couch." I guess it does help with continuity when we move so often to have the same or similar furniture each time, but I do wish it weren't all so ugly. Sometimes you can trade out furniture for different furniture. It all depends on the local management policies and the furniture pool. Today we were able to trade out several pieces that have been bothering us for a while.

This was our sofa. It is a newer sofa but it is orange. Orange should be reserved for jack-o-lanterns and convicts. To make it even worse the fabric is itchy and leaves the back of your thighs looking like waffles if you should sit on it while wearing shorts. Attractive! We were able to trade it on a a sofa with smooth non-itchy fabric, it's still sort of orange but at least it isn't quite as bright.

Two of our dressers were problematic, mine was missing a handle which made it really hard to open the bottom drawer. Colin's dresser had several drawers which would stick and refuse to open plus all the rest of his furniture was dark cherry but his dresser was yellow pine.

Now we have new dressers. All the drawers have handles and none of them are sticking, it even matches the rest of the furniture in the room. Yay!

Then there is this chair. Enough said.

It turned into this chair which honestly I am not sure is any more attractive, but it is much more comfortable and the fabric isn't stained or ripping at the seams so I guess it is an improvement. Maybe.

Grayson's room had bunk beds. While Dakota was here Colin and Gray shared a room so the bunk beds were practical but now that Colin has moved to Dakota's old room Gray has been using the top bunk for sky diving. Onto a hard wooden floor. I don't need to do a medivac for a sky diving accident so the bunk bed is out and the big boy bed is in. The new bed has the same headboard as his bed in Frankfurt. He took one look and yelled, "It's my old bed! I missed you bed!" Along with the bed he also got a nightstand and lamp so he can have some quiet reading time before bedtime.

There was one more thing we traded out. Our mattresses. Hopefully the new mattresses won't have a hollow worn in the center so that when you lay down you sort of roll into the depression. I have been waking up every morning with a back ache since we got here. I am hoping the new mattress will help. We will find out tonight.


Monica said...

out with the old and in with the new!!! yippee!!!

Jen said...

jack-o-lanterns and convicts, I love it! So glad you finally got better furniture!

Bryn said...

A good mattress is so important. We bring ours with us everywhere we go. The mattresses they gave us in Mexico were AWFUL but the ones here in London were actually soft and comfortable. I was surprised!

Connie said...

Much improved! :) Congrats!!! Your new wing chair looks like one of ours (trust me when I say that the fabric on yours is MUCH nicer than the ?green? of mine!) The wood furniture looks so much nicer too!

Linsey said...

Oh, yes. We bring our mattress too. The standard issue stuff is so awful. I'm glad they were able to trade stuff out for you. So often we get, "uh, yeah, we don't have anything, sorry."

eve said...

Oh lord have mercy. I don't even want to let my mind go here, especially after the horror stories I've heard about luanda's housing. I keep trying to just stay very humble and remind myself that we are public servants. The days of a lovely home behind me for now. I do think I'll wrap my sewing machine in bubble wrap and check it as luggage. Slip covers all around!?!

Connie said...

@eve - and/or Slipcovers.com in case fabric is not available locally.. or, there is always joann's crafts online (and others) for fabric too. Good luck with your housing.

Shannon said...

When we first went overseas we gave out bedroom set to my Mom instead of sending it to storage. So we currently don't own a mattress set. The mattresses in Frankfurt and Jakarta were fine and the replacement mattress seems to be working out OK. We do have a memory foam mattress topper which does help out.

Eve I hope your housing works out. It is certainly a challenge to make a house full of weird furniture feel like a home but you can do it. We have been able to pick up artwork along the way that reflect our travels and adds color to the blah beige walls. I am working up to a serious rant on housing here in Malawi. Anyone looking to bid in Malawi the yards are huge and at least mine is fabulous but "best housing in Africa " my a**!