Planning Wardrobes/Closets

Before we met with the guys at Dogern, I had an idea of where we might want to have wardrobes so I sent over this floor plan of our room and where the wardrobes could go.

In the end, Kay and I decided that we probably don’t need all that wardrobe space and that it would be better to keep that corner by the bed free of any built in wardrobe. If we really need extra room we can buy a dresser in addition to the main wardrobe, but I told Kay it would be smart to keep it free. If Kay is studying abroad some day, there is a vague possibility that I would want a roommate if I stay in Switzerland by myself, so I thought it is smarter to be able to fit a desk in the bedroom if I need to put on in there.

It just keeps our options open, which I like. Plus I’m having trouble convincing Kay we should put a giant mirror in the hallway to cover up the utility panels, but he seems more open to putting one on the wall by my side of the bed.

Since I know we have to have three sections in the wardrobes, I wrote the wardrobe guy that we would like offers for two options.

Option 1:

The idea of  option one is that we give ourselves tons of hanging room utilizing lifting clothes hangers and then have an additional dresser on the other wall so I can store my socks, undies, etc all. This would also be a cheaper option because it has less of those €250-a-piece drawers.

Option 2:

The second option still utilizes raising hangers at the top, but it has a bunch of drawer space at the bottom so that we can fit all of our clothes into the wardrobe, not just the hanging ones.

I’ve asked to have prices for option one and two with and without frame-less doors. Going frame-less would look wonderful, but I’m afraid the cost will be too high, especially for option two with all its drawers. The more we talk about it, the nicer it would be not to have a dresser, but Kay hasn’t seen any with me so I’m a little unsure about that too.

Did you have a lot of indecision trying to figure out your wardrobe situation? Or are you still living with “meh, that works” situation?

Buying Used: Bernina Artista 165

After the Bernina 330 didn’t pan out, I was frantically looking for a sewing machine because I’d already lost one of my three weekends without Kay to work on the curtains. I needed to be productive!

I was also again very uncertain which machine to buy. I couldn’t find another 330 on any UK site that would ship VAT free and I wanted something ASAP because of the Kay-situation, so I was contemplating forking over the 1325CHF for the machine in Zürich or going for an even more basic machine.

But finally… I saw a used Bernina on Swiss Ebay that caught my eye. It was an 8 year old sewing computer that could do embroidery and it was selling for a pretty fair price at 888CHF. I decided to contact the seller to end the auction a few days earlier so that I could pick it up on Saturday morning in Bern. (I totally did that with our lounge set too so that we had it in time for our house warming. Don’t be afraid to ask sellers to change their auction to suit your schedule!)

Two weekends ago, I got up at 8am on a Saturday and was on my way to Bern to pick up my Bernina Artista 165!

I had the seller meet me in Bern from his small town. The train is about an hour from Zürich, so I spent the time riding home reading the user manual in English on my iPhone. The one that came with the machine is obviously German, which is great and all… but I wanted to know what to do immediately!

Back at home I had some lunch and taught myself how to wind and load the bobbin, thread the machine and use the needle threader, which I’ve never had before. The sewing machine only came with one needle and one bobbin, which was a bit weird, but aside from a missing thread cutter and power cord it came with all the other accessories. (Bernina’s just take standard computer cords, so it was not a big deal to grab one from our electronics bin.)

After a Skype with Kay, who was very surprised I had already been to Bern and back on a Saturday, I got to work cutting the fabric for our blackout curtains in our bedroom! See what I mean about needing the entire living room to myself?!

I worked until 1:30am hemming the blackout lining and curtain fabric and by the end of the evening I had sewn one curtain completely. I called it a night and went to bed.

I’m super excited about the eight (8!!) presser feet the machine came with as well as the very cool FHS knee lift, which is a pricey add-on for some of the 3 series machines. I think it has more stitches to choose from and more than one automatic buttonhole, which is another big upgrade in the Bernina world. If I can find an embroidery module later on, I can even do embroidery that is not possible on the 3 series! The machine also came with a hard case and an extension sewing plate that snaps on. I’m pretty impressed by the touch screen as well!

Jep, over the moon about this machine.

It’s a little hard to tell how much this machine cost when it was new or which machine compares to it now, but since I see old Artista 200s selling on Ricardo for 2500CHF, I think I got a pretty good deal and I’m very happy with all the features I’ll get to try out.

If you sew, how did you choose your machine?

Trying to buy a Bernina

For four months I have been searching for a new sewing machine. Finally, before we flew to the US in September I had found what I wanted:

I decided that I wanted one of the 3 series and that the lowest end, 330, would probably be more than enough for me. It has one automatic buttonhole, which I’m not even sure I’ll need since I don’t sew any buttons. But I could, right? It also has a few stitch options, 5 presser feet, a built-in needle threader and a stop start button for long stretches of sewing, which I thought could be helpful for sewing curtains. Most important is that it sews a straight line very well.

I found one on Jaycotts for £499 without VAT, which would run me around 816CHF ($916… wooo the dollar exchange dropped again!) This would save me from spending 1325CHF ($1487) buying it new in Zürich. I ordered it to be shipped to my office, hoping that it would arrive while we were gone, but when I came back it was not here. It had been almost three weeks since I ordered it, so I contacted Jaycotts and they said that DPD had probably lost it and if that was the case, Jaycotts would send me a new machine the next week.

I contacted DPD as well and didn’t receive any response from them. Apparently they are a pretty shitty shipping company and they have scores of bad reviews. I had looked up Jaycotts before ordering from them and only read good things. They didn’t mention which shipper they used during check out.

A week later, Jaycotts contacted me stating that they would not have more of these machines so they would cancel my order and refund my credit card, which happens to be Kay’s card. It seems kind of fishy… first it gets lost, then they say they’ll send a new one and then they don’t and won’t have any more.

Now I still have to check if Kay received the refund because I don’t have access to his credit card and he’s out of the country at the moment. In the mean time, I was sad that I was losing valuable sewing time while Kay is out of the way in the flat on the weekends!

Onward with the sewing search!

End of Summer House Tour

I made sure to finish up the bulk of the painting before our house warming party back at the beginning of September. It was also the last warm weekend we had before the temperatures dropped to winter-like numbers, so here is a little update where things were in the house after 3 months living there.

The guest bathroom was drilled into and patched up, and to be honest not much else has been happening in there since. The workers actually put the cabinet back together crooked too (it’s a little hard to see) so we have to address that, which I’m not too excited about since this was an “off the books” exercise for them when they broke into the walls to fix the pipes. Allreal is not very helpful about fixing things that are their fault that they may happen to damage or destroy after inspections are signed off on.

At some point I would really like to buy a shelf unit for towels, but I haven’t found one tall enough that fits in the small spaces available for storing things in the bathroom. It is very echoey in there still.

We still have temporary lights up in the bedroom and office… and they are still up as I write this.

We bought a random green curtain from IKEA for the kitchen that was on sale for like 30 cents. They only had one and we realized it does nothing for privacy, but I just sort of left it up there for now.

A friend also gave us some temporary rolling curtains in the living room. They are too short, but they work for now for a little privacy.

We still just have the old couch and it looks a little out of place in the huge living room. The living room echoes a fair amount too.

Our booze shelf by the kitchen is working fine though!

And the bedroom… which really still looks like a crazy mess with the standing racks and Kay’s coat hanger that he is using as a clothes hanger. It’s really driving me nuts, but he loves using it right now.

Even with the shutters open, it doesn’t look much better in here.

From the window towards the door you can see all our boxes we still have.

And the view from the bathroom door, where it all just looks overcrowded.

In the bathroom we’ve still got the same old orange shower curtain up there. I don’t really think the fabric I bought in the States is thick enough for a shower curtain, so it’ll be awhile before I figure out how to make something long enough to replace the orange one.

And we still haven’t put the toilet paper holder up in here either, so the TP just kind of hangs out on the shelf there. But in general, the shelf and sink usually have nothing on them. (Not sure what that shaving can is doing there!) 🙂

The other metal container is where we hide a few extra rolls of TP in here, since all the storage in the master bath is dedicated to travel toiletries, medicine and my extensive hair and makeup collection.

The curtain situation in the bathroom is also temporary, but it works for now. Not quite long enough, but nobody can see me shower, so it’s fine.

The office is probably the most finished room at this point, but it looks kind of messy in general because it’s an office. Here is my desk.

And then you have Kay’s, which spills out onto the floor next to him usually. I think we need some wall art to distract from the clutter!

Whelp, that’s that for now. We haven’t painted that much. We haven’t put art up. We haven’t bought that much furniture for inside, unless you count a bunch of shelving and we still need lights in most rooms.

How long did it take you to add your personal touches to your home?

…and we finally finish painting

I realized I sort of left you hanging about our paint job. The truth is, I’m actually still not 100% super duper totally satisfied with my edges, but we did receive white paint from the workers and I went up to the kitchen ceiling immediately and began fixing the tape goofs.

Wow, look how much better that edge looks now! It was easy to get the green looking nice, but I had the darnedest time with the purple, especially around the frame of the entry door because the workers botched that up already and had painted white all over the side of the frame, so it was hard to tell what was what and get a good line.

I’m kind of “done” with touchups for awhile though. I spent a couple weeks touching up the walls here and there, including filling in some more paint where the second coat still had not got it completely colored.

These are the results!

The green in the kitchen really is just a little  bit, but I love how it makes the room pop and look much more fresh and lively than when it was all white. And from the entry to the kitchen you can see both colors and how it compares to our paint inspiration.

Kay and I both really like the purple. It is not too dark, but it is nice and rich and it makes a big statement when you are in the room. It almost makes me want to paint another wall, if it weren’t so annoying to buy a good brush in this country!

The living room still looks lost and empty without much furniture… and we really need to go ahead and get the lamp for the dining table that we have our eyes on… it’s just that we want (OK, I want…) a second couch and it’s hard to know where the table should go permanently before we’ve got the second couch there.

What a sad little lonely light it is right now… and curtain-less windows. Sigh. But we bought fabric in the US in September and I’ve got some projects planned and underway for those windows!

Moral of the story? Don’t tape unless it’s really helpful, because 99% of the time it is unhelpful and takes forever. Waste of both time and money and more time!