*This is a collaborative post*
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’ve bought some ‘clangers’ during our married life. The enormous sofa that looked fabulous in the showroom but filled (literally) half the living room once in our home. Not forgetting the ridiculously expensive, not at-all-blackout-as-promised blinds, that I was talked into purchasing during a home sales visit.
Let’s just say that we’ve got better and have learnt a few things over the years…
Invest in Key Items
One of the most important things we have learnt, is that certain key items are well worth investing in. As far as my wardrobe is concerned, it would be shoes and bags (I’ve yet to buy a ‘budget’ bag that has stood the test of time). With regard to home furnishings, it would be lighting, sofas and beds.
This obviously involves saving up but I honestly think it’s so worth it where these items are concerned: beds and sofas are used every day, good lighting can totally transform a room!
Measure More than Once
We’ve lived in our current home for 12 years now, slowly working through each room, putting our own stamp on it. Eight years ago, we decided that it was time to renovate our kitchen. These pictures might give you a flavour of the havoc caused!
We knew that we wanted to go ‘modern’ with clean and simple lines. We researched hard before investing in the hub of our home and are still pleased with the outcome, all these years later. The effort was so worth it.
The only slight regret we’ve had is that the dining table we invested in, isn’t big enough. We like entertaining, regularly have teenagers flooding our home and at Christmas we usually have more than 10 for dinner. Our current table is extendable but quite early on, we wished that we had bought the bigger version. Unlike our first sitting room, this kitchen can actually take large furniture, so the table extensions are a permanent fixture rather than an added extra.
Do Your Research
After much deliberation and a whole heap of research, we have ordered a made-to-measure dining table – much bigger and with a concrete top. It should be arriving in a few weeks, along with some comfortable leather chairs for those long, lazy dinner parties.
Another thing that we have decided probably needs updating after 8 years, is our lighting in the kitchen.
I was recently introduced to Made to Last, a company committed to sustainability and making products that are quite simply ‘made to last’. We live in a throw away culture, one that no longer invests but instead looks for the cheapest item that is not necessarily one of any quality. Made to Last wants to change that mindset, by only offering products that have been made by British manufacturers and are sold in the British Isles.
One of Made to Last’s missions is to “help people understand the difference between ‘cheap’ and ‘good value for money’ as they are very different things” (Joel Chudleigh, Founder). As a company they want to encourage sustainability by making products that will last. Every product comes with a guarantee – some as long as 10 years, others are guaranteed for a lifetime!
I think Made to Last ticks all of my boxes.
Kitchen Lighting Options from Made to Last
We currently have a myriad of spotlights dotted around our kitchen ceiling. Spotlights are a great source of light for cooking by but I don’t think they provide the best kind of lighting for eating under. It seems to be all or nothing and very little options in between.
Having scoured their website, Made to Last offer various options with regard to lighting. The downside to research is that I’m now left with a lot of choice and can’t make up my mind!
Central Pendant Lighting
Most of these pendant lights have a diameter of 30-40 cms. They could therefore be hung centrally over a dining table or as a pair – our new table could probably do with being lit in more than one place. The question is, which one to choose?
Multiple Pendant Lights
The other option is to pick multiple smaller pendant lights (these all have a diameter of around 15 cms) and hang them above the table in a line.
Then of course there’s the option of a statement. Our kitchen is fairly neutral so I think could definitely lend itself to showcasing an interesting lighting feature.
So which is your favourite? Keep an eye out on my Instagram feed as I’ll post a picture of my concrete dining table when it arrives. I’m hoping that once the table is in I will better placed to make a decision.
If you are looking for some new lighting then Made to Last has a fantastic range of sustainable options, all with that fantastic guarantee that promises long-lasting, durable products. They are offering my readers 10% off if you use the code ’10FORSUZANNE’.
Catherine5 years ago
Go statement for something dramatic!
Suzanne W5 years ago AUTHOR
I’m thinking the same at the moment!
Chloe: Picture Taker Memory Maker5 years ago
I completely agree with you regarding saving up for quality items that will stand the test of time (and teenagers!). I hate the disposable culture society seems to be moving towards where if something breaks you just buy a new one instead of trying to fix it. I’ve not come across this company before but I’m definitely going to check them out – their philosophy definitely ties in with my own. And as for lighting dilemma, I think I’d go for a row of smaller lights! I’m sure it’ll look fab whatever you choose.
Suzanne W5 years ago AUTHOR
It’s tough when you’ve got kids isn’t it? I often wonder if it’s pointless investing in furniture but actually, in our experience, certain things are worth investing in and they are much more hardy than cheaper copies. Definitely check out Made to last, I think you’ll be impressed!
Sarah Christie5 years ago
I love these lights, and yes I agree its better to invest and get it right. We spent years looking for our dining table as I knew exactly what I wanted. Our kitchen was all spot lights until we put some statements lights over the table and it looks so much better not a clinical I love it x
Suzanne W5 years ago AUTHOR
Dining tables are so important aren’t they? Would love to see pictures of your lighting for some inspiration. xx
Karen Beddow5 years ago
I think our kitchen light might have been one of our biggest investment purchases. Completely agree.
Grace @ Eats Amazing5 years ago
I am totally with you on buying things that will last and last, we’re saving up to renovate our kitchen and although we have enough for a cheaper kitchen now we’re going to wait until we can afford to do it properly. Lighting is so tricky, I can never choose! I really like the idea of couple of the bigger ones over a long table though.
Caro | The Twinkle Diaries5 years ago
I’m so with you — the phrase ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ is SO true!!! We’ve just sold our old dining table and I’ve bought a second hand one off Ebay. It’s extends to fit 12, but is smaller when the leaves aren’t extended out. Looking forward to actually having some space in my dining room now!!!! xxx
Emma - Life According to MrsShilts5 years ago
What a beautiful kitchen! I agree, buy good quality built to last products even if they are the most expensive. It usually pays off x
Lisa Jane5 years ago
100% agree! We’ve bought cheaper stuff and regretted it. YOu get what you pay for
natalie5 years ago
Great post, I am in the situation when I don’t want to buy expensive whilst my children are so young as generally everything gets destroyed! I do agree though it is worth buying quality if you want them to last, I am looking forward to have a whole redesign of my home when my kids are older!
Kerri-Ann5 years ago
I nodded along to so many of these. We rarely go for the cheapest option, only because we don’t follow trends and have a traditional style that we hope stands the test of time. x
Emma Chanagasubbay5 years ago
I always took the advice to spend more to make it last from my grandparents who have now passed key items down to us that still look as good as new x
Mel5 years ago
Oh goh, I couldn’t agree more with the point about measuring more than once, especially checking the width and height of doors. I’ve had a few issues over the years and I am so cautious when buying new furniture these days.
Heledd - Running in Lavender5 years ago
My problem is I’m too scared of making mistakes on big expensive items so just don’t end up buying anything I LOVE and end up regretting not ‘going for it’. I must get braver in our new house!! Great tips here though, to make sure I don’t end up with a dinning table that’s too small or a sofa that’s too big.
Jenny5 years ago
Your kitchen looks absolutely amazing hunny. Love pendant lighting so much too. I want to redo our kitchen fully one day. High gloss is a nightmare to keep clean. Great advice thinknwe have all made those Home blunder decisions in the past and present too lol.
Emily / Babies and Beauty5 years ago
Wow they have such lovely pieces, I think lighting is so important to a room and can make all the difference.
Sophie Gillum-Webb5 years ago
You are giving me serious inspiration for my new house!!