I cleared, I painted, I realised my flat was full of Ikea


I cleared, I painted, I realised my flat was full of Ikea

I spent this weekend painting. It is the first stage to moving out of my flat and into the domain of co-habitation. It started off well. I felt energetic moving possessions from one room to the other while covering furniture in discoloured sheets and blankets. While he went to buy the paint – or more so exchange it due to me buying magnolia, a colour that was quickly guffawed at with a “you’re not planning to put that on the walls on are you?” I never realised that magnolia was the leper of the Dulux world. Lesson learned.

So I moved and shoved, packed and wrapped. As furniture was dislodged from its home for 5 years what was under it wasn’t pretty. Dust had given birth to children that procreated to produce grandchildren. It had become a Brady Bunch collection of dust balls. I still have no idea where all the bloody dust comes from and how it accumulates so fast. If anyone does I would love to know. Please just put me out of my misery.

Anyway, when the paint arrived we got tucked in. It became a rolling mania of white matt proportions. It was satisfying, covering up the strange hue of yellow that had somehow gathered without me noticing. He tackled the high bits and me the low ones. It was team work in stripes. An hour later the walls were covered. It was a paint scented brightness that I had not seen since the day I moved in. The flat was new and shiny. We were dentists and the walls were the teeth, but without the bad breath.

Then the ceiling was mentioned. A feat that seemed past my weary arms and hands. Who knew you could cramps from holding a roller too tight? Thankfully he offered and I happily announced I would clear the kitchen for the next whitening experience.


Jesus how I wish I’d taken the ceiling. The kitchen seemed to pulse, with its bottles, implements, hooks, cookery books, jars and spice racks. And that’s without even unscrewing things from the wall that all the aforesaid things hang from or are housed in. While clearing it I cursed Ikea. Scorned the Swedish powerhouse of all things homely for pulling me into its web of show kitchens with things dangling from every crevice because your kitchen is so damn small, and shouldn’t have any of this stuff at all. I mean how many people really need a wine rack screwed beneath a cupboard? Or an ironing board that flops out of a false panel in the wall? That’s what Ikea do. They suck you in with their pretty party adverts and an ethos of organisation. There is nothing bloody organised about it.

Apparently I have never cursed more. I muttered obscenities under my breath while bottles clinked and Ikea hooks and tins tinkled. Meanwhile the ceiling was finished and he was sipping on a cup of tea while I was still detaching and untangling things.

“You comfy there?”

“Yes thanks.”

He sipped while I grumbled. A third of the stuff I removed I don’t even remember buying. Some I had to actually inspect to see what the hell they were for. Somehow I had accumulated 3 different whisks, ladles and a salad tongs that has never seen the hint of a salad.

Finally it was cleared. My living room and kitchen were now in my bathroom and bedroom. The hallway was a passage that only snails could fit through. In this painting endeavour I had created a Krypton Factor in my own flat.

Snail trail

We took to the kitchen, paint as measles on our skin. Trouser legs and collars turned polka dot. He said “nearly there baby,” as he saw the will to live leave my eyes. I ploughed on, the up and down motion that I’m sure at one point made my joints shriek. Then we were there, the last stroke and dab. My flat had been reborn, its smirk wide to reveal a mouthful of pearly whites.

We stood back and observed our work. It was satisfying. It was the first stage complete.

“You’ll have no problem renting it now baby!”

And you know what I replied? In my paint fumed mind grinning at my handiwork?

“I hope so. There are a few things I’ll need to get though. I think it means a trip to Ikea.”


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