Sunday, 22 March 2015

componibili units

It's been a trying couple of weeks on the home front. We have some problems with our flat that the landlord is taking forever to resolve. It's not entirely their fault (although using a semi-decent builder would be a good start) but as much as I politely complain, neither they or the agent are very forthcoming about a realistic timescale for getting the issues fixed. In desperation, we've started to look for another place. The last time I was flat hunting was five years ago and I'm well aware that the housing market is even more insane than back then but so far I've managed to view precisely zero properties. I know my standards are high (I once waved a copy of Elle Decoration at an agent who took us to see a hole in Oval and in despair at the badly patched up ceiling and general disgusting state of the place screeched I want more of this *waves copy of said magazine* and less of this *gesticulates at disintegrating kitchen*) I know our list of requirements (garden, unfurnished, price, the cats) also limits our options somewhat, but in a recent search of OpenRent, in the WHOLE of London, the results returned ONE property. A houseboat in E9. Sure it has the biggest 'garden' I could want, but we'd have to teach the cats to swim...So the hunt goes on, although unless a place stays on the market long enough to me to get to a viewing after work, or isn't already under offer by the time the agent rings me, we'll be here a while longer.

I've decided that the current issues and potential imminent move aren't going to stop me enjoying our home though and on a more positive note, this week I finally took delivery of a pair of Componibili units. I've wanted them forever. I saved, I used Christmas gift money and on Monday there were two gorgeous Kartell boxes waiting for me when I got home. It's just a small change in our bedroom, but it makes such a difference.

The room is quite dark (great for sleeping!) but the dark Ikea furniture I bought with me from my old place was starting to feel oppressive. Sure, the old units were fine, they held a lot of stuff, but they were big and a bit too clunky and because they held so much, we just filled them and never thought about what we actually needed in them. One de-clutter later and the new units contain only the essentials and everything is so easy to find! It's something of a revelation, given that we have so little storage in our place anyway, that less storage space is actually working better for us!

The lighter colour and smaller footprint of the new units also makes the room feel instantly bigger as seeing more of the floor tricks you into thinking the room is wider than it is. In addition,there is enough room on top for lamps and a book or our phones (a bad habit I'm going to try to kick!) but there's not enough room for clutter to accumulate so the room is also instantly tidier, bonus! And yes, I really need to do something with those blank canvasses, although I've kind of got used to them now.

On a bedroom side note, our bed doesn't have a headboard, so I always prop the pillows up slightly and add some scatter cushions to give the bed a focal point. A throw across the bottom also helps to make the room look 'finished'. I always think a well made bed pulls the room together and I could never get the hang of the artfully unmade bed look that is so prolific on blogs at the moment anyway. It's the interior design equivalent of the 'just got out of bed' look that only Kate Moss can pull off successfully while the rest of us just look like we've been dragged through a hedge backwards. So call me fussy or uptight, but I'm just going to make the bed properly, because at the end of a hard day it's like I come home to my very own hotel room, the 400 count Egyptian cotton sheets help too!

Back to the units. They were designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri for Kartell in 1969. She trained as an architect and industrial designer and her pieces are held in design museum collections around the world, including Moma and the Pompidou Centre. We bought our units from John Lewis and I think they're a small price to pay for such an incredible design classic. They are widely available in black, red or white in both two and three tier options.

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Limited special editions in different colours and finishes are available occasionally and the units also come in square versions. I prefer the round ones, there's something very pleasing about them and they still look as fresh and contemporary today as they did 46 years ago. I definitely think of these as investment pieces, the design has already stood the test of time and I don't plan on buying another pair of bedside tables ever again! They were worth every penny and worth the wait while I saved up for them.

Three tier Componibili Units, £97 each from John Lewis.
Two tier units, £67 also from John Lewis.

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