It’s been a while since my last post about Ikea’s living sustainably programme called Live Lagom. A little reminder for you all… us and some other families and interiors bloggers from the Leeds and Yorkshire area (plus lots of others across the UK!) started our journey towards the end of last year with Ikea to learn about how to live more sustainably. You can read more about that in this blog post.
What did we choose to focus on?
We chose to save energy (gas) in our new early-Victorian home. We figured it would be a little harder to keep warm than our last 1980’s house, so we chose a rug to go over the bare floorboards and lots of gorgeous velvety curtains and lining material to keep the cold in from the windows. It was a little bit more difficult choosing items or a house we weren’t in yet (and wasn’t anywhere near finished in terms of renovation), but we did our best.
We also, as a secondary aim, wanted to reduce the amount of food we were wasting…so we also got lots of tupperware to replace our old miss-matched tupperware that we never used because we could never locate the right lid for the right tub! We were eating out far too much because we moved home, which was affecting both our wallets and our waist-lines. We wanted to cook more our lovely new kitchen, but we didn’t want to waste food by poor planning and too much leftover.
We picked up our items from Ikea in Leeds in January, but we kept them packed away safely for the new house. The big move was planned for the end of February. In the end, we didn’t actually move until mid-March and the whole process was very stressful. You can read more about all that (and peek at some ‘before’ photos) in this blog post.
We moved into our new home and just concentrated on making it ours. We needed to focus on this really to get back our sanity and take some time to recover from the whole process. This is why it took me a while to get back to blogging in general really and certainly to blogging about the house. Work was also hectic (we were moving premises with Dowsing & Reynolds) so February to June this year was all really rather intense.
The good news is that the house is feeling more like our own now…the memory of all the stresses leading up the move are (slowly) fading and we’re getting a bit more sorted. Phew. So, I wanted to updated you all on how we got on with Live Lagom.
It turned out that although we’d asked the renovators of the new house not to put down board over the old floorboards in the living room and dining room, they did do. This meant it was going to be a big job to take all the boarding up again and sand all the floors.
So, we took the decision to buy some wooden flooring to go over it all. This meant that the rug ended up being a little redundant in terms of preventing heat loss. To be honest though, I ended up being quite glad that we got more flooring…it’s made the place warmer and so did the job of preventing the cold from coming up through the cellars better than the rug could have done. The rug is in our living room and I love it, so all is good. The cats don’t like stepping on it though…something about the texture!
The coffee table was made by James a while back from a recycled pallet. I’ll do another full post on the living room soon.
So, what about the curtains? We had intended to put the new Ikea curtains up in the living room, dining room and some of the bedrooms. Although all the windows has been renovated and added thin double glazing in (the most we could do in a listed building)…we knew that heat loss through the windows would be a good thing to do.
However, in the living room and dining room, we were actually got into the new house…it turned out that adding curtain poles above the gorgeous French windows just wouldn’t have been right. It would have looked too odd. We needed to think more about what to do with those rooms.
We decided that the curtains would look best in the bedrooms, so I took them down to our new local tailor with the lining material to get them lined and taken up. He did think I was a bit mad not having ‘proper’ white lining material…but I’ve always disliked it! If I’m going to have dark curtains, then I much prefer a dark lining material. They arrived back with us a week or two later and up the went in two of the bedrooms. They block out light beautifully, which is great for night time and fingers crossed they help keep the heat in too.
The house does feel like it’s a lot warmer than I expected, so I’m hoping everything we’ve been doing has helped. We’ll be checking our energy usage too to see if we can see a difference versus the old house.
We’ve got two more packs of curtains that it turns out we don’t have a use for, so we are swapping them for some other sustainable items, I’ve got my eyes on the new Ikea indoor gardening range.
(it worth noting that we didn’t choose to save electricity with the Ikea project because our newly renovated house was mostly fitted out with LED bulbs)
Reducing food waste
So, how about the new tupperware? Well, my husband is loving having tubs we can actually use! We’ve been cooking at home a LOT more and making sure we always put leftovers into the fridge in our lovely new tubs.
We used to eat out between 3-5 times a week. Now, it’s only 1-2 times per week. We’ve both lost weight and saved money from cooking more at home and it feels good! We’ve signed up to a fortnightly organic meat box from Swillington Farm and we’re getting much better at meal planning.
I do think we can still improve though. Sometimes, we don’t end up eating the leftovers and they get thrown in the bin. This is mainly due to us forgetting what’s actually in the tubs. So, I’m going to search for a solution for writing on the tubs – what’s in it and when did it get put in. Either a pen that rubs off, or maybe stickers that can be written on and then rubbed out.
Living sustainably with Ikea
I’ve definitely learnt lots so far and been motivated to ‘do our bit’ for the environment, as well as saving money for ourselves. We’ll update you again soon on if we can tell how much energy we’re saving and our increased efforts to reduce food waste and we’re going to be planting some lovely veg in the garden too.
* Please note that I am an Ikea Live Lagom Ambassador (read the original post) and this post is in connection with that. My thoughts, as always, are my own.