Just for those of you who I know are curious about how the flat looks (or apartment if you prefer the US version) I’ll give you a fleeting glimpse.

Here’s a pic I took shortly after the furniture arrived.  It was a hot night and we’d been out to supper at a friend’s who gave me some flowers from her garden.  Here they are on the kitchen window-sill.

Can you see the kitchen units?  These are the original Paula Rosa units put in when the block was built over 25 years ago, and they’re a lovely pale, baby-blue with very retro white handles.  Other colours put in were lemon and pink.  I mean, pink? Wow!  Mr Frugalfashionshopper says he couldn’t have lived with the pink ones.  Because, yes, I was going to rip the units out and start again – that’s what most people have done here.  But after living with them for a few days I thought, goodness, no, they’re amazing!  People would pay good money to get a look like that.  Keep them.  So, I am.

It’s interesting.  As I’ve said in another post, people have been surprised and pleased at the way our flat looks. Nevertheless, there’s such ageism in any expectation that older people want a chintzy, dark, old-fashioned, antiquey look.

Here’s the nearest I get to antique!  Btw, that’s a new hob waiting to be fitted on the right.

But.  And I’m going to be very careful how I say this.  There is a communal lounge where I have already had a curry supper and a good time was had by all.  But within this room there are some of those ubiquitous high-back winged chairs. You know the origin of these chairs, don’t you?  They were designed for baronial halls with drafts and no heating, apart from the huge fire on one side of the room.  The chairs faced the fire and the wings at the top kept you free from the drafts, and presumably kept the heat in.

When I see chairs like that – I think several things. First is, are they comfortable?  I was going to say I’ve never sat in one, but I did the other day.  Two points: one, they all had an extra cushion under the seat, which I heard from the meeting (the AGM of the resident’s association) had been bought last year so they were extra high, which I didn’t find at all comfortable, and ii) they all had an extra cushion for your back to help you sit I presume more comfortably against that straight high back.

Seriously, are these chairs what people want?  Have they been, and this is important, ergonomically designed for older people? Or are they what (younger) people think older people want?  I don’t know.  And maybe, and I have yet to find out, they are exactly what people want when they age and become frail. All I know is that personally, I like a chair that supports my lower back, the upper back and neck is fine.  Consequently, the straight back of that type of chair looks and feels all wrong to me.

And I also think, have people, who design these rooms and the furniture in these rooms, never gone to Ikea?  OK, I just don’t like curly-wurly antiquey anything, so I know I’m as prejudiced as anybody.  And that’s why I want to get into more evidence-based research so I can say with authority that this is so because…..  But for me the look of these chairs is so not what I like, and as you know, I’m superficial enough to think the look of anything is quite important.

Brighton life continues to be great – have a peep at what I do a lot on Instagram.

I don’t do a lot of posing on Instagram instead I do a lot of street views! But here’s one of me wearing too much black standing next to….. !

I just love Brighton graffiti! And so does Mr Frugalfashionshopper!

We just know that it has been such a good decision.  But there have been consequences from moving and not the least, there is the physical side, and the damage you do to your body from all that hard graft of packing and unpacking.  Someone I know who also writes a blog said it took several months to recover from the move.  I believe her! And unfortunately, I’ve made things worse as twice I’ve stubbed my toe on furniture that wasn’t in quite the right place – yes, that’s right, I’ve done it twice, on the same toe!  But, it is nothing to do with my age as when I got my foot checked at my local Minor Injuries Unit three people in front of me hobbled in to see the nurse and they were all considerably younger than me!  The nurse, said, ‘not another one!’ You know what?  I have to stop walking around bare foot – that might prevent another incident!

Anyway, there will be a post at some point on keeping fit, as I just know I need a class as well as doing the walking, which I do a lot when I haven’t got a poorly toe.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper






26 thoughts on “Furniture and stuff

  • 17th July 2017 at 9:39 am

    My kitchen features original Hygena cupboards. Many times I’ve thought of ripping them out, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I kind of like them! The other reason that they stay is that I couldn’t bear the upheaval (and cost) that changing them would cause. Good luck in your new home!

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:46 am

      Yes, Hygena kitchens – I remember! For me the look of the Paula Rosa units is so retro why would I change it? They’re also in very good condition (once I’d cleaned them) so, indeed, why would you ever want to start again? And the mess and fuss – we’ve just had the electrics updated (essential) and that was a big upheaval. Thanks for the good wishes!

  • 17th July 2017 at 10:09 am

    Would it be inappropriate to say that Mr Fugalfashionshopper looks very cool ? in that photo?!!

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:47 am

      Not at all – he almost blushed!

  • 17th July 2017 at 10:28 am

    Flats looking great – more pictures please!

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:49 am

      I’ll do that as it happens – still many things to do. It’ll probably take a year.

  • 17th July 2017 at 11:55 am

    Lovely photos of the flat and Brighton graffiti .. you have a great eye Penny , thank you for sharing

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:49 am

      Thanks so much, Yok! I’m always on the lookout for Brighton graffiti!

  • 17th July 2017 at 1:23 pm

    I really enjoyed looking at the flat , and yes, more photos would be great! I’d love to see ALL the kitchen as it’s hard to imagine from just these shots.
    Thanks, Jan

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:55 am

      Hi Jan
      Re: the kitchen. We now have the new hob and oven installed – and it’s good to have an oven with a door that closes properly! But we still need new lino and kick-boards, plus the tiling is original and that could be improved. Also the walls are painted in magnolia (sigh) and we need more subtle lighting (single central bulb). When all that is done, you’ll get more photos 🙂

  • 17th July 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I really enjoyed looking at the flat , and yes, more photos would be great! I’d love to see ALL the kitchen as it’s hard to imagine from just these shots. Thanks!

  • 17th July 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Great looking flat, Penny! You have the knack for finding cool stuff.

    • 20th July 2017 at 7:58 am

      Thanks so much Eugenia – I do try to get a ‘look’ together with both clothes and surroundings. Actually I still make mistakes with both!

  • 17th July 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Just a comment on “those chairs”. I did the accounts for a group of Nursing/Residential homes before retiring, we had lots of them! I always thought they looked most uncomfortable, especially when someone was having a little nap, impossible to lie back. They look so awful too, reminiscent of a dreadful old institution that smelt bad. There must be something better.
    Best wishes in your new home.

    • 20th July 2017 at 8:01 am

      I am thinking that there has to be some evidence somewhere that work has been done to design these chairs – if not why not? And really the question is what is truly suitable for the ageing back?

      • 20th July 2017 at 7:24 pm

        I have to say in the places I know, the chairs were purchased because they were cheap and also waterproof, I don’t think anyone tested them to see if they were comfortable. And to go off on a tangent, any entertainment organised revolved around songs from the First World War! For how many of us is that relevant? I tried many times to say that this wasn’t the music and culture that I grew up with, neither did my husband who is 71, he’s more Dire Straits than A Long Way to Tipperary! The owners seemed unable to recognise that new residents were more likely to have lived a life like mine than someone who was born in 1900. I have to say that is one reason why I retired at 61, the dates of birth of new residents were getting to be uncomfortably close to mine of 1953. Very difficult to challenge this misconception. I’ll be interested to know what your research reveals.
        Chrissie W.

        • 25th July 2017 at 10:43 am

          Hello again Chrissie. That is such an important issue – this idea that all older people want is World War I and even World War II music. DireStraits, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkel (he’s just done a concert at The Palladium at 75) and naturally The Beatles and The Stones: these are all my kind of music as you’d expect of any 70-yr-old. But I also like later stuff as well (can I admit to loving Cold Play!) I’m really interested in these perceptions – all of which are so wrong.

          • 26th July 2017 at 3:38 pm

            Hi Penny,
            This is a subject very close to my heart, I could rabbit on forever about attitudes to care home residents. I can’t see this changing any time soon because people are usually so unwell by the time they are admitted that they’ve lost the ability to challenge the “status quo”. We can only hope that should our turn come we’re able to resist the constant pressure to play bingo and sit all together in a TV lounge to watch mindless daytime programmes.
            Maybe I’m too cynical and there are excellent places where people are treated as individuals, I hope so!

  • 17th July 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Actually I like those old fashioned high back wing chairs. I have had mine re upholstered in funky material, with a different fabric on the back side, and an equally funky feather cushion for the small of one’s back. With the addition of nailhead trim, they look modern retro. They are great to snuggle into and read a book. My grandkids love them, their parents all have low backed sectional sofa’s which have no back support at all. So I think the addition on one or two funky wing chairs with a modern sofa or sectional is a nice mix.

    • 20th July 2017 at 8:08 am

      The way you have customised those chairs sounds amazing and they must look great. I didn’t say in the post, but the chairs in this communal room are a pale pastel colour. You’ve got a good eye and well, I know what I like. The thing is I want to know if they’ve been designed for the back – you said you’ve got a small cushion for the small of the back so that means to me that they’re too straight. Where is the evidence that these chairs are what older people want and, crucially, need – I’m going to find it.

  • 18th July 2017 at 8:03 am

    Looking good! It seems there are so many misconceptions around ageing. I’m finding it now I’m looking for a new job. People are so ageist! And those high back chairs are pretty awful, aren’t they, but there most be lots of them still around!

    • 20th July 2017 at 8:10 am

      Thank you Gail. And those chairs. For me it’s two things: the way they look and the straightness of the back, if they all need a cushion, then they’re not designed for the back! And very best re: looking for a job, keep us posted about that!

  • 18th July 2017 at 9:29 am

    Following on from your comments about who chose the chairs, my current annoyance is with the ageist portrayal of older people in adverts. The funeral plan ones are a case in point. The people are often dressed badly with house decors that are dowdy and unattractive and the people made to seem foolish and unable to engage with modern life. Nothing about these adverts reflect my friends or acquaintances of my age (I’m 70)many of whom have great flair and are engaged with modern life. It’s sad that the younger women and men making these ads are so out of touch with older generations and feel free to promote this negative and unrealistic image of a large proportion of our society. We need to resist it!
    Love the flat photos – they totally support my point!

    • 20th July 2017 at 8:15 am

      Yes, indeed, I so agree! I have one friend same age as me with ill-health the rest are fit, hale and hearty and totally engaged with the modern world. It is such an ageist view that over 70 is about being doddery (mind you, after stubbing my toe…) and simple-minded. The last point I really object to and we must resist this view of older people. I agree!

  • 18th July 2017 at 10:21 am

    Brighton is fantastic! With or without graffiti!

    • 20th July 2017 at 8:16 am

      Totally agree with you Nancy!

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