I bought really cheap pieces because, again, we have no clue how long we will be here for. They are pieces that I don't feel bad about only having for a year. They are functional and will brighten up our home. Chic? Absolutely not. But it'll hopefully make our flat more comfortable!
I got this little bookshelf...it is embarrassingly cheap at 10 pounds. We have a nook by our front door that would be the perfect home for this..it can hold our mail, shoes, and all of our Rick Steves tour books. If it doesn't hold up then I won't be too upset because it costs the same amount as two coffees, but I find that Ikea actually offers pretty good quality considering the price.
A couple of side notes...
You remember our saga with getting internet installed in our flat a couple of months ago? How they had to send 5 "engineers" before it even worked? Well, I checked our account this morning and they had charged us for coming out to fix the internet we never had! I was fuming! I called them and they insisted that it's policy to charge each time they send out an engineer...I tried to be kind and asked to speak to the manager. Thankfully, after hearing me patiently explain why it wasn't right to be charged for their engineers incompetent work (I know that's harsh, but they were unable to provide the service they were offering! That's incompetent!) she removed the charges. And that's a good thing. Because I would have exploded in rage if she wouldn't had.
Also, I know I am repeating myself, but I am babysitting a LOT! Tomorrow the school is shut down due to a teacher's strike, so I am with the kiddos allllll day. Tonight, I stay until 11. And then they have a fall break in 2 weeks and I will be with them mon-fri from 7 am to 7 pm. I am trying not to dread it. I love watching the kids, but what the heck are we supposed to do for that long? Also, I like having my "me" time. I'm trying to be thankful for the provisions that it will provide...hence the ikea "splurge"!