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Shopping Advice?

Kitchen cupboard shelflets revisited: Since our cupboards are tall and our dishes are a few too many, I use shelflets to further divide up kitchen cupboard space. They aren't really called shelflets, but neither does there seem to be a standardized name for them. When I first moved back to England, I posted a cry for help: where on earth to find these staples of North American organizational stores? Armed with suggestions, I went shopping.

  • Argos: Metal racks. The corner plate organizer is flimsy, but the stackable shelves aren't bad - except I prefer them rubber-coated to protect the plates.

  • Lakeland: A pair of stacking shelflets, strong, wide, perfect. ("Space Saver Shelves") The problem? Lakeland no longer sells them! They sell an extra shelflet ("Add-a-Shelf") still, but it's not designed for stacking.

  • Ikea: I picked it up in the store and put it back down again. Even cheaper and flimsier than Argos'.

  • John Lewis: I tried the Oxford Street one in 2005 and they didn't have any.

  • Random hardware store up north: I picked up an excellent, sturdy rubber-coated metal plate rack there, but they didn't stock shelflets.

So any more suggestions as to where to find these? If I can't find anything else decent, I'll go with the Lakeland non-stacking variant.

Furniture Shops: Ikea's been a staple, but what else would you actively recommend? I just don't know most of the brands here, not having been in the market for furniture much. John Lewis looks like a promising place for some things.

How to buy a pillow? For something I spent a third of my life with, I've never put much money or effort into pillows, and I've been perennially discontent with them as a result. This is silly. Pillows are widespread and far easier to buy at all levels of quality than are shelflets. Is there more to know about pillow shopping than just trying lots out?


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2007 02:51 pm (UTC)
Robert Dyas in Canary Wharf may be a good place to look for shelflets. I know they have the corner plate rack things there.

Pillows - more difficult as personal prefernce comes into it a lot. I usually go for the 'lots of pillows, each of which cost between £10 and £20' approach, because then I can arrange them to suit me. I also tend to buy feather pillows because they can be washed and tumble-dried many times before they start to fall apart. I've never actually bothered doing this but I always intend to do so...

Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
To show how much more I could know about pillows than I do: it never even occurred to me to wash a pillow. Suddenly, I'm disturbed - I know to wash duvets and sheets and pillowcases and blankets, but pillows never crossed my cleaning radar.

I feel sure I must have looked at that Robert Dyas, but it can't hurt to do so again since I'm unsure.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
John Lewis is pretty good for things like pillows. They have a buying guide online, but the best thing is to go there and talk to someone (not on a Saturday) and they are quite helpful about the best kinds of pillows depending on how you sleep and that sort of thing.

Extra shelves I can't help with, because I bought mine from Lakeland. But it could be worth emailing them about that - they do sometimes bring things back into the catalogue, or they might even tell you where they're manufactured so you can find stockists. Unless the problem is that they aren't made any more, of course.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
I wasn't sure I could get good pillow advice from a department store or if a specialty shop would be better for advising me.

Emailing Lakeland: Good advice! I'll do that right away.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
I can't help with the shelflets (love the term, btw), but I recently discovered the wonder of latex foam pillows. They cost a lot (mine was $125 CDN) but they retain their shape for nigh on forever and don't need replacing. If you prefer a poufy or firm pillow, this might be an option. But you will have to take thought regarding what kind of pillow you want, often related to your sleeping style (back, stomach, side).
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
I was wondering if the expensive pillows were worth the cost. I was browing the White Company's online store for good pillow examples and was impressed by just how expensive pillows can be. They have one which retails for UKP 180. Which even they admit is expensive for a pillow. I suspect that's just extravagant, but it did make me wonder: how much is it worth paying for a pillow?
(no subject) - a_d_medievalist - Jan. 22nd, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - littleowl - Jan. 22nd, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jan. 24th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
I have several of these Ikea shelflets, and have found them very good; they're actually quite sturdy, and they can be screwed together in various combinations and permutations. They come in two different widths, too. If you want them rubber-coated, I think Lakeland sell sticky-backed shelf liner stuff that would add some protection.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:33 pm (UTC)
Those are exactly the ones I distrusted in the store, but if you recommend them, perhaps they're better than they seemed on first encounter. They're certainly more robust than the Argos corner plate rack. The suggestion of how to rubber coat is good too - if I can't find what I'm looking for, I can make my own.
(no subject) - sushidog - Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - littleowl - Jan. 22nd, 2007 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 22nd, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC)
If you can find some over here online (say, at home depot or something), and they're collapsible and shippable, we could probably arrange something.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
I like these:


and not just for cupboards under sinks.
Jan. 23rd, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
Now that's a good idea. I have that bookmarked. Thanks :o)
(no subject) - owlfish - Jan. 24th, 2007 01:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 22nd, 2007 09:04 pm (UTC)
I love my new memory foam pillow. My neck hurts way less and I sleep better. Go get those!
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the recommendation!
Jan. 22nd, 2007 09:10 pm (UTC)
Pillows: I recently bought four from John Lewis. They have a decent selection of feather, down and man-made fillings.

Generally I find you get what you pay for so if you want something that will last well, be prepared to spend a bit (or if you want down pillows, quite a lot).
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
But how much is a bit? How much is a good pillow worth?

John Lewis is probably the easiest option for me - especially if I can get advice there as well.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 11:12 pm (UTC)
I like Argos for pillows, oddly, though you can't exactly pummel them. I like their goose feather and duck down ones, except it takes a month or so of pummeling for them to turn into comfy pillows instead of fluffy, dangerously soft things..
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
Argos is a source of all sorts of useful things. I was despairing of finding a decent set of shower-proof shelves on a pole before I tried them.

fluffy, dangerously soft things

They hold you captive and won't let go?
Jan. 24th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
That Lakeland shelf looks good. I've been using cup holders and CD holders from Habitat ( http://www.habitat.net/uk/ ) which is good on small furnishings, but overpriced on big things, I find. Nice lighting. The last pillows I bought were from IKEA (the cheap ones sold rolled up in a roll) and they were fantastic.

Hello, by the way! I saw your icon in comments a friend's journal, and thought it looked interesting.
Jan. 24th, 2007 01:40 pm (UTC)
Habitat's website is exhausting to play with. It's such a well-intentioned interface. That they name their products is the worst of it - when graphics aren't loading for a search result, the name is meaningless. (Like Ikea, of course.) I think I'd better just try a store.

Hello! You have a penguin-on-biplane icon!

I have Plans to make more Playmobil icons - it justifies acquiring all the Playmobil, you see.
justification to buy Playmobil? - cleanskies - Jan. 24th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: justification to buy Playmobil? - owlfish - Jan. 24th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stormwindz - Jan. 27th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - owlfish - Jan. 27th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )