- Premium reviews
- Express reviews
- Reviews rated
- Ratings received
In recent years, I have become a keen sewer and with that comes a sizeable fabric stash. I started to look around for more options and when doing some internet research it seemed that the Ikea Expedit range (it seems Ikea have now renamed it the Kallax range and slimmed down the side edges, rounded the edges to make it more child friendly and made the veneer scratch resistant, but claim the internal dimensions of the shelves are the same - if you are looking purchase) was a popular choice as it was really versatile. The range is basically a series of cubes, with open fronts and backs, so can be used either as room dividers or book shelves. The fact that each shelve is a cube makes each one really roomy and the design makes them really adaptable as you can fit doors or use boxes in the shelves and they come in lots of different sizes ? right from one four cubes up to a 16 cube shelf. Ikea also do a range of accessories including inserts and castors (the old Expedit range even had a desk attachment but they don''t seem to offer it in the Kallax range) and various boxes and baskets that fit into the cubes. Having measured the size I need I decided to go for the 8 cube shelf system in birch veneer (which costs 55gbp) but instead of having it upright like a bookshelf I laid it on its side so it is more a sideboard and fits the space I have available. This is one of the great things about the range as it doesn''t have an obvious back or sides so you can have it fit your needs and space. I managed to make this set of shelves up myself in about 30 minutes as it is really basic construction ? and all you need to build it is a Philips and flatbed screwdriver as well as the ubiquitous Ikea allen key. The instructions were easy to follow and it went together well and was nice and solid when built. What I really like is the way it is constructed there are no visible screws on the outside of the shelf so can be used anyway up. The squares also look really modern and contemporary and the various accessories mean it can easily be customised to suit your needs. The boxes I bought work really well and make the whole thing really neat and tidy so you can easily hide things out of site. Overall it looks clean and minimalist which is great and the cubes themselves really hold a Alot ? one shelf has my sewing machine and various sewing boxes in it which is a lot of space. At 55gbp for the unit I bought this is not the cheapest Ikea item you are going to buy but for its versatility and design it is well worth the money.
For me one skincare essential is a good exfoliator as I really do notice a difference in my skin when I use it. However, while my skin can sometimes be dehydrated it can be also be sensitive so I need quite a gentle exfoliator. In the past I have used the St Ives apricot scrub for sensitive skin but after reading reviews of this scrub on Dooyoo I decided to give this a go and have never looked back.
This scrub in some ways is quite similar to other scrubs in the St Ives range but there is one big difference it is made with Olive Oil which gives the scrub quite a luxurious feel.
It comes in the standard top-down tube that most face scrubs come in so can be a bit messy (it's also important not to be over-zealous when squeezing the tube as you don't need much).
In order to use the scrub you just need to dispense a blob about the size of a 5p piece and massage it over your damp face - I find it easiest to use the scrub in the shower as there is less to clean up that way. You obviously have to be careful not to get the scrub in your eyes but once you have massaged your face you simply wash it off and you are done.
In terms of how the scrub smells it has a neutral smell but there is a faint creamy olive smell which is really pleasant.
***How does it feel on the skin***
The first thing I notice when I use this scrub is how creamy it feels on my hand which I like. The grains itself are fairly small and not at all scratchy on the skin (some people may find them a little too small and gentle but as I use it every other to every day it is perfect for my skin) and feels nice and gentle. Because it is such a creamy texture it smooths over the face beautifully. Once I have washed the scrub off my skin does definitely feel smoother and actually feels moisturised as I find the olive oil lingers a little bit but not enough to make it feel greasy in any way instead my skin just feels soft and smooth. However, while it does feel more moisturised than any other scrub I have used I do still put my trusty Nivea creme on after my shower but that is because water can be drying but on the few occasions when I haven't moisturised straight away my skin does feel really nice. I am now on my second tube (they last quite a long time once you get used to not dispensing too much) and I have never had a reaction to it so I find it gentle on my skin.
It also works which is the main thing as far as I am concerned last winter I found myself with really tight and dry skin but since using this I don't have flaky bits anymore and my skin has been relatively spot free (apart from the usual monthly breakout) it has also helped with the scarring on my skin as whenever I get a spot it seems to scar but this has reduced thanks to regular exfoliation.
At £4.99 a tube in Boots and Superdrug it's really good value and I find a tube can last several months so well worth the price in my books.
This is one of the many items we bought when we first moved into our house because we needed various items of storage. After spending a fortune on other more essential items of furniture I didn't want to spend a lot on a bathroom storage unit.
I came across this while wondering around Wilko's looking for something that would fit the bill and something that I could get on the bus.
***The storage rack***
The idea of this rack is that it fits round a pedestal sink. It is made of silver metal (I think it is supposed to look like chrome) and has two open wire shelves.
***Assembling the rack***
The rack comes flat packed so you have to assemble it yourself which does make it easier to get home. Once you get I out of the box the instructions are fairly straight forward and I was able to make it up in a couple of minutes (you do need a screwdriver though). I didn't really have much problem putting it together (although the metal did seem quite flimsy to me) but some people on the Wilko site have found that the smaller screws didn't work so well but this wasn't a problem for me.
***Using the rack***
Once built the rack fit nicely under my sink and has two shelves to store your toiletries - however, it is worth noting that the shelves aren't that wide so it's fine to store things like shampoo etc but beyond that you won't be able to fit it on the shelves. The other thing that I found was because the shelves aren't solid (they are made of wire) things do have a tendency to fall off the shelves so it's not great for toothbrushes while things like toothpaste have a habit of falling through the front of the shelf.
The other thing I notice is that they can look a little cheap - the metal is very shiny and not that slightly duller (and to me classier) finish. Instead, it has a quite cheap, very shiny look to it. I also find that once up it doesn't feel that sturdy and has a little bit of a wobble to it and doesn't feel at all solid.
This is my biggest issue with this rack as at £15.00 from Wilkinsons it's not the cheapest option around and it doesn't feel or look like it is worth it.
As you can probably tell from my other reviews my housemate and I have had to buy a lot of furniture and when we moved to our new house she bought this bed frame - however, this was also the bed frame that I used in our old house as this was provided by our landlord so not only have I built this bed for my housemate I have used a version of it as well.
This is one of Ikea's more basic bed frames as it is a basic pine structure but it does serve its purposes well. Because it is a bedframe there is plenty of room for storage underneath the bed. It is also worth noting that the price quoted is for the cheapest range of bed slats (Sultan Lade) if you want more expensive versions the price will go up. The bed also comes in single and double sizes (although it's worth noting these are Ikea size beds so not your standard single and double - so a single is 90x200 cm and a double is 140 x 200 cm so I find is closer to a kings size).
This wasn't the easiest piece of Ikea furniture to put together as it was hard to tell which piece was which and it was easy to get them the wrong way round so we had a few occasions where we had to take sections apart and put it back together again which wasn't ideal. To make this up you need the standard Ikea alan key, and a flat head and Philips screwdriver. It also comes with strange tube screw holders which were really difficult to position and do take some getting used to.
However, once it is built the bed frame itself is very sturdy and I particularly like the fact that the central strut which adds rigidity to the whole structure is really well secured and also has legs attached to it so it feels solid. Whereas I have had more expensive Ikea bed frames which may have metal supports but feel less secure.
***Sleeping on the bed***
Once built the bed is very comfortable to sleep on and I only ever had the cheapest bed slats. The bed never once in the six months I used it did it feel like it would fall apart or the slats would come off the bedframe (something that happens with my current older bed frame) and it was very comfortable to sleep on in general.
There is also a lot of room under the bed for storage which I love as I need to somewhere to stash all those little bits we collect but don't have room for. I also like the look of the bedframe as the pine finish is unfussy and can easily be painted or treated and upcycled.
At £40 for the single and £55 for the double (prices do go up if you choose more expensive slats rather than the basics) it is really good value and well worth the price although I do have to knock a star off for the difficulty assembling it.
When we moved into our old house our landlords had clearly spent as little cash as possible on getting furniture and so we had two of these sofa beds in the living room.
They are from Ikea and while they served the purpose while we lived there after six months we were keen to upgrade when we moved house again.
First of all I can't really comment on how easy these sofas were to assemble as they were already made up when we moved in but looking at the Ikea website they look pretty similar to put up as other Ikea sofas making them simple for most people.
The sofas themselves are compact two seaters with a blue hard wearing cloth cover (these are not removable) and plastic feet. According to the Ikea website the assembled size is:
Width: 137 cm
Depth: 78 cm
Height: 72 cm
Seat depth: 55 cm
Seat height: 39 cm
Bed width: 118 cm
Bed length: 205 cm
In fact I must admit I find the sofa a little on the small side - I like to curl up on sofas and am only 5ft 5inches and even found it a bit small for me. However, the biggest issue I have with this sofa is how uncomfortable it is it sit on. It seems to have foam pads in the seats and back with very solid arm rests and we had to put a lot of cushions on the sofa to make it even half way comfy (which took up some of the limited space). You couldn't curl up in comfort because the armrests were so hard and the sofa seats themselves weren't nice to sit on.
In terms of how the sofa looks it all looked a bit boxy for my taste and the fabric does look cheap as does the feet.
***Using it as a sofa bed***
In order to turn it into a sofa bed it is very simple you simply remove the backrest and pull out the sofa to form a sofa bed (your guests sleep on the foam of the seat). However, while it is really simple to do there is a firm board (the base of the sofa) where you think your head should be (in the U shape made by the arm rests and back of the sofa) which is really uncomfortable to sleep on. Instead, you should sleep with you head at the the other end but people who slept in the bed still found it uncomfortable (particularly as the foam bit isn't quite level with the timber bit). To be honest if you want to invest in somewhere for guests to sleep a blow up mattress is far more comfortable.
At £95 it is good value but I would rather pay for a better sofa (maybe a Poang armchair if you are on a budget) and a blow up mattress.
In our house we never really considered getting a subscription to sky or virgin as Freeview fulfilled most of our needs. However, we've recently wanted to start watching some sky programmes (including Game of Thrones) and so when the Now TV box came out it was really tempting especially as you can watch films etc on your TV rather than laptop.
***What is the NowTV Box***
The box is simply a way of turning your tv into a smart tv -so not only can you watch Now TV on your TV set you can also watch BBC iPlayer as well as things like 4OD all on your TV screen which I find really useful as I don't really like watching TV on my laptop as I am generally using my laptop for other purposes.
***How to use your NowTV box***
When it arrives you get a little white box which has built in WiFi (there is no Ethernet cable) it also has an HDMI and AV output. These just need to be plugged into the back of your TV (if you have an older TV you just need to buy a mini-jack) and then plug in the power and you are ready to go.
Once you plug it in you need to find the right place to watch it (we press input selection and go to the one that says HDMI) and it brings up the home selection which scans for available internet connections and you just type in the password. You do need to have a NowTV account and at this stage you are asked to sign in to your account. From here you have a really simple interface with the NowTV option, BBC iPlayer, Sky News, Demand 5 and 4OD. To launch an app all you need to do is scroll across and press the OK button and to exit just press the home button or back button. You can also add more Apps including Facebook, Flickr, Flixster, Fox News, Vevo, Tunein, Spotify and CNET.
With NowTV you can subscribe to three channels - sport, movies and Entertainment and you pay subscriptions for each one individually (I pay for Entertainment and Movies which works well for my needs).
I've heard that the box doesn't quite have the specs of some highend boxes but at £10 for the box itself it works really well for my needs and I like the choice on NowTV and being able to watch iPlayer and 4OD is a massive bonus.
When we moved into our new house it was unfurnished and while it saved us a lot on our monthly rent it did mean that we had to pay for rather a lot of furniture. Before we moved in I had lofty plans to design my perfect wardrobe space but decided that it would be more useful to save a bit of cash instead and go for a cheaper option so instead went for the Ikea Austmarka wardrobe.
***What you get***
Some of you may recognise this wardrobe because it is very similar to the popular Aneboda only in a birch or oak colour which matched the rest of my bedroom furniture far better. It comes in a choice of oak veneer or birch (the colour I choose) and has frosted plastic panels on the doors and silver handles.
This is a pretty basic double wardrobe design consisting of a rail a shelf and that's it, don't expect the fancy storage combos of the pax wardrobe (but it is half the price at least).
According to the Ikea website it's dimensions are:
Width: 81 cm
Depth: 50 cm
Height: 180 cm
Max. load/shelf: 36 g
***Assembling the wardrobe***
As this is a review of an Ikea piece of furniture we obviously need to speak a little about building it. We got our furniture on pick and deliver so can't comment on the process of getting it home but when it comes to building this wardrobe I like to think I am a bit of an expert due to the fact I have now put up two of them, mine and my housemates.
The process was pretty much standard Ikea assembly but in addition to the allen key provided you will also need a Philips screwdriver and a hammer. Luckily the door was made up so you didn't have to worry about sticking the plastic in or anything. You do however need to make up the carcass, attach the feet, hammer on the back and perhaps the most difficult part hang the doors. All in all it took my housemate and I about 30 minutes to make this wardrobe and it was surprisingly easy to put together. However, as I said hanging the doors can be a bit tricky and on my wardrobe I had to re-hang them as they didn't quite shut properly but that was down to me rather than the design. That said if you are used to flat pack furniture it shouldn't be a problem to do this (because of the size of it you do really need two people though).
Once built I find the wardrobe pretty stable and it does look nice - I was worried it would look a bit cheap - especially with the silver handles when I would have preferred veneer but overall it looks pretty good. One thing I would say is while they are frosted you can still see through the plastic panels in the door a little bit (you can see colours rather than what is actually in the wardrobe if that makes sense) so if you prefer a more uniformed look you may want to hang a piece of fabric behind the doors (I'll be honest I planned to do this and haven't bothered yet!)
In terms of space you get a lot of hanging room (it is a double wardrobe) and I have room for a pile of shoes under my clothes - however, the top shelf is quite thin so you couldn't put boxes etc on it but you could always place those on top of the wardrobe I guess. However, my biggest issue with the wardrobe is the hanging rail. The plastic rail is simply slotted into the holes at the sides and not attached with glue or screws etc. Because I have a lot (A LOT) of clothes it tends to get a bit heavy and it has been known (on one occasion) to come out of the holes when I am getting something out - not what you want when you are in a rush to get to work. I do appreciate that I have probably over filled it which would put a lot of strain on even the sturdiest pole and it does slot back in really well so I believe that is my fault rather than Ikea's.
At £65 it is a good size for the price and very good value however, I do have to knock a star off for the rail as I would like it to be better secured.
I'm a Bzzagent so was given the chance to try this product for the reduced price of £27.99.
The idea of the Luna Mini is that it is T-sonic facial cleaning brush. Made of silicone it is supposed to be easy to clean and leaves your skin looking cleaner, brighter and younger.
According to their website: "Just 1 minute's use morning and night will leave the skin looking naturally beautiful with a healthy-looking glow, while dirt, oil and makeup residue are driven away. Simply apply your cleanser of choice, wet the LUNATM mini, turn it on and cleanse your way to clearer and cleaner skin."
***Using the Luna Mini***
The Luna Mini comes in a plastic case which makes it easy to transport and keep clean. In order to use it is really simple - you put your cleanser on the brush and then turn it on. There are two settings to choose from: the first when you first turn it on is to cleanse your entire face while if you press the button again it provides a gentler pulse which you can use around the eye area.
It also comes with a USB cable to charge it up although in the months I have had it I have never had to recharge it.
***What I thought***
I must admit that when I got sent this product from Bzzagent I had high hopes and I am still on the fence about it. I must confess that I don't use the product twice a day but do use it most days and when I do use it I notice that my skin is really clean (so much so it brought me out in spots when I first used it).
Overall, it is really simple to use which I like and does feel nice on your skin - it is also really easy to transport because of its size. I have also not had to charge the battery since I first got it and it as held up well despite being kept on the side of the shower where it gets a lot of water on it. I also find it stays very hygienic and because it is silicone it is very easy to clean.
But how does it make my skin look? Well at first it brought me out in spots which are not ideal but now it does leave it very clean. However, beyond that I am not sure. My skin is quite smooth at the moment but that is largely due to my exfoliator and the fact I have changed moisturiser. I also get quite flaky skin in winter and when this happened I attacked it with the Luna mini, exfoliator and moisturiser so while that has cleared up I am not sure what has done that.
In conclusion I think I will keep using it but not sure I would pay full price for it because at £99 full price it seems a little bit costly to me.
Also appears on CIAO under username SamanthaL82
For a long time a printer was one of those things that I could make do without (I could just print at work) but now I have started doing a lot of sewing and crafting I find that a printer is something that could actually save me money (thanks to free card making papers etc and sewing patterns off the internet).
Therefore, I decided to finally take the plunge and buy myself a printer and decided that it would be a good idea to go for an all in one scanner, copier and printer as they are not much more expensive but are a useful addition as that way you get far more use out of your printer. Therefore, after reading good reviews on the Argos website I decided to purchase the HP Deskjet 2540 AiO Printer.
***What's in the box?***
The printer comes with two power cables (one for USA plug points and one for UK plug points), a USB cable for attaching to your computer, a CD rom to download the software needed to run the printer as well as two cartridges (one black and one coloured)
***How it works***
When you get the printer you need to plug it in before installing the printer cartridges (this is pretty standard - remove the clear plastic tag and insert into the cradle, although I did get it the wrong way round when I first tried so pay attention to how they are supposed to go in - and it didn't do any harm to the printer).
You then need to install the CD Rom supplied onto your laptop but that was really painless and simple to do. When you first print you will also need to do a cartridge alignment test but that takes 3 minutes maximum and uses about 2 sheets of paper so overall it didn't take long to set up as after that the hard work was done.
From there you need to plug in the USB cable into your laptop and into the printer if you want to print a document - you can print wirelessly but I have tried to work out how to do this and for the life of me can't figure that out. If you need to photocopy or scan something then there are buttons on the front of the printer which are all fairly self-explanatory and it is also simple to photocopy or scan making it a truly multi-functioning printer.
In terms of cartridge use - well on day one I printed a lot of ink heavy fliers and tickets and since then have printed off odd bits here and there and it seems to be fine (the printer tells you what it's ink reserves are so you can pick up supplies before they run out which helps) and I have now had the printer since October so I am pretty happy with that usage.
Currently this printer retails at £49.99 in Argos but I bought it for £39.99 which seems like a good price for what you get and it's functionality (the photocopy function has been really useful). However, I am going to knock a star off as I can't get it to print wirelessly.
Please note this review also appears on Ciao under username SamanthaL82
I have to confess that when it comes to ironing I am rather lazy and tend to iron as little as possible. However, there are the odd items in my wardrobe which need ironing and now I have started sewing I find myself having to iron far more than I ever did.
However, being on a budget I didn't want to pay a fortune for an iron so I picked up this iron from Currys for a pretty bargain price (see below).
The first thing I would say is that this is a basic iron so don't expect something really fancy it is a basic iron but it does the job.
The look of the iron is quite simple but I like that. It is white plastic with blue clear plastic detailing but one thing I did notice when I took the iron out of the box is how light it is. It's isn't too heavy to use at all which is really important for me as I have quite week wrists and some irons are simply too much where this one can be picked up easily and glides well.
The power cord is also 1.9 metres which is more than long enough for my needs.
***Using the iron***
Since I have bought the iron it has been put through its paces as although I don't iron a lot of my clothes I have recently taken up sewing and have to do a lot of ironing when I do sew - from pressing seams to attaching iron on interfacing the poor iron gets a lot of work.
It has an adjustable thermostat so you can select the temperature you want (although I do wish the arrow used to sew what selection you have made was bigger as I do get a bit confused) and isn't too hot on the lowest setting (something that is really important with delicate fabrics - having burnt taffeta for a party dress I was making it's enough to make you cry). However, the hot setting is quite warm and would mark cotton if you spent too long ironing it but there are about five temperatures to choose from you do have a good choice.
In terms of ironing I find the iron does glide over the fabric nicely and doesn't stick (unless you get your interfacing the wrong way up! But it cleans off fine). The plate of the iron also still looks good even after being used for interfacing etc. You also don't have to keep going over the same patch with this iron which is a real benefit.
The iron does have a steam function which I find works pretty well as well as 150 ml reservoir for water which is pretty simple to fill (it comes with a little jug but I just use a glass as the jug has been lost) which of squirts water but like most irons if you over fill it or are a little over zealous with the steam or water it can make the garment a bit damp but that is standard for a lot of irons I have used in the past.
This is the biggest selling point of this iron as you can buy it from Currys for £3.99 which for a good basic iron is a bargain in my eyes and as it has met all my needs I would buy it again.
Moving into an unfurnished house means that there are lots of bits you need to buy for the house and in our case we needed a new fridge and freezer (our kitchen was unfortunately too small for a fridge freezer) and as money was a bit tight I decided to go for this fridge (although mine is actually the LUL55S12 which is the newer version of the one pictured and the one currently available at Currys.
This fridge comes in a mattish silver colour (I was worried about going for a cheap white fridge incase it looked a bit cheap so decided the silver could be a good option as it would wear better.
The fridge itself is quite roomy - it has a storage capacity of 133 litres (my housemate and I manage to get by without even filling it every month. It has three selves (well two and a salad drawer) as well as a roomy door area - including a bottle holder and egg racks. The selves are also adjustable so you can arrange them how you want and to suit your storage needs.
***Setting it up***
This was really simple - we had to leave it to sit for a while off the top of my head I think it was an hour but I left it a day - this was to let the gasses settle down after transportation and beyond that it was really simple to set up. I simply plugged it in arranged the shelves and door racks (which took a matter of moments) and let it cool down and it was ready to go. The temperature is also easily controlled as there is a dial inside the fridge which allows you to set the fridge temperature without having to worry about searching round at the back of the unit as you have to do with some fridges.
***Keeping things cold***
Well I guess this is the most important part of how a fridge works and so far so good. I have it on the middle setting (which I think is about a 3) and it keeps my food fresh and in good condition. It also has never iced up or have too much condensation which is really important too and so far I haven't noticed that things at the back of the fridge freeze to it which can be a problem with other fridges.
I also find it really easy to keep clean - just wipe it down and so far there have been no odd smells (but that probably has more to do with my housemate and I making sure we don't leave food to fester).
The fridge is usually £149.99 from Curry's (although it I on offer for 109.99 at the moment) and it is good value for a pretty decent fridge that I have never had any issues with so far.
My housemate and I have recently moved into an unfurnished house so we decided to split the cost of buying white goods (well silver goods in this case) between us. She got the washing machine and as I we couldn't fit a fridge freezer into our kitchen I bought a separate fridge and freezer. This freezer currently sits in our basement and get's pretty regular use (although according to Curry's where I purchased the freezer it shouldn't be stored in outbuildings or unheated areas but while not heated my cellar isn't that cold because the rest of the house is heated).
This freezer comes in a silver gloss finish (I went for silver as I worry that cheap white goods can look off-white rather than white). It has three basic plastic compartments but they are pretty spacious and so far we have part filled them all but could condense it down to one and a half compartments which for two adults is a good size (according to Curry's it has a 94 litre storage capacity which seems a lot to me). However, I suspect this freezer would be a tad small for a family who are likely to need a lot more storage.
The freezer also has an A+ energy rating which is good and makes it far more energy efficient than some freezers but still not the most energy efficient freezer you can buy (A+++ is the top rating).
***Setting the freezer up***
Because I ordered the freezer online it was delivered for me (although one small bug bear with this was the fact that I thought they would take the packaging away and they didn't but that is a minor point). Once in place in the cellar it was really easy to use - just remove all the tape etc they use to transport it and plug it in and that's it. I found that it seemed to reach temperature really quickly and I was able to transfer my food from my old freezer over within about 15 minutes (if that but had to walk to the old house).
***Using the freezer***
So far the freezer has mostly been ok to use (apart from a couple of issues which I will explain later).
The food seems to freeze really well in and so far everything has stayed nicely frozen. In terms of storage while a chest freezer of the same size may store more food but I find that the drawers are so much more convenient and the fact that they are see through makes it easy to have an idea of what is in the drawers.
However, one point I have found is that the door is prone to opening (whether it is because the floor is uneven and I need to adjust the feet I don't know - if anyone knows about freezers and want to enlighten me I will be grateful) which can be really dangerous with food. So far all my food has remained fully frozen (I do a very through check) but if I was feeding kids I wouldn't risk it. What this then means is that ice builds up making it hard to shut the freezer and open the drawers so I have had to spend time on my cellar floor chipping away at the ice and as I bought the freezer in September I didn't expect to need to defrost it so soon.
At £150 from Curry's (I believe Logik is their own brand but I could be wrong) this is a good deal for a good sized freezer. However, until I sort the door opening issue I can't recommend it so that's why it only has 2 stars. If I sort the door issue I am happy to give it more.
When I moved into my current house I needed a desk that I could use for my sewing machine and my laptop (if I ever bother to unplug my sewing machine). I had originally set my heart on a glass desk from Ikea but when I saw it in the shop I decided against it and went for this one instead. The desk cost just £10 and went with my other furniture so seemed like a good buy.
The desk itself comes in the standard Birch finish and looks quite sturdy when built up. It also has a hidden cable tray at the back of the desk which is handy for laptop cable or even storing paints and pencil tins if a kid is using it. Once made up the desk is:
Width: 70 cm
Depth: 50 cm
Height: 72 cm
For me I find that I can keep a standard size sewing machine an angle poise lamp and a sea grass basket with ease. However, it is not a massive desk so if you need room for a printer or lots of in trays and files you will really need a bigger desk but it suits my needs well size wise.
***Putting the desk together***
This is where the desk really let me down. We got the desk and a load of other furniture picked and delivered for us so when it arrived at the house I decided to try and put it up on my own while my housemate was at work. By this point I had put up several pieces of furniture and the desk looked simple to do. However, the problem was the fact that none of the pre-drilled holes matched up so to this day there are screws missing where I simply couldn't fit them in (although the desk does seem to be ok) and even when my housemate helped me we really struggled. None of the drilled holes made sense with the instructions so it was really tough to get it to even look like a desk. Out of all the furniture we put up that week (and we put up a lot) this was by far the hardest. That said this may be due to a manufacturing error rather than a fault with the product range but I can only comment on my own experiences.
I also noticed that when it came out of the box it also had a look of what my mum calls nicotine brown but that has since faded to a more birchy look and the one in Ikea looked more birch like.
***Using the desk***
So far despite the problems putting the desk up and the missing screws it is pretty solid and the colour has faded nicely. The desk is also easy to use and there is plenty of room for what I need (although the cable storage is mainly used to hide stationary in.
At £10 this desk is great value but it is very basic in design and not that large. But providing you don't have the problems I had assembling it should be a good buy.
About five years ago when I first moved to Leeds I purchased this lamp as the spot lights in our living room were quite harsh and I wanted something a bit softer. Because I lived in a shared house I didn't want to spend a fortune on a lamp that would get trashed or ruined so I purchased this one (I believe it was about £5 at the time).
***The lamp itself***
Once you have been through the standard Argos buying process you are given a flat pack box which I have to say despite being quite tall when made up I found the box easy enough to transport back home on the bus.
The lamp comes with a cone shaped uplighter and three separate pole pieces which get screwed together to form the main body of the lamp as well as a base and cord. The lamp is easy to assemble and you don't need any special tools to assemble it and in fact I had put it together within about three minutes which is good - however, due to its design it can look a bit flimsy. The lamp has also been taken apart about three times now and moved from house to house and is still in good condition.
Once up the lamp looks ok but mine is a little plastic looking (the one I bought doesn't come in a metal finish) but it doesn't look as bad as you would expect for the price I paid and to be honest I have happily had the lamp in my home for five years - it is only now that I am thinking it may be time to upgrade. One thing however, that does bug me a bit about the lamp is the fact that the wire is on the outside of the lamp and is black. I realise that for the price I can't expect a designer piece but it would be a nice design feature if the cord could be threaded through the tubes of the lamp.
Once on the lamp looks lovely as the frosted plastic of the uplighter gives the bulb a nice warm glow and the uplighter part itself is a nice size so you can use a standard bulb (no hunting around for small bulbs etc and it also means you can use energy saving bulbs which is a massive bonus).
Another thing that I notice is because the lamp has an open cone for the uplighter part it does collect dust but then again most lamps do and a quick dusting does the trick.
Argos currently sell it singularly for £4.48 or a pair for £8.97 so it is exceptionally good value and as mine has lasted over five years it has worked out to be pence per day.
I bought this mixer from Wilkinson's for about £5 five years ago when I first moved up to Leeds and wanted to start baking again (however, the price has gone up a little since then).
***What you get***
Well this is a pretty basic hand mixer but it does everything I need. My mixer came with two dough hooks (although I must confess I have never used them as I just can't get the dough right and I prefer to make bread by hand anyway) and two standard whisks attachments which is what I bought it for.
My mixer is white plastic but because it is such a compact design it fits nicely in the cupboard without taking up much space (so important when space is at a premium). However, I do find that it can get quite grubby looking but that is going to happen with every mixer as I use it for baking and cake mixture tends to get everywhere (or maybe I am just a very messy baker). That said it is very easy to clean the mixer as I just use a damp cloth and it gets rid of any debris etc and the mixer is still white despite being used for about five years.
There are five separate speeds on my mixer (and a turbo booster which is handy when you want to finish whisking something tough) which works well for my needs. I tend to use the mixer on full whack as I am a bit impatient and it works well (my cakes are always light and fluffy) although if you are not careful at that speed the cake mixture could fly everywhere so I start on a low setting and turn it up.
There is also a release button so you can clean the beaters and that's it really. Fitting the beaters is also really easy as they just slot into place (well with a little push anyway). Cleaning the beater s is also fine as you can either wash them by hand or pop them in the dishwasher I have done both and there is no sign of erosion or degradation at all.
The price has gone up a bit in recent years but at about £8-£9 it's a good deal especially if it lasts as long as mine has and after five years there is no sign of it giving up the ghost (touch wood).