Our apartment is filled with truly hideous and unbearably cheap furniture.
At the recommendation of a few colleagues, we'll be socking away money for the next few months to, first and foremost, get my critter kids over here, and, secondly, save enough to buy a bunch of IKEA furniture from the Wuxi store and have it delivered. And lemme tell you why:
Rock hard Chinese-style bed. I was expecting it, and I knew it would be only modestly countered by buying local cotton-batting mattress pads. We currently have two sets on the bed, which I had to saw to the proper width with a crazy sharp knife my brother gave to me. It's still lumpy in the middle and only kind of comfortable
Solution: Ikea 5+ cm mattress pad with foam.
Rock hard, narrow, red-fabric-with-dog-print fabric sofas. x2. Can't/won't do more than 30 minutes of sitting on them because my butt goes numb. And Rob can't lay on them- he sprawls off the length and teeters off the width.
Solution: Buy a sofa. For the love of Pete, buy a squishy, module-based sofa that will be deep enough, soft enough, and long enough. Babies will be in the 1-2 year plan, so I'll need a cuddling spot. Perhaps a few side chairs, too.
Wardrobes that are only as tall as I am, cheap, crappy particleboard, and not even deep enough to hold the ragtag group of crappy hangers left for us. Oh, and a purple fabric wardrobe with plastic pole connectors, one of which split already, so it's lurching perilously forward.
Solution: Wardrobe and drawers. Duh. (PS- do you think we should go for this solution or this one? Need some opinions!)
No bookshelves, terrible TV stand, and an abundance of tiny, short desks.
Solution: Nix the desks, which are so poorly constructed, I can't even stand it. Replace the TV stand with something better, perhaps with storage that might fit something, anything. And a few bookshelves to store the collection of music and art nerdery that is coming in the next few months by freight.
Lots of faux wood floors and bright fluorescent lighting. Critters click-clacking around and way-too-bright evening lighting isn't going to be ideal for the long haul.
Solution: I've picked out a few sensible low-pile rugs and we'll scatter some floor and table lamps around.
Complaining out of the way- at least it's a furnished place. It simply won't work if we'll be around for many years, but we aren't sitting on the floor or sleeping on nothing but 3 cm pads. And the price of rent is very good, so I'll make it all work until we can afford to make a swap.
Perks: TONS of green space around our apartment. A bus stop so convenient, it's scary (3 short stops from campus, 3-4 lines to take us to the bigger supermarkets, 2+ options to get us either to Old Town and other shopping and restaurant areas, or to the Metro line, which makes traveling into town a breeze), three plazas within a 4 minute walk with restaurant, veggie and fruit market and convenience store options. Very attentive landlord and very sweet repair guys so far. Aaaand, since the complex is very new and will be developed like crazy in a few short years, perhaps the promise of a lot more developed amenities and conveniences.
Oh, and I have several pipes running through my kitchen and around the perimeter of the living room. That's a neat feature, right?