But I did find simple off-white curtains for Anand's room -- not as exciting as the other options, but at $20 / pair, infinitely cheaper and easier. I actually bought two types, one lined and one unlined, because I like the tops better on the unlined version, and the color is a little more natural and less white. I'm going to hang them up in his room and see which I like better, then return the other one. If we decide we need solid-color curtains anywhere in the house, we'll probably get them from IKEA, because they're just so much cheaper than anywhere else, and they're nice quality too. I liked their sheers, their linens, and even their heavier velvet-y drapes.
Also found rugs for the kids' rooms, which weren't strictly necessary but will help a lot to make them cozy. High-pile, 4'4" x 6'5", $50 each, but Anand's was on sale for $30. Great deal. He got dark blue, and Kavi got spring green. I'd originally planned to get her a white rug, which I think would have been better aesthetically -- but she's in a phase of hating white and black, and I just couldn't do it. She likes riots of color. So a green rug, and her Gypsy Pink room is going to feel like the inside of a flower. A little claustrophobic for grown-ups, but hopefully cozy and cheerful for a kid.
I'm not sure about the various shelving systems. We definitely need shelves in the pantry, even if we're willing to live out of suitcases in our closet for a while. We're going to have to crunch numbers and see if IKEA's shelves are actually cheaper than the Container Store ones or the local closet store -- I'd rather pay a hundred or two more if it'll get me a sturdier, fitted system that makes best use of the space. But if it's a thousand more, that's out of our league right now, and we might just throw in a few flimsy $15 shelving units and try to manage for a while. We'll see.
At least I had meatballs with lingonberries for lunch. That's a comfort.
And when we have disposable income again, I want to remember the idea of using the AKSER vessels as herb pots. I think I might have a bit of sunny wall I could use at the top of the mudroom stairs; would look cool with a few rows of pots there and be very handy for cutting herbs for cooking. Although the AKSER vessels are quite modern in appearance -- maybe just remember this idea as something to adapt with standard clay pots or some such. Hmm....