I thought I knew what colour I wanted for my living room. If you scroll through my Flatspiration board on Pinterest, you will see lots of deep greeny-blue hues. Read more
The latest instalment in a series in which I answer the ongoing question “How do you fit it all in?”, which people ask me when I tell them what I do. Read more
…and now I have to find space for them.
A university is giving away part of its philosophy library, and I am taking it. Read more
I have a beautiful big bay window in my living room. I love it. It was one of the reasons I decided to take the flat.
It’s also disgusting. Read more
I recently took a week off to work on my flat. There is so much to be done, but I’m gradually chipping away at the list (literally, in some cases) and progress is being made, albeit at a very slow pace.
One thing I really wanted to finish last week was stripping the living room wallpaper. I’ve stripped many rooms in my time, and it’s never taken longer than a day before. This room, however: this room is my nemesis. I thought I’d somehow lost the ability to strip paper, until a builder came over, took one look at the walls and said “This must be hell to strip.” Read more
I’ve been renovating my flat since I moved in four years ago. It’s not even nearly finished. It’s exhausting and exciting and all sorts of other words I can’t currently think of because my brain’s so focused on waiting for an email from the builder who came over earlier today, made a sucking noise through his teeth and gave me such a long list of things which need to happen that I can only remember about 50% of them.
We define ourselves so much by what we have.
Some people feel the need to “keep up with the Joneses”, buying bigger fridges and sports cars and filling their houses with the latest tech. Others buck current trends, preferring to demonstrate their allegiance to counter-culture with objects that the Joneses wouldn’t consider worthwhile.
And even if the decision to buy specific stuff isn’t as considered as those examples, we still define ourselves by our surroundings, especially if we’ve chosen them.
The floor fitter guy stood in my bathroom. In his hand, he held a piece of cardboard on which several samples of colours and textures were stuck.
He handed me the sheet.
“I think I can guess what colour you’ll choose” he said.
I lived in private rented accommodation for most of my twenties and it wasn’t always fun. If you get a good landlord, it’s great, but often they’re demanding or just downright horrible.
One of the main things I disliked was that you’re not allowed to put pictures up or paint the walls. This seems a bit draconian, even if I do sort of understand why it’s a rule. I get that you don’t want to have to redecorate every time a tenant moves out, but at the same time staring at magnolia walls that someone else painted gets old very quickly.
So I came up with a solution: Saris. Any long sheets of material will do, but I found saris are a particularly useful one, because they tend to be cheaper than buying metres upon metres of fabric, and they’re guaranteed to have pretty patterns sewn on. Plus, they’re not too heavy and if you use them as curtains you can still see a little bit of light filtering through, which is nice.
If you’re not allowed to nail things into the wall, use drawing pins on the ceiling instead. I can pretty much guarantee that, as long as you remove them when you move out, no one else will ever know they’re there. And most ceilings will take a drawing pin pretty well, as long as you push it hard enough. You can create a nice tent effect by tying the ends of the saris around the wire that hangs down for the light, which is usually in the middle of the room. Here are some pictures of my old apartment for inspiration: