Saturday, 20 May 2017

My New Flat! A look at what will become the "Before..." gallery!

Guys, it has taken seven months. SEVEN MONTHS. And that's not even including all the years it took me to actually find a flat that I wanted to buy - or more realistically, could actually afford to buy. Seven months after looking at this property and placing an offer on the same day, it has finally become mine.

Thanks, bank, for taking three months to make a decision about a plant. And then changing your mind anyway. That was awesome of you.

The property is incredibly empty at the moment, which is very odd for me. I've lived in London for quite a long time now, and every flat I've ever rented has come fully furnished. Usually tastefully, sometimes less so. I've never had to think about things like buying a fridge, because the one that the flat has come with has always been just fine. I've contemplated buying things like new sofas but always figured there's no point. So now all I want to do is buy beautiful little additions and a shelf purely to put cacti on, but I can't, because it turns out there's all these really rather dull purchases that I need to buy first. Darn.

But anyway, I thought I would show you the first set of pictures I took today on my first trip to the flat since owning it. I'll tell you a couple of the ideas I have for what I'm going to do with it, and you can tell me your far better ideas that I can then steal!

Bit of background information first, I suppose? This is a two bed two bathroom flat, somewhere in East London. It's a second floor flat and it backs out onto a park. Pretty much all of the furniture will be flat packed, because conveniently I have two weeks of annual leave right now anyway (although I will be away for about a week of it) and so I have plenty of time to try to build furniture and repaint some of the surfaces. And ultimately it doesn't matter if I don't, as I am paying rent in my current place til the end of June anyway so I'm going to take advantage and do an extremely slow move over.

By the way, I've made the first purchase already. And what was it? Toilet roll. Yep. And bin bags. How depressing. But I figured if I was going to be hanging out over here to build furniture (it's about an hour away from my current flat) I should probably have these items. My first non toilet related purchase? A fridge! Well done me.

Anyway, let's show you some pictures!

First up, we've got the lounge and kitchen combo. LEAVE ME ALONE guys, it's London, how big did you expect it all to be?!

Actually though, I'm quite happy with the size of the lounge. As you can see, it's got a balcony at the end there and you can see the park. It's nice and bright as the balcony above is actually quite high up so there's still plenty of light getting in.

The theme for the lounge area is going to be blue and yellow. The one item that is definitely going in is my ginormous grey Ikea rug as I have been lugging this thing around for ages, but it's also the comfiest rug ever so I really don't mind it taking up so much space. I've picked out a big blue sofa to go in here - I really wanted a smaller sofa and an armchair but there weren't that many nice sets and those that were around were really expensive, so this is what I'm going to have to go with! There's going to be some kind of big display unit behind it, but I haven't worked out exactly where yet. Originally I thought it would run in line with the radiator, but now I'm thinking I'll actually put it to the side in between the radiator and the wall instead as that gives a little bit more space. Opposite the sofa I'll have my TV and unit, and I've found some pretty floor lights that are going to go either side. Plus an absolute majestic beast of a plant! I haven't quite worked out the table situation yet. I'm thinking maybe just a side table rather than a full coffee table. Thinking on this still.

I'm thinking of making that wall behind the door a bit of a statement wall and getting some ridiculous wallpaper pattern just for there. Not sure yet though. I have a few ideas for here but I suppose it's not really the priority yet!

 I'm just going to show you this in place of a balcony picture as it's quite an awkward size to get a good picture of otherwise. I've already got this chair which is really comfy, and I'm not entirely sure what else to do. Obviously some plant life will be living out here, and I think I'll probably get a little table. I'm also thinking of maybe getting a cute little lantern style solar lamp to sit on top of the table.

 This is the kitchen! Ignore my clutter. It actually does look much better in real life, and obviously when it's got some actual life in it it'll be much improved. The colouring looks really awful in this picture and it's actually not that bad at all. Obviously where my bags are currently sitting there will shortly be a fridge, and past that I've got a few ideas. The theme for the kitchen area will be red and black, so a red kettle etc will shortly be lining the surfaces. If you see that big empty space of wall to the right, I'm planning on putting a big shelf up there but I'm not sure what to do with it yet. I'm going to wait and fill the cupboards first, as that shelf could even be something useful like for plates or saucepans, or instead just for decorative pieces like some fancy jars. The wall then curves around to a much smaller wall, and I'm planning on putting several small shelves on that which will include things like herbs and spices.

You can't really see the other wall, but I've decided against putting a dining room table in there. However, I will be putting in a breakfast bar and some bar stalls!

 Hallway! It's awkward to see in this picture but basically the layout is as follows. When you first enter the flat (the door sort of in the middle in this picture) there's a bit of space in front where I'm going to put a shoe rack, some hooks, and a letter collector. To the right of that is a big boiler and storage room, which is where dull things like washing machines and bed sheets will be going. In front of that is the bigger bathroom. Round the corner from that is a storage closet which is actually a lot bigger than you'd expect it to be - this will contain some cleaning supplies like a hoover and a mop, and then I'm honestly not sure what's going to be going in the top section as there's actually quite a lot of space in there I can work with. The next room (where the photo is taken from) is the lounge/kitchen. As you can see there's quite a bit of space right there and I'm thinking of putting a little storage unit there or else just a big plant. To the right of this door is the second bedroom, and then the door that you can just see open to the right is the main bedroom.

 This is the main bedroom. Well, half of it. This room is insanely awkward to take a picture of as it's a big L shape. Where the bed shaped carpet change already is is where the bed will obviously go - and aside from that, there's lots of options. I'm thinking of getting one of those storage units that wraps completely around and over your bed, but I have actually always disliked those units so I'm not sure why this seems like a good idea! I'm also thinking of getting another chest of drawers directly opposite the bed and putting another TV on top of that.

 The door you see to the left is the door back to the main hallway. The one to the right takes you to the ensuite, and directly in front is the built in wardrobe, which is actually a much bigger size than you'd expect.

This is the ensuite. I'm actually pretty happy with the colouring in this one. It has a couple of shelves in it already that you can't see that clearly, and I'm thinking of putting in another longer shelf on the wall on the right to keep a few decorative objects on. This room is going to have a fairly natural theme to it. I want lots of browns, some baskets for storage, some cacti (fake!), that sort of thing.

 This is the smaller bedroom. There's not much to tell you about this room yet, because I don't entirely know its purpose. It will sort of depend on how much stuff is left over after the other rooms have been finished! If it needs to be, it can become a hobby room or a study sort of thing. Alternatively, a guest room.

This is the other bathroom. I mostly like this bathroom and I'm really excited to have a bath again - but I hate the yellow that is painted around the edges! This is going to become a dark blue colour instead. I'm also going to put a shelf or two up to the left of the toilet, and this room is going to get a bit of a nautical theme with lots of blues and some shells and maybe a picture and a starfish or two! It looks a bit clinical in here at the moment but that's probably also because there's literally nothing in it! Once the yellow has been replaced and it's got a few items in here I think it'll be looking much better.

There we go! Hopefully I'll be able to update you in a few weeks with some progress - any ideas?
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