Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today's post will be about my recent flat move and how I would like to decorate it.
A few weeks ago, while I was in the middle of my wardrobe changeover, I might have mentioned that I was on a hunt for a new flat.
Well, I have found it.
I was an absolute nightmare, but we made it.
We were fed up with living on the high street (we couldn't get used to the constant noise), so we started to look for a new place before our contracted term was due.
It took us a few months to find the right flat, but at the beginning of October, we saw a nice one that had everything we needed and wanted.
First, it had to be in a quiet area because you know...we would like to sleep at night.
Second, not too far away from central London (zone 2 with good transport links was essential) as we both hate commuting.
I don't understand how people can buy or rent a house in zone 3-5 claiming:" the rent is cheaper and we have loads of space" and then spend hours and hours a day commuting, and at the very high expense!
Not for me. I work 40 hours a week and I don't want to spend 2 /3 hours a day travelling back and forth.
The other crucial factor was that we wouldn't like living in big buildings, so houses only with no more than 3 floors.
Also, we cook every day, hence a practical kitchen separated from the living room was another vital point.
Speaking of which, we were looking to find a house with a spacious living room so that my boyfriend and I both could have our own creative spots.
Last but not least: the budget.
Easier said than done!
After several disappointing viewings, we finally found what we were looking for. We made an offer to the agency and they approved it straight away. We were super excited but the worst part had to come yet.
As we found the flat we liked at the beginning of October and our term with the previous landlord was in February, we had to find replacement tenants to leave without paying 1000£ of fees, plus the monthly rent until the agency would have found new tenants. Considering that for the flat above ours it took more or less 2 months for the agency to find new tenants, we couldn't risk to dilapidated a small fortune.
As the old flat was well kept, bright and modern, we were sure to find someone quickly. We then posted an ad on Open rent and Gumtree (annoying fact: only landlords can post on Rightmove).
We soon found out that even if we had several viewings a week, either the offer they made was not enough for our previous landlord or they made a suitable offer but then changed their mind at the last minute.
It has been a very stressful month for us both. We didn't want to lose the flat we just found but on the other hand, we had to host multiple viewings every day, so the flat had to be absolutely perfect at all times: no smell of food, wet shower, undone bed...very time consuming and we didn't have the chance to relax properly for weeks.
Luckily, the very last week we found a couple that was willing to take our place.
But the challenge was not over yet: the agency made the whole experience quite an absolute torment, starting from the paperwork to check and review before signing, the references process, and so on.
The cherry on top: on the move date there was a misunderstanding with the old agency. The deposit inspector came in the morning while we just started the move so we had to stop and reschedule it for the afternoon, including the professional cleaning service we booked.
We had to hurry and finish the move all in a day as I only had a day available and the new tenants wanted to enter the same day. Mastering a real-life Tetrix game.
Of course, at the end of it, I was absolutely knackered. 10 days after it, I still am.
I am really glad we made it through.
If you are interested in moving to London, I recommend you to read the article below:
The new flat is lovely. It is a different style, it is less modern but it is cosy and it feels more like home.
Now I can fully enjoy the part of redecorating!
We finally got rid of the old tiny wardrobe from our bedroom and we invested in a new, bigger one. Obviously, the space is still tight but since the layout of the house is different, we actually have more room, which is fantastic!
Instead of a classic living room with TV and sofa, we will have our own separate creative spots, as we prefer to relax and watch a movie from our bed.
That's why I decided to repurpose the old wardrobe as a storage for all the bits and bobs left in the living room instead of getting rid of it.
I finally managed to have my own writing spot in the living room while Nick has its art spot to paint.
We will share the home gym of course. I can't be bothered to pay for a monthly membership. I know myself too well: I won't go. I find it hard enough to be consistent without having to nip out to the gym when it's cold.
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Moving on to the fun part...Pinterest is always a great source of easy and low budget decor ideas and my home board is huge. I like to check pictures from real houses and see how people can be creative with what they own and reinvent their place with just a few DIY tricks.
What is on my wish list?
I don't have a massive wish list, mainly because we already have quite a few things.
Since we embrace minimalism, we try not to buy unnecessary stuff and everything in our flat needs to get regular use and to be a function to stay, however, we feel that we could add a few things that will replace old items that no longer serve us.
We would like to add a couple of items to be more comfortable and we are looking on our favourite second-hand websites as well as our local vintage shops to find something special, however here I am listing brand new items just to show you what I have in mind.
In London, it is also easy to find great items dumped on the streets and I actually rescued quite a few of them in the past, so we might get lucky again soon!
We finally bought a new wardrobe, which is the only brand new item we invested in, while the rest of our furniture is second hand.
We kept our old bed and the nightstands as they were still in good conditions. The colours don't match, but I suppose we need to make do for the time being. I definitely need to organise some stuff, especially under the bed.
We added a small second-hand square table in the kitchen that we found on Gumtree. We prefer to eat there as it is the warmest room in the flat and we already had the chairs.
Our old glass and metal kitchen table has been promoted as my desk and lives now in the living room with a rather scratched but very sturdy coffee table as a display for Nic's sculptures. I'd rather paint this one later on a sunny day then purchase a new one. I really don't mind a bit of DIY. I think it would be nice in a cream colour that matches the walls.
For my creative spot I just bought a wooden full-length mirror to take selfies (finally I can stop using fitting rooms).
I would like to make the room prettier by adding a rack with some plants or a couple of nice seagrass baskets.
A useful blanket box will be an ideal storage solution for bed linen or towels in the bedroom or it could be a footstool in the living room.
There is a reason why the Kallax unit from Ikea is so popular: it is such a versatile way to style either a living room or a bedroom. With the addition of legs and some cute baskets, it will be the perfect solution to store all your items.
As my bathroom is tiny, I will put it in my bedroom and use it as a beauty spot/dressing table and I can add some books and jewellery boxes too. Another clever idea is to use pegboards to sort small items out in a neat way.
Ikea's website has so many inspirational pics from real homes about it, that it sold to me in a split second!
I also would like a fur throw for my desk chair to make it super cosy for winter
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What is your favourite room to decorate and why?
Let me know in the comments below.
Find more ideas to decorate small flats here below: