British Home Tours: Before

Welcome, welcome! Come on in! Here’s how our flat looked when we moved in in October 2014.

Here is our long skinny hall. We’re in the basement, so natural light is hard to come by, but we changed the front door shortly after moving in and that made a big difference. The cupboard is home to the gas and electricity meters. We need to redecorate, and I have dreams of a nice radiator cover. Exciting stuff! IMG_2276

On the right, you have the sitting room. We’ve since replaced the windows, which were single glazed and quite broken, but the rest is pretty much the same. We need to paint the walls (light grey), and the floor is a disaster (the floorboards don’t reach all the way to the wall in the bay for some reason). I’d also like to have the artex ceiling skimmed, but I’m not sure how much that costs. We’ve been told there’s only half a chimney, and we don’t know what that means, so I don’t know what we can do with the fireplace yet. IMG_2275

Next up we have the bedroom. It’s hard to judge from pictures of a square room without any furniture, but it’s quite a good size. I’m also using this as my office, so we’re trying to find good storage solutions. If it was just a bedroom, I’d love to open the fireplace up, but that is where my desk goes. IMG_2274

Onto the kitchen! The previous owners designed this kitchen so well to make use of the available space. It needs a bit of TLC, and if I had unlimited funds, I’d replace the floor (which I hate) and the worktop (I’d love a wooden one). However, we’re contenting ourselves with painting the walls yellow. We’ve already replaced the window (didn’t meet safety regulations) and the door (I think this one was an internal one – it was rotten and slugs kept getting in through the seal – RANK!). IMG_2272

Ah, the bathroom. The suite is fine, so we’ve since freshened up in here with a coat of white paint, and we’ve replaced the bath surround with some tongue and groove – this was a bit of a learning process so we need to touch some bits up. IMG_2273

And finally, here are a couple of pictures of the garden. When we looked for a flat we realised we had two options within our budget – an extra bedroom or a garden. After looking round a few places, we realised that the garden was more important to us, because we wanted Alfie to be able to go outside. This one is a lovely size and easy for us to maintain. We had a minor disaster when one of the walls fell down, but we’ve got a lovely new fence now. IMG_2278IMG_2277

So there you go! I love nosing round other people’s houses, so I hope this was interesting for you, too!

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Moving on up!

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Hurrah! I am back! And I am accompanied by my new life mantra – chill the fuck out!

The past couple of months have been exhausting. I started a new job with a three hour daily commute, We bought a flat, decided not to hire removal men, and then, unsurprisingly, I got sick three times in six weeks. So, yeah, time to chill the fuck out.

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I’ve got space for a sewing area in the corner of our bedroom. It’s not that light, so I’ve added a lamp to the desk and also on top of my trusty Billy bookcase. I took this picture at night – it is normally a bit better than this. I’ll eventually replace Billy with some shelves attached to the wall (he has to stick out into the room a bit because of a plug socket in the way). We’re going to redecorate the bedroom at some point, so I’ll probably wait until then to make any changes.

Most of the furniture is from Ikea, because we bought it in Belgium, and there were very few (cheap) options I found for buying furniture there. I’d like to update it with something more interesting at some point. I got the chair when my old company in Brussels updated their meeting rooms. I have two of them, and I think they are probably 1950s-60s. I’m not a big fan of leather furniture, but I’m also quite reluctant to recover these; they’re a bit scuffed, but I think it adds to their character. They’re really meant to go around the dining table which we haven’t found yet, but I tried another chair at my desk and it wasn’t very comfy. Maybe I should go back to Belgium and see if they have any left in storage?

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After setting up my sewing area, I promptly sat down and finished off a few repairs and a skirt I’d been making. I then sat down and had a think about what I want to sew next. I want to get back on track with the wardrobe architect thing because I really want to sew things which I can wear all the time, and I don’t do that right now. I’m lucky to work in an office where I can wear anything I want, so I should take advantage of that, and make exactly what I want to be wearing.

I’ve got a couple of pre ‘personal style revelation’ makes to show you, but apparently I get less and less photogenic as each day goes by. I’ll reconsider the pictures I’ve already taken when I’m feeling less grumpy about my face.

Is taking pictures of yourself the worst thing about having a blog for you? If not, what is the worst? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS FOR TAKING A DECENT PICTURE!!