Six months ago I embarked upon a rather epic project in London - renovating a flat. Oh the lessons I have learned since that time. There are a few that stand out from the pack. For example, don't ever leave and think your contractors can handle things while you aren't there. Inevitably the arch you asked for will turn into a doorway flanked with Grecian style columns. Hey, they thought they would treat me to a little surprise instead of following the designs. Nice gesture, but I had this layout and look sorted with every detail from the tiles to coving and wasn't about to compromise. This house was to be a home and it was my first in London that I got to rip out entirely and build back up again from scratch.
In just two months, and a lot of pressure on the poor building team, Mr. FFG and I took a flat that had a rose colored bathroom suite, more doors than windows and the most awful kitchen and living room scene you've ever encountered, and we turned it into a brightly lit cottage in the sky. In fact, it was so nice, I decided to move in and call it my very own. It must be said that originally this was only a renovation project. But it seems I have attachment issues! I worked so hard and made every little detail my own that I wanted to experience living here for a year or two. And so here I am, writing today, from my sofa in my living room. I am in heaven. I love knowing that each and every detail is my own and that this space was created out of love and respect between a team of people that had a vision and went for it.
Now before you go forth expecting absolutely extravagance, remember this is a flat in London. It's tiny. It's pint sized, in fact, by American standards. It's so small that my mom likes to warn people about it before they consider coming over to stay. But, it's the perfect size for me and everything I need - and that includes three full closets overflowing with clothes. It's the perfect single person living space for the fashion obsessed and it's also going to be on the London market soon for renting - don't worry, I'll let you know when. I'm not here permanently, as I said.
Oh, and this is all just part one. I thought I'd focus in on the living room. So, without further ado, here's my new living room and kitchen space. Perfectly sized, straight to the point and full of all things that scream me. Hey, it's MY home - what do you expect?
So the general vibe of the living room is sort of friends meeting on safari. I kid. In reality, I didn't have a huge space but I wanted maximum seating potential - hence the sectional sofa (it's from NEXT, in case you guys are in the market). I am using my Cambridge Satchel Company Trunk (best deal ever) as a coffee table and it sits atop one of my most cherished home possessions - a zebra cow hide rug from Amara.
Alright now before you judge me on that pillow you see there, know that it was a gift from the momma and it was given with a pinch of salt and a smile. She likes to think I'm a big deal - everyone else entering my house just thinks I have an overinflated ego. EEK! But, I love the cheekiness of it all.
Now onto the "shelfies." I had so much fun putting these shelves together. I do believe the art of a good shelfie is found in showcasing yourself. These are spaces to display my favorite books, souvenirs from travels and more.
If you have any trashy beach reads or self help books you don't want the whole world to see, try turning them around. You'll look mysterious and arty. Or at least that's what I'm hoping for. Otherwise, someone will go fishing and find a lot of Oprah and Tony Robbins hidden on my bookshelves. Whoops!
The best shelf, in my humble opinion, is the one I've worked the hardest on - if you count airmiles as working. Each and every beach I've visited in the past 18 months has representation on this shelf. I collected sand from each one, found a bottle in the place I was visiting and brought them back with me to act as memories of amazing moments. It's now a tradition.
Now onto the kitchen. Yes, it's teeny. But, I don't cook. There, I said it. I haven't turned the stove or oven on once since I moved in. I have, however, had people over, who have used the kitchen to cook and done so with ease. So, I know it's a good size for whatever may be needed. For me, it's currently a good place to store handbags and shoes. Yes, I am a living breathing cliche. I do love the chalkboard wall I put in, however. It's so good for lists and random notes to self. Although, all my friends just come over and draw rude things. Yes, I had to clear the deck before photographing it. Fun is had by all here.
Part two coming soon... featuring bedrooms, bathroom and the arch that nearly broke everything!