Ready for a quick tour of our new London flat? Coming up, lots of photos, a few highlights plus some tips for anyone looking to brighten up their home.
2020 wasn’t all bad! It was the year we finally got on the property ladder and bought a flat to call our own. After 12 years of renting in London, we finally have a proper home. Somewhere we’re allowed to repaint the walls and put pictures up. Somewhere we can pick all the furniture for. Hey, we’ve even got a garden! My first garden in London!
We moved in two weeks before Christmas. It was a mad few weeks of unpacking, sorting, making big decisions… like which screwdriver set to buy and how much gin to put on our first supermarket order… but we got through it.
As with any big change there have been highs and lows. We’ve adored getting to know our new area, but with lockdown hitting again, we’ve felt gutted not to be able to really get to know it.
There have been exciting moments of furniture arriving mixed with discoveries of work that needs doing on the building. Barely a day has passed without some kind of delivery turning up – from new laundry baskets to a huge sofa bed for the lounge.
So what did we go for? We bought a Victorian flat in West London. When we started the search, we were both drawn to older properties. They have so much character. We also wanted to find a flat with a garden. After spending over two years in a third floor flat with no outside space (including in lockdown!) we were desperate for somewhere to relax in the summer. Plus, we’re keen to graduate from growing small pots of herbs and chillies, to bigger plants!
But let’s face it, this is a pretty boring and bleak time for everyone. I guess it’s a relief that we have time to sort things and we’re not racing off around the world.
Anyway, you came to this post because I was offering a flat tour, so it’s time to share a few highlights and plans for our cute little London pad!
Kitchen and Dining Area
When we first looked around our flat, the area that made the biggest impression was the open plan kitchen and dining space. It leads straight out to the garden through bifold doors. There’s a shaker style kitchen in a sophisticated shade of grey, beautiful wooden worktops and absolutely loads of storage space.
As you’ll know if you’ve followed me for a while, we’re total foodies and adore cooking. This is a dream kitchen for us! Lots of space to chop and cook, plus plenty of cupboard space for our ever-growing range of gadgets, pots and pans.
We didn’t own a dining table when we moved in, so that was a big item to choose. I dreamed of having people over for fun evenings of food and drink, so it was time to find a beautiful table to complete the room.
As we have wooden worktops and a wooden floor, we opted to go for a large wooden table. However, we wanted something with a modern, urban edge. We fell in love with this one. Just look at that base! I love the design.
We can’t have dinner parties yet, but once we can, we’re excited to serve up some great food and have some laughs in this space. It feels like a room made for entertaining!
Even better, when the weather warms up we’ll crack open the bifold doors to the garden and have a BBQ. Which reminds me, we don’t have a BBQ yet. Time to add that to the ever-growing list of things we don’t yet own…!
When we looked around the flat originally, I really loved the deep shade on the walls. It pops with the white of the radiator cover and creates a cosy environment for rest. I also adore the aspect of the room. The bed looks directly out through the window to the garden, through a beautiful archway made of jasmine. It was covered in stunning white flowers last summer when we first saw the flat.
Now we’re in, we’re less sure of the colour. It’s moody and ambient, but perhaps a lighter shade will make the room feel bigger? That’s one of many jobs on our ‘to think about’ list!
One of the most exciting new additions to our lives has been our brand-new mattress! Many people say that a good mattress is more important than a decent bed. It does the majority of the work after all!
After years sleeping on mattresses that came with our rented flats in London, I was so excited to get one of our own. We were keen to move from a spring mattress to a foam mattress, and a few friends recommended Emma to us. Their special foam mattresses have won lots of awards, and are designed to give you the perfect amount of pressure relief, support, and comfort.
They kindly gifted us a king size mattress to try out, and share our thoughts about. When it turned up, I couldn’t believe how small the box was! Yes, it was heavy, but it was compressed into a very tall box that fit in the car. I had a feeling it was going to be fun watching it expand once we got it out!
We had a to wait a month for our bed to arrive, so we spent the first month sleeping on our swanky new mattress… on the floor! I guess that was the ultimate test, as there was no extra support from a bed underneath.
Despite the stress of the move, the mattress helped me relax and I had some great night’s sleep, which improved even more once our bed was delivered last week.
Since then I’ve had some of the most relaxed night’s sleep in years. I love that the mattress is supportive, yet breathable and comfy, without being back-breakingly firm.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep, or just fancy a treat (after all we spend a big chunk of each day in bed!) then definitely take a look at the range of Emma mattresses. They come with a risk-free 200-night trial and a 10-Year guarantee too.
Oh, and I’ve managed to negotiate an extra special deal for you guys. If you order online via the Emma store now you can take a whopping 37% off the price with the discount code “adventure37”. That code is valid for the next few weeks – enjoy!
Ottoman Style Bed
I’ve mentioned our new bed in passing, but wait, this ain’t no ordinary bed! When we bought our flat we decided we’d need to be pretty savvy when it came to space. It’s not that our flat is tiny, but with the wrong choice of furniture it has the potential to feel cramped.
On our investigation of space-saving ideas we stumbled across ottoman beds… or space ship beds as I nicknamed them! You might have heard of ottomans – hollow pieces of furniture where you lift up the top and store things inside. Well, the ottoman style of bed is similar.
They have a clever cantilever system installed inside, so you can literally lift the entire top section of the bed up (including the mattress) and hide all your clutter inside.
I assumed it’d be great for items we rarely needed to get to (like spare bedding, ski gear etc) but actually, it’s so easy to lift up I’ve been putting lots of things inside. So far, we have two double duvets, all of our spare bedding, four pillows, two backpacks, a big bag of toiletries and a stack of towels… and there’s still so much room! It’s even become my secret hiding place!!
Officially we bought a two-bedroom flat, but we decided to convert the second bedroom into a cosy lounge. It’s the ideal space for relaxing in. Being a Victorian building, it’s got some beautiful traditional features too.
There’s a large bay window which gets gorgeous morning sunlight streaming through the shutters. Then there’s the old fireplace, which is a historic feature too, with two alcoves either side.
The room also has coving at the top of the walls and an original ceiling rose where the light fits in the centre of the room. After seeing a few modern flats, we really fell in love with characterful rooms like this one.
After several delays, our corner sofa arrived this week. Up until then we’d been taking it in turns to sit on my stylish teal scallop-shaped armchair! It hadn’t made for the cosiest or comfiest evenings, but it was only temporary.
The flat has been decorated really nicely, but I’d say the lounge is going to be the main ‘project’ for us. The brick fireplace has been exposed, but to be honest, it’s a bit of a mess.
We’ve been drawing up plans to create a new feature in that area, possibly with a wooden surround and some pretty tiles. The TV will then go above. Something along these lines…
The lounge is also the room with the last bits of clutter in – four boxes, two backpacks, a guitar, and a heap of things we need to return once shops reopen. We’re hoping to sort out some alcove cupboards and shelves to hide everything away soon too, but one job at a time eh?!
Personally, I’ve got aspirations to create a bay window seat cushion too, just to emphasise that feature in the room. Watch this space for that too!
There’s not much to say about the garden just yet, other than we can’t wait to create a lovely outdoor space for use in the warmer months. I adore the jasmine archway – what a cute feature! When we moved in my mum popped together lots of pots of herbs, so that’s been a nice addition too.
In spring we’ll buy an outdoor table and chairs, and of course, choose a BBQ so we can start throwing some parties! We can’t wait!
So, there’s a quick overview of our new flat in London. While we’re not travelling it’s nice to share a little personal insight into what life is like for us right now.
I hope you’re staying safe and well, wherever you are. Fingers crossed we can start travelling again soon!