The 50s cocktail cabinet that I bought from eBay 15 years ago for £50,
and my shiny new Made.com Scott sofa in Concrete velvet.
Last week I wrote about focusing on getting my garden straight, because there wasn’t much I could do with my living room until the 8ft sofa standing upright in my hallway was moved.
Well, it’s funny how things work out because, about two hours after I wrote that post, my sofa was being hefted through my office window by the two charming Albanian contractors working on the house next door. 1.5hrs, two men, one office sash window removed and replaced, and I have a sofa I can finally sit on.
It’s so lovely to be able to sit in my living room for the first time since I moved in a few months back. Although the moment I plonked my butt on that delicious grey velvet sofa I could immediately see everything else that needed doing. Especially in the realm of furniture and lighting purchases.
Above: Diptyque Baies Candle (a housewarming gift from them)
That’s because, although this new place is much bigger, the room configurations are completely different. Previously the rooms were much smaller so I didn’t really have anywhere to put standalone lamps, relying in the main on overhead spots because the flat was a long and and very narrow terrace so there wasn’t much natural light.
I had a very small bedroom with a built-in double bed, a conservatory which was studio/dining room and a well-sized sitting room which I used as an office. In there were a slimline Made.com sofa bed, IKEA floating shelves and an IKEA console unit, as well as IKEA bookshelves and my beautiful mid-century walnut desk (an old eBay find.)
In this new apartment I have a pretty big sitting room, and two bedrooms, one at least 50% bigger than before, and one small room which is now my office. It’s a complete luxury to have an entire sitting room to hang out in, watch TV (instead of in bed), and have a permanent place for my dining table, which I used to dismantle in between parties so I could use the conservatory as a studio. But the office now is a quarter of the size, and fits just the bookshelves along one wall, my desk and my two vintage filing cabinets.
The kitchen is probably the same square footage but now I have an L-shaped kitchen with a huge run of storage and three separate counters, whereas before it was one big room with standalone furniture.
Even the storage here is configured differently: The old place had literally nowhere to keep stuff – what storage I had was inaccessible on a daily basis (under bed drawers that involved moving all the furniture, or odd ceiling height cupboards that required a stepladder), and there was no understairs cupboard, so nowhere to put coats and shoes, no place to store a hoover, ironing board or cleaning supplies, which meant that the flat always felt insanely cluttered. A very, very narrow hallway with an awkward front door that opened into a wall covered in coats didn’t help either.
Here I have a relatively large hallway, which fits a beautiful old church pew from my family home, and I’ve bought a 70s gold hatstand for it from eBay. And, blessings, I have a cellar, a very deep coat cupboard with shelves, that fits all my coats and handbags, and an airing cupboard that also fits all my shoes.
It’s been immensely enjoyable working out how I want to live in this place, but sadly I’ve now realised that most of the furniture I bought for the old flat really doesn’t work. Most of it I’ve sold on eBay, keeping only the bookshelves for my office and a hall table, and now I’m scouring eBay, charity shops and junk stores as well as every online furniture retailer you can name as a buyer, keeping my eye out for that perfect console, as well as standard lamps, rugs and a vintage armchair….