A little home tour

So, long time no blog. This has been the longest I haven’t been on WordPress since I got an account years ago. The past three months have been the busiest I’ve ever had, thanks to work, general life, and settling into our new home. The sunny, leafy place above is where we now live, nestled in South London, and it’s a world away from where we thought we’d be right now. After giving up on the house we toiled with trying to buy for so long out in zone 7, we came to this place on a whim one snowy, freezing morning in February and never for one second thought we’d be interested in it, yet here we are. This isn’t an average flat and it’s certainly not an average development. It’s a purpose built eco development, with no gas (yep, no heating! Not that it’s ever ever ever cold) and lots of little quirks which make it environmentally friendly. We have solar panels, big funny turbine chimneys, some sort of special water heater and it’s known locally as the Tellytubby place, because well….


Everyone who visits us remarks on how weird and wonderful the place looks, and we’re so thankful we found it. There’s big landscaped, community gardens surrounding the buildings with plots to grow vegetables, an outdoor gym, space for children to play and lots of flowers. It feels like you’re totally removed from London, but I can still see the Shard from my bedroom window and get to work in Waterloo in half hour, so no complaints here.

We’ve slowly spent the past few months turning it from a big airy shell into a home (we’ve put up a total of three pictures, but every little thing counts) and it’s been the most fun, but also the most tiring and NOT good for my poor achey joints. We still have lots to do, and most of our money is still going on buying things to decorate with but it feels much more homely now we have some of our stuff up and displayed. The best thing about the flat is the light – there is so much light, which I wasn’t really into yesterday morning when I was feeling a bit fragile post-cocktail evening, but it’s bloody lovely. The ceilings are also absurdly high, which makes it feel big and even brighter.

The first thing we did was rip up the carpet in the master bedroom, get a new wooden floor and paint the room light grey. This is probably the biggest room in the house and I didn’t see a bedroom bigger in the whole time we were house hunting, so we were properly chuffed with it – I can actually store my stuff in relatively good order and find things without getting stress rash. We’ve got one curved wall with loft style windows which we still need to do something with, but thanks to the handiest of brother-in-laws this room was done and dusted in about a week.

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We’ve put our energy into making the living room cosy and less empty looking over the past few weeks, and it finally looks more like somewhere you’d want to lay and binge Netflix as opposed to uncomfortably sit and wish you were back in bed.

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We have quite a big space where fully functioning adults would put a dining table, but we’ve sort of just not got round to that and still eat at the kitchen breakfast bar or just on our laps (or you know, in bed when needs must). We do have the most gorgeous little wicker rocking chair which was Dan’s grandad’s and has a new lease of life thanks to TK Maxx’s amazing cushion selection.

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The rest of the place is still a work in progress. We have a spare bedroom full of stuff that we obviously don’t need having not touched it since we moved in but both can’t quite face throwing away yet and I don’t see the situation resolving in the very near future. We need a new bathroom, it all works fine, but it could use some sprucing up and we need to do stuff in the kitchen, but that magic money tree hasn’t made its way here yet, so all in good time.

The other thing we randomly have is a room running along the back of the flat which is made up mostly of glass. The ceiling is glass, as is the main wall, and it has exposed brick walls and a strange tiled floor. I love this room, even though it looks like a weird accident right now, and basically I’ll one day drive to B&Q, buy all of the plants and turn it into a jungle. At the moment we just dry washing in there and store fun things like a bin, drills and coats I’ll never wear again, but I think it could become a nice little entertainment room or something.

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So that’s really where life is at right now. Home designing, home buying, running out of money because of the home buying and googling ways to make plant pots more exciting to look at. Once we’re back from Italy next month (magic money tree, we are ready now if you want to grow in the living room), we’ll probably tackle the glass room and start saving for the bathroom. Until then I’ll just keep buying candles on sale in supermarkets.

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Tripod lamp is from Wayfair
Bedroom basket , blue rug and rocking chair cushions are TK Maxx
Armchair is Ikea 
Sofa is French Connection Zinc at DFS 
Stand By Me print is by the amazing Claudia Varosio who makes amazing film posters
Framed postcards pictures are from an NYC market 

 

 

 

9 online homeware stores that deserve a little attention 

 

I keep googling ‘homeware stores UK’ in the hope of finding some new places to shop from. I’ve found a few round-ups and lists of online homeware stores that aren’t just Ikea or John Lewis or Oliver Bonas (not that I don’t love all of those – I just want some different options) but then I get to the sites themselves and often find my status as a non-millionaire a problem.

I have a whole new home to fill very soon as I’ve managed to accumulate basically zero furniture in my 26 years (adulting like a pro) and I don’t want to buy EVERYTHING from Ikea.

I say this, I will buy many things from Ikea.

While I don’t want to overload and buy loads of stuff I don’t need, having lots of empty space to fill seems as good a reason as any to get some shopping done. After many weeks scouring the internet, Twitter, Instagram, blogs and magazines I’ve put together a list of homeware websites/shops that are affordable, sell all the things you’ll likely need to function and plenty of pretty bits for staring lovingly at too.

1) M&S

Okay, now this is probably obvious to everyone and I thought I’d get it out the way, but I honestly never really thought about M&S for homeware. I love their food and I love their clothes but that’s always been the extent of my Marks and Sparks browsing. Turns out they have a lot to offer.

What they’re good for: KITCHENWARE! The above spring coffee mug was brought home by my boyfriend the other week and they have loads of similar, lovely kitchen/cookware bits.

2) Wayfair

This is my current favourite website. They sell practically everything in the home world and they change their offerings so often you’ll never get bored of browsing.

What they’re good for: Sales – they have a new sale every couple of days on different products or themes or even by room. They do a good selection of contemporary sofas and lots of lovely light fixtures too.

3) Red Candy

The point of Red Candy is to be bright and bold and buy less beige and they can certainly help there.

What they’re good for: Clocks and photo frames are especially worth a look.

4) Lo and Behold

I found this site through just typing ‘homeware’ into the Twitter search bar, and while they don’t actually stock that much, you can find some gems. Very modern, very smart and all of the colours and patterns are understated and chic.

What they’re good for: Throws, bedding and lights.

5) The Range

I feel like maybe most people know about The Range, but late to the party as ever I only found their site a few weeks ago. Lots of furniture – big furniture, small furniture, they sell everything. It’s not all my cup of tea but there are some really nice storage pieces and coffee tables.

What they’re good for: Reasonable prices, good storage and lots of selection.

6) The Little House Shop

A lot of the stuff on here reminds me of H&M’s home offerings, but they do a bit more in the way of jazzy lights, bigger selection of prints on cushions and random stuff like toys.

What they’re good for: Lights, hanging mirrors, cushions and planters.

7) Cuckooland

I came for the name, stayed for the wooden storage. When I first landed on this site I wasn’t really sure it was really for me (although they the most amazing kids teepee beds that make me want to be 8 again), but they have some really nice stuff.

What they’re good for: Chests of drawers, storage units, garden stuff, kids furniture.

8) Howkapow

Expect bright, cheerful and quirky.

What they’re good for: Unusual candles, pretty mugs and cups, quirky kitchenware and fun gifts.

9) Bouf

Not the cheapest in this list, but it’s the bigger stuff you’d pay more for anyway that they win at. Lots of trendy hexagonal shaped furniture and really nice  painted wood.

What they’re good for: Bookcases and dining chairs.

8 things I want in my kitchen

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The closer I get to actually moving, the more I keep letting myself look at homeware. One of the only rooms we have stuff for is the kitchen, so it feels easy to just build on that rather than face facts that we have other entire parts of a functioning home missing. These are all the fruits of random phone shopping on the train this week, apart from the teapot, which I found in Westfields. I’d never heard of  T2 before stumbling upon it a few weeks ago but I can see myself getting VERY well acquainted. If you know of any other places that sell homeware that I can browse online during my train strike fun times, link me up.

1) Printed porcelain mug – H&M – £4.99

2)  Stripe gold rim mug – Matalan – £3.00

3)  Salter vintage scale – Dunelm – £16.99

4)  Skyscraper coasters 4 pack – H&M – £1.99

5)  Leaf salad servers – H&M –  £12.99

6)  Agate bottle opener – Anthropologie – £16.00

7)  Dazed & Dazzled teapot – T2 – £46.00 Salter vintage scale

8) Denby halo cereal bowl – Dunelm – £8.99

Bedroom accessory lust list- £15 and under

Maybe because I know I’m imminently moving and maybe because I spend too much time searching the ‘interior’ section of my Bloglovin account, I’ve become obsessed with looking at bedroom accessories. I even tried to do it on the tube this morning when I had no signal and was stuck in a tunnel. Copper candle holders are urgent. I’m all for anything cheap and cheerful and these are all saved in the notes section of my phone, so I thought I would share.

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1) Paperchase- Jungle fever frame £15

2) Tiger- Strawberry alarm clock £3

3) H&M- Laundry storage bag £6.99

4) H&M- Metal tealight holder £2.99

5) Urban Outfitters- Mini brass edge jewel box £15

6)  Next- Copper candle lantern small £15

7) Wilko- Home sweet home bottle £3

8) Wilko- Glass storage box £12

9) Zara Home- Striped fabric hangers £9.99