Over the past five years, interior design has really become a passion of mine. I could spend all day looking at home decor and did spent months and months looking at London apartments as we waited for our moving date. I tried to imagine what our home would look like and prayed all of our stuff would fit.
In reality, I got just two days to look at flats in person once we were out of quarantine. But, I knew from the moment I saw the agent’s images for this one that it was the winner. The period details combined with modern updates were everything I’d been dreaming of, but it was the windows that sealed the deal. As someone who’s had many apartments, I know the importance of natural light for mental health. I had a studio apartment in Chicago whose two windows were less than two feet from a brick wall. With this pandemic still going (please wear a goddamn mask), I knew we would be spending a lot of time here and it needed to feel comfortable and give us space to work and relax.
Once we had the keys, I knew we were home.
That’s not to say there weren’t some things we would have to get used in our new flat, which is nearly 200 years old. Small, under-the-counter fridge? Fine! Who needs food? No overhead lights in the reception room or bedrooms? We’ll buy more lamps! Very, VERY creaky floors? That’s what rugs are for!
We’ve been here a month now and it’s really coming together. I live for organizing apartments — the small spaces (like our petite kitchen) and quirks are my favorite puzzles to solve. I’m not done yet, but so far, these are some of my favorite purchases for our new home:
SoBuy® Ladder Shelf
I didn’t realize how big an American queen bed was until I tried to fit and two large bedside tables into our London apartment. I don’t like a matchy matchy look so while searching for inspiration on Pinterest, I came across some leaning ladder bookcases being used as bedside tables. This skinny one fit perfectly in the space I had left and provides plenty of storage for essentials. Because it’s white, it didn’t matter which type of wood I paired it with.
Patch Plant Delivery
I am no green goddess — despite 6 months working in the flower department at a grocery store after college — but like any good millennial, I’ve grown to like having some greenery at home. Luckily, this site makes it super easy to find plants that are easy to care for (actually marked “Unkillables”) and they bring your plants right to your front door. I picked up Rapunzel, Susie, Cassie, Mick and Big Ken along with some new pots. All arrived in good health and with plenty of instructions.
MADE Vetro Lamp
Once I knew I needed more floor lamps to brighten this place up, I asked a fellow American expat wife for a recommendation and she told me about MADE. If you like clean, modern and mid-century modern furniture and home decor, this is your place (plus it’s cheaper than West Elm). The dusty nude pink of this lamp wasn’t too girly for our bedroom and gives off a wonderful soft light. I also got the grey TV stand you see above from MADE.
Fairmont Park Alamo Upholstered Storage Bench
I’ve wanted to add a bench to the end of our bed for a while now, but I’ve barely had room to shuffle by sideways until this place. (So, so many shin bruises.) I chose the russet color to pop off of our grey upholstered bed and navy bedding (similar to our wedding colors and those of the Detroit Tigers, hehe). This bench holds all of our extra sheet sets and towels perfectly — and I’m doing the best I can to keep it from becoming a total dumping ground for clothes that are neither clean nor dirty “enough.”
iDesign Rotatable Spice Rack
One of my favorite stores on Earth is The Container Store and setting up a new home without it was a bit stressful. They just have everything a Type A freak like me needs. Thankfully, I found this rack online to hold all of our spices. I picked up two and it created so much more space in our cabinets. And when you have a small kitchen, every square inch is precious real estate.
See last month’s 5 Great Buys here.