The other week I was picking up some bits in Westfield and I physically could not stop myself from yearning over home ware. Before I knew it I’d hunted down Zara’s home sale and discovered that there is in fact an IKEA in Stratford! Who knew?
Five years ago I’d have been resisting the Topshop sales and picking out my bodycon skirt for next week’s night out… and now here I am, eyeing up non-stick saucepans and stroking luxury eyelet curtains. I think I have a problem.
ANYWAY. Apart from confessing to my slightly concerning addiction, we’ve finally finished our spring clean and (almost) hanging up our newly framed prints, so my cosy East London flat is feeling more like home than ever. When you live in rented accommodation, it can often feel unfamiliar and impersonal with intimidating blank walls and the ghost of predecessors hiding in dusty corners. But it’s all about those finishing touches that make your house (or tiny London flat) a home.
I’ve always loved texture. The feel of my soft silk bunnies as a child, the crunch of honeycomb, the warmth of freshly washed sheets – I turn into a burrito as soon as they come out of the tumble dryer. So naturally our home is filled with different textures. They not only please my inner need to be swaddled in something soft but create a visual feast that pleases my distracted eye.
Apart from the obvious throw down of mismatched cushions, our flat proudly wears walls of framed artwork, interesting books and curious objects – a card from the Casino Royale movie, a collection of figurines. As well as being our first shared home, what makes our flat special is this assortment of intriguing items that have been brought and added to together.
We’ve tried to stay away from just picking ten items we like in TK Maxx (although try and tell me I can’t buy something in Tiger…). Almost every piece is unique. Whether it be a beloved quote, or one of Allyn’s hand drawn characters created just for me.
With that, each has a meaning and memory. Even our collection of cacti remind me of when we bought them at Columbia Road Flower Market, carrying them like a weapon through the herds of slow moving crowds (or when I impaled a crème egg on one of their spikes for Allyn’s Easter Egg Hunt).
Many of our keepsakes have been chosen among our travels and proven to be a nonobvious way of remembering a trip. I had to walk back to a local traders store in Quebec because I fell in love with a little wooden hat sculpture and almost spent an hour deciding between delicately hand painting Venetian masks on my trip around North Italy.
Travels, London, film and of course my personal life… everything that I love and embrace inspires my interiors in some way whether it be a print from my favourite movie or a rose I was given 2 years ago. I can genuinely say that I enjoy sitting in our living room, not particularly doing much at all, just looking around the space that we created together.
Our flat feels like our own personal museum of curiosities that not only entertain ourselves but also create talking points and intrigue our guests. Cosy with a cuppa and enjoy a great poet’s love letter… relax and colour in a Harry Potter collage… Because here, you’ll feel at home.
This post was written in collaboration with Julian Charles.