I have a confession to make…
Despite priding myself on having a strong aesthetic and being self-assured in my “Marmite-ism” – I either ADORE something or completely loath it – I find interior design really rather stressful. Perhaps I’ve earmarked too many glossy magazines, fantasising about my dream bathroom where money is never a consideration. Perhaps I’ve devoured too many television programmes where professionals with years of experience make impossible tasks seem simple; yes, Dick and Angel, I’m talking to you. Or perhaps it’s because deep down I am more of a consumer than a designer. I’m very good at buying pieces to style a room but the larger concerns of balancing the space do not come easily to me.
I’m sure E will agree with me that looking back I was never one of those children who got excited about decorating my bedroom. I was quite happy to rock the purple walls well into my teenage years. I loved to draw and yet I don’t ever remember wanting to pick up a paintbrush and help with any home improvements. Now that I’m in my own home, where I have free artistic rein, I suddenly feel… terrified. Yes, I’m confident that I have been grappling with a case of intermittent design block.
The one room where I have achieved the furnishing and ornamentation equivalent of a rolling boil is – appropriately enough – the kitchen. This week we have taken the plunge and ordered tradition plantation, louvre shutters for our picture window. Our existing furniture from the flat works well in the space thanks to the similar Scandinavian-inspired colour scheme. Oh, and we treated ourselves to a matching Smeg kettle and toaster set. See? I told you: quintessentially, I’m a consumer!
I think I want our hallway to end up as a black and white monochrome affair, like a boutique hotel. This is what I’m thinking…
We had a lovely colourful lounge at the flat which I’d like to replicate in our new place. Currently, we are saving up for the sofa of our dreams, a cobalt blue, velvet Chesterfield that we spotted months ago in Guildford. In the meantime, we are working with a mid-century inspired grey sofa-bed. It is perfectly fine for just the two of us and we will recycle her into the office eventually. I’m planning on adding to our gallery wall over the holidays too. A wise friend once told me that I should always invest in art because it gains value over time but it makes your house more beautiful too.
The bathrooms’ main points of concern are a lack of space; they’re both quite cwtchy. Well, their size, and the lack of frosting in the downstairs bathroom window which was a causing me some uneasiness as the evenings were drawing in. I am proud to say I resolved this lack of privacy issue myself and invite you to check out my instagram for more details. Once we get some shelves and a couple of houseplants in there we should be golden.
The bedrooms, especially the master, is where I’m struggling the most. Vince and I both have mountains of clothes. I know all these garments need a home but, let’s be honest, buying wardrobes just isn’t that fun. I will tackle this eventually, but as my work will see me travelling next year, I’m happy to keep living out of a suitcase for the time being.
The final room we are in the midst of tackling is the office. With Vince using it Monday – Friday and me in there all weekend teaching, it’s important that we feel comfortable and professional in this space. Initially, I was hoping for something contemporary and dark. Vince, on the other hand, was determined this room would feature (heavily) “music, cricket and West Ham FC”. I’m hopeful we’ve ended up somewhere in between!
I’m going to try and be a little kinder to myself after this. There is no rush to get the house “holiday ready” for our socially-distanced Christmas. Speaking of which… where did I put those decorations? ~L.