I’ve been waiting a long time to write a post about my flat. The process from finding a place to actually being fully decorated, which I am still not done, is a long one. Not that it hasn’t been exciting and made me act like a grown up, even though I don’t quite feel like one yet, it takes a lot of time. The reason I haven’t written about my flat yet was that I was waiting until it was completely done, but I have now realized that might never happen. Never being done is not meant negatively. I have learned that you can’t force a home. You can place the furniture you need but it takes time to collect all the nick-knacks and photographs to make it feel like you.
Therefore there is no better time for me to begin to write about my experience with my flat than now; when there is enough done for me to write about but still more to come.
I began looking for a flat months and months before I was to move, which I quickly realized I shouldn’t do because the London flat market is fast and nothing I saw was going to still be for sale in even a couple of weeks. About two months before I moved I began looking at my Zoopla app every morning at night religiously. I probably found at least a dozen flats that I thought were “the one”. Things don’t always work out though, dates, people offering more for it, realizing that it is only 80 square feet and the toilet is in a wardrobe, I saw it all. I was told by my family and friends that everything would work out and it was all for the best. Which I did believe deep down but it is difficult to hear when there is a time limit. I’ve always done things last minute so I really shouldn’t have been surprised when I found my flat four days before I was to fly to London. I Skype-toured the flat and put in a deposit all in a couple of days. While it was a crazy quick experience nothing felt better than knowing that when I moved over here I would actually have a place to move in to.
My place came with some basic furniture, so I didn’t have to start from complete scratch. I had a bed, thank god, a wardrobe, which had no chance of fitting all my clothes, and a couch. It also came with a round table and chairs that took up a lot of space and I really didn’t need. Even though my landlord was unable to take the table I was able to take it apart and now it is under my bed, ready to pull out if ever I do have a spontaneous dinner party. I had the basecoat of foundation of my flat set, so to speak, but it needed a lot more.
I always thought that furniture shopping would be the best time. I’ve had multiple daydreams of being Aimee Song (songofstyle) or the property brothers. So obviously, I pictured my try at being an interior designer to be like a TLC London special. This wasn’t quite the case however when you have a budget, small flat, and a little bit of a picky taste. I’m not saying that shopping day one wasn’t an absolute dream. Going through all the department stores London has to offer, seeing what is out there and gaining inspiration, even finding a few things. Day two was also still fun, more realistic, but fun day. Day three was getting a bit old and frustrating. Day four was desperation, as apparently there are pillows out there that cost more than my rent. Day five was sitting at home on my laptop saying screw it I’m ordering from Ikea. Day 6 and till now have simply turned to I will find it when I see it or if I desperately need a can opener I’ll just walk to Tessco’s and get one, or not eat.
To explain how real the struggle can be I still don’t have any form of table or hard surface in my living room/library/office/TV room/guest room/ every other room that is not my bedroom. I had a specific idea of what I wanted in my mind, a large oval classical fabric ottoman, but I could not find one anywhere online or in stores, so I turned back to Ikea and a have a lovely table on its was, that with a few personal touches will turn out looking designer.
I love my flat to death now and refer to it as the cloud 9, as you may see in Instagram photos (@sophbutterfield). Now that I have set the back story of the flat over the next few posts I will be talking furniture and decorating, little tips I have learned to make moving in so much easier, and as Christmas is approaching my favorite things! Welcome to my London home.