We’ve been in our flat for around eleven months now, which has given us just about long enough to redecorate 90% of the space and start filling it with bits and pieces that we love. It’s been a lot of fun choosing the style and scheme of our first proper home together, in a way that you can’t quite manage in a rental. Here’s my rundown of the best bits and key purchases that have helped our first flat feel like a forever home…
I know, I know – when will I stop banging on about this sideboard?! If you’ve somehow missed my deluge of chat about this sideboard, I’ll fill you in. Basically Lewis and I spied a 1960s G Plan sideboard on Gumtree one Sunday morning a few weeks back, and had it delivered about an hour later. Before we got it, our living room just couldn’t shake that ‘just moved in’ feeling, with a couple of boxes still tucked away at the back of the room and clutter everywhere that had no place to live. As soon as it was in our living room, the whole space changed and suddenly felt pulled together. Not only does it look *amazing*, but it’s swallowed so much clutter and has hidden away so many of those little bits that kept making the place look messy. Definitely one of the best pieces we’ve ever bought!
We only had one sofa when we moved into the flat, along with a couple of dining chairs. After my birthday tea, where four or five of us were huddled on the carpet, we decided that we definitely needed to hurry up and find another seating solution. Our current sofa is pretty bulky (can’t wait to get rid of it!) so we wanted something smaller – a love seat seemed like the perfect option. Our one is from Dunelm and it’s the perfect size and is so pretty, I love the shape of it. It was also so reasonable compared to other furniture websites, saving us literally hundreds of pounds. At the moment, the biscuit colour matches our other sofa so I’ll keep it this way, but once we upgrade to a nice navy main sofa, I desperately want to reupholster this one in grey or mint. Our one isn’t available anymore but this one is pretty similar.
One of the main things I was desperate to change about our flat before we moved in was the carpets; the hallway and bedroom are clad in black, complete with silver sparkles. Shudder. One thing I didn’t factor in was paying for new carpets, so while we were saving, I wanted to find some alternative to make the hallway look a little fresher. The answer was an amazing monochrome chevron runner rug from Next, which I got in the sale for about £30. It’s no longer available but this one is very similar. Our hallway walls are white, with black and white prints and accessories, so this was the perfect match and has totally changed the vibe of the space – now the black carpet looks intentional and cool, not dark and dingy as it once did. Now I’m not even that bothered about replacing it!
In our last rental, I barely had room for a makeup bag, let alone a dressing table. So once we were settled in our flat, I made buying a pretty dressing table a priority. I’d always loved the look of this Dunelm one, and it was so reasonable too (I think I bagged it on a 20% discount weekend as well!). It might not be squared-off and 60s-inspired like most of our other furniture, but it looks perfectly at home in our bedroom and has finally given me a dedicated space to luxuriate in getting ready.
This final one’s a bit random, I grant you. Our flat is actually pretty big all round, so we have the room for proper shelves, but both of us loved the look of the slimline Lack ones from IKEA. They’re about £4 each which is just ridiculously cheap, and we’ve fitted a selection of them throughout the house, as they make the perfect display shelves without ever looking bulky or taking up too much space. We’ve used three rows of them in the kitchen to display our cookbooks, two side by side in the hallway to show off records, prints and photos, and a small one above my dressing table, where my jewellery stands live. Cheap and cheerful, and a buy that’s made a big difference in a very subtle way.
What bits and pieces have been the best buys for your home?