Home Life

Buying our first home

I read so many blogs about home decor and interior design that I consider myself far too much of an amateur when it comes to sharing photos of my home. But, when Urban Compass contacted me and asked if I’d like to share the story of our first home to contribute to a new blog series they’re running, I couldn’t resist!

Urban Compass is a real estate platform based in New York that connects people searching for apartments with a neighborhood that matches their personality and taste – an ideal service considering there are far more neighbourhoods in NYC than I ever realised! Whether you’re moving to NYC or just a nosey house hunter like myself, you should check out the NYC apartments on their website.

We’ve only been in our home for four months. We were lucky first time buyers during a time of UK housing madness and we scored this teeny tiny – but beautiful – one bedroom flat in South London. Wait… I should clarify… this HUGE house is not what I’m referring to as teeny-tiny! This house is our block and we have one of the six flats.

Our first homeThere was nothing that urgently needed doing when we moved into our home last September, but I was desperate to put our stamp on the place and make it feel like home. The open plan living/kitchen space quickly became my project and I now absolutely love it! The original sash windows were such an important feature for both of us; in a small flat it was important to get as much natural character and light as possible. Plus – it’s the perfect home for the table and chairs I worked on earlier this year.

Styling a bay window

painted table and chairs

The first ‘project’ we tackled was the kitchen, which I told you about back in October. I was desperate for something brighter because the kitchen is the main focus of our room – and where my boyfriend spends most of his time – so I wanted to get rid of the cheap, student feel. This kitchen is the only bit of serious no-going-back DIY that  I’ve ever done in my entire life and I still feel so proud of it! Here’s the before and after snaps.

Kitchen - before

Kitchen - afterAfter the kitchen, the rest of the room started to take shape. I love having our pictures up on the wall, and these three band posters mean a lot to me. When my boyfriend and I first got together, Belle & Sebastian were frequently blasting their twee indie-pop songs out of our car stereo speakers and their tunes will always remind me of those early relationship days! When we spent our first summer apart, he made me a mix CD (yes, the old days of CDs) and that’s when I first listened to Slow Club. They soon became a regular feature on my iPod and we’ve seen them at various festivals and gigs over the years. Anais Mitchell is an American folk artist who we discovered when we moved to Newcastle; after seeing her live on a couple of occasions we had a weekend in Glasgow watching her folk opera, Hadestown, based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. It was musical magic and I really love that all three posters deserve a place on the wall of our very first home together.

Living room decor with pop posters

Our home is a combination of new furniture that we’ve bought especially for our new home and old furniture that we picked up along the way. This bookshelf is the first piece of furniture I ever bought with my own money. It’s been in every shared house and flat I’ve ever had, and now it’s here in our first home. I feel I should get rid of it – it’s not a very good use of space – but I can’t quite bring myself to do it.

Bookcase with tv on

These little fur-babies are a big part of our first home. I thought cats were meant to be independent but these little nutcases don’t leave our side. They lie as close as possible to the radiator – whilst still begging for physical touch. Needy is an understatement.

tabby cat

black and white cat

Last month we painted the alcove in our hallway. It needed brightening up so one Sunday afternoon we painted it bright pink and hoped for the best! It actually looks great and really brightens up the entrance to the flat. We tend to do nothing to the place then have these mega DIY weekends where we get focused and do all the things we’ve been jabbering on about.

2015 - 2



The bedroom is our next project. It’s small and my clothing collection is not, so we’re going to start building clever storage to make the room feel calm instead of cluttered. Only problem is, money isn’t endless so I need to try and focus on sensible storage and not my desire for beautiful bedding!

I love our home and every decision we make matters so much more now that it’s ours and not our landlord’s. It took me a while to stop thinking about deposits and notice periods! It feels so crazy to able to say: this is ours. We can stay here as long as we want to. No one will charge us if we dent a wall or mess up the picture hooks. It’s all ours.


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