Lifestyle

Our Living Room (Before and After)

You may remember our month long quest to find a new flat in London which resulted in our homelessness for nearly a month, and then finding a beautiful but unfurnished flat (many flats in London come fully furnished). This resulted in Sam and I not having a stick of furniture between us, other than one bookshelf.  Since then everything we’ve purchased has been thrifted or free. (Hello, freecycle!)

We are also severely limited on decorating because in our tenancy agreement we aren’t allowed to paint and we have a specific number of nail holes that we can put in the wall!

Take a look at what our home looked like when we moved in empty handed here. But here are some refresher pictures of our living room, which is the room that is nearly done. Our bedroom still needs some work.

rhyme & ribbons london flatrhyme & ribbons london flat

Our flat may look small to some of my American readers out there, but trust me, by London standards our one bed flat is huge! Especially considering that London is nearly 15% more expensive to live in than New York City. *Dramatic sigh*

However, I am pleased to say that this is what we are working with now! There are a few tiny adjustments that we need to make to the living room still. We’ve been on the hunt for the perfect bench unit to go under our windows, for example.

rhyme & ribbons london flat
 An improvement from when we moved in, certainly!
rhyme & ribbons london flat
 If you look closely, you can still make out our Christmas cracker crowns draped from the TV.
rhyme & ribbons london flat
 A painting of the home Sam lived in as a child on one side, one of my concert posters on the other.
rhyme & ribbons london flat
As you can see, we are both book and play hoarders!
rhyme & ribbons london flat
Those yellow pages contain a list of tasks we want to remind ourself to accomplish in 2014!
 
Another thing still left to do is to show out sofa some love. It needs some serious updating. I’ve have been lusting after some gorgeous pillows and throws so hopefully the next time there is a sale I can make that happen!
 Some patriotic candles from the Jubilee and a photo of our lock on the main “lock” bridge over the Seine in Paris. You can read about our Parisienne adventures here.
rhyme & ribbons london flat
The framed key is one to our first home a few years ago, whilst the cork ‘A’  is made of dated and marked champagne corks from whenever we have split a bottle of bubbles together for a special occasion/ celebration.  You can learn to make your own key frame from my tutorial here.

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  • It’s looking good! I agree, for London that’s a pretty roomy flat. I had that sofa when we first moved in together and it held up pretty well and did the trick for a while. I like how cozy it looks! xx

    • We’ve already had visitors sleep on it folded out and they seemed to (genuinely) think that it was fairly comfy so that’s the best you can ask for really! x

  • It looks very cute and cozy! We also have that “I love you so much I could squish postcard”!

    • HAhaha yes! Who got who the postcard in your case? x

      • I bought it for Fredrik one day when I was bored waiting in line at a book signing, I keep meaning to frame it and add it to our little gallery wall but frames are hard to remember!

  • Mrs. Collier

    How charming!

  • I love how many books you have – I think they’re essential! We had that exact couch a few years ago (also weirdly from freecycle…) it did us proud, especially when my family came en-mass from New Zealand!

    • Haha, it must be a freecycle staple then! We’ve already had visitors sleep on it folded out and they seemed to (genuinely) think that it was fairly comfy. Which is good enough for me! x

  • I love the cork A! I will have to check out your tutorial and make one myself. Decorating is a work in progress especially when decorations are so expensive.

    • Ah thank you! I’ll get round to it soon. I don’t mind it not being perfect right away to save money and find things on sale etc, so it is a work in progress in every way! x

  • amitygardens

    You guys do have a giant living room. Can’t wait to see it in person. πŸ˜›

  • If this is considered small by American standards, then no one should visit my place! I think your living room is probably the same size as mine! Any idea how many square feet your place is?

    I love the photo of the lock!

    • Thanks Alex! I don’t know the dimensions off the top of my head so I’ll get back to you on that. It is by far the largest place we’ve lived in together. Our last place was tiny. Yes the bedroom was separate but otherwise it had the dimensions of a bachelor! x

  • So pretty!

  • What a great idea! The key frame! AND- Rob and I have only lived here together, so I could put the key to our house in it and when we move one day, it will be that much more special. I love that idea!
    Your flat looks very nice and personalized now. The corks! What a cute idea, Amanda. You are just bursting with DIY projects and I didn’t even know it! πŸ˜‰

    • Haha I’ll have to let you in on the secret one day soon πŸ™‚ Gosh I imagine when you move one day it’ll be really emotional! xx

  • Aw, it looks so cute! I love the wood floors and bright, bright light. Our little rental is teensy, too. But it’s been fun to decorate because it makes you come up with some out of the box solutions πŸ™‚

  • Chelsee

    This looks super cute! You did a great job! Thanks for linking up today!

  • I love it! I had no idea London was THAT expensive! Yikes. We rent, too and I hate being limited with white walls and as little nail marks as possible. I’ve definitely had to be creative with decorating!

    • London is becoming so extravagantly priced that its estimated that the average couple will have to save for 13-14 years to afford a deposit on owning their own home. Which makes me so angry (only because I hate renting!) Our contract specifies the number of nail holes total in the flat which seemed really strange but also slightly hilarious. x

  • Karly Kim

    Really cute!! Can’t wait to visit & see it in person πŸ™‚

    • Um, I can’t wait to be drinking champagne and watching trash tv with you in that very room. x

  • I think it’s adorable!

  • I love it! And I really love the color of your floors! Thanks for linking up with the Weekend Block Party this week, we hope to see you back again next week!

    • Thanks hun! It was in a bad state when the agent brought us round to view it, but one of the virtues that really stuck out to me was the beautiful floors. Thanks for hosting! x

  • Lisa C

    Looks so cute and homey!

  • Oh Amanda, you are such a homemaker, I love it :).

  • Kerry

    It looks great! I can’t believe it is that expensive. Wow.

    • Ugh, right? Prices in London make me ragey (as they do most average people) but c’est la vie! x

  • it’s looking so good! I remember how freaking expensive London came be. your living room is much larger than the one I shared with 2 flatmates when I was living over there ha.

    — jackie @ jade and oak

    • Same! When I was living with girlfriends in Clapham Junction a few years ago our living room was about half the size. I mean, yeah, it was more centrally located in London- but still….. x

  • It’s looking so good! And yikes! so expensive!

  • I love how the couch is facing those beautiful windows…and not directly towards the TV.

    • Thanks Toni! Our windows were too beautiful to pass up the opportunity to not place the sofa there to bathe up as much of the light as possible. x