For those of you who can reach far enough back into the mists of time, yes, I’ve been talking about this room re-do since early August. I’ve teased it, I’ve talked it up and now, finally, it’s here for your delectation and ultimate judgement. It’s my living room, ladies and gentlemen – brought to you in patient collaboration with Made.com, who let me run amok in their store cupboard, gifting me all manner of wonderful things.
A little background intel
The crap flat is wonky. Nothing is centred, layout was not considered as part of the initial building design, and it’s always just looked a bit stark and bare. And not in the chic, minimal way – in a way that suggests, you’ll die here, alone, and wolves will eat your remains. I’ve bought so much stuff in a bid to make the living room feel homely, but to no avail. The marble surfboard (god rest its soul) looked ashamedly boujie and only served to bring out the worst in the rest of the space. I wanted a rug, but none worked. I wanted storage, but didn’t know where to start. It was, dear reader, an interiors nightmare.
Like a phoenix from the flames
But no more! Because I made some solid selections from Made.com’s bountiful collections, and now my living room is cosy, cohesive, has a REAL LIFE RUG, and places to put stuff. I am in dreamsville – population, me.
All about that feel, man
When we first moved into the flat I was spending a lot of time on Instagram and probably not in the good way. I ended up absorbing other people’s tastes, rather than developing my own, so had lots of bits of stuff that didn’t work together. My buzzwords for the living room this time around were clean, calm, and functional, which incidentally is also the title of my book about robot love-making.
Spoiler: I went for a lot of greige. Another spoiler: I LOVE MY TABLE. I went all-in on the Bramante coffee table in grey. It’s boxy, it’s roomy, it has a bitten-out middle bit for me to store the many magazines I definitely didn’t buy just for this shoot. And – the best bit – it extends. One quick pull and you’re done (oi oi!) with room for your artfully-placed cup of tea. Mr Crap Flat and I have been known to enjoy a Friday night dinner in front of the telly, and this has fully facilitated that, with bells on.
You could’ve guessed – it’s the Camden Rug I chose for my window display in Made.com’s Tottenham Court Road showroom. I love this rug. Love it. It’s just graphic enough to be interesting and just neutral enough to be unobtrusive. And look at it from on-high! It brings some of the black elements in the room together, and I’m fully here for it. Am also now the sort of person who forces their boyfriend to put down towels when he’s eating a Friday night dinner in front of the telly.
The media unit
Our TV has been in pretty much every spot imaginable in this room, and has finally found its resting place on the Marcell media unit in light grey. The difference this little piece of furniture has made to the room has been insane. It has one downward-opening cupboard with a shelf and two drawers that are mainly filled with candles and props for Instagram. But having storage in this room has been a game-changer, and I really love those clean lines and that veeeeery pale grey that’s kind of like the mist on a cold winter’s morn. Or something.
You read it right – we have CURTAINS, like real people. We had them up for the first time last night, and I can’t tell you the difference they’ve made – I think it might be the first time in three years that I’ve felt like I could properly shut the outside out and just exist in my flat, unconnected to the world. For an introvert like me, that feels like a massive win. Originally I wanted to prove that you could put up curtains in a rental property without drilling holes in the wall, because I thought that would be helpful and know that it can be done using Command Hooks. Only this is The Crap Flat where nothing works quite as it should, so we just went ahead and bored five holes into the wall anyway. Our landlord’s fine with this sort of thing, so long as we fill the holes and paint over them when we leave, but obviously always check first. The curtains are there to soften the window and create a bit of texture in a very harsh setting. They also mean we don’t have to live behind our blinds all the time, which we always kept shut to stop people looking in. Actually, top tip from me: if you’re on the ground floor, having a window dressing or something in the foreground of your window really seems to stop people looking into the depths of your home, and keep their eyes on the periphery instead. Let me know if you have any success with this!
The finishing touches
You know I have a vase problem, right? Well, get a load of these doozies. Two sets of three that are going to be gracing a shelfie near you soon. I love the matte finish and the sloping, almost bauhaus-y look of them. Girl’s gotta have a place to put her bits of old stick, you know? I did also get sent a beautiful hurricane lantern, which I’ve since styled up into another space that is yet to be revealed. It’s my workspace and it will be coming SOON.
A word about Made.com
I love working with Made.com, partly because they have a really lovely team, who totally get what I’m about, but also because I LOVE seeing a business who’s dedicated to making life better for renters as well as home owners. Their website is treasure trove of things to make small spaces workable, and they do a solid line in pieces that go with everything I already own. So, here’s saying a massive thanks to Made and the team (new girlband?). Now I’m off to play gazing-at-vases and pretending to read magazines. Perfect weekend.