So er… Happy New Year?
What do you mean it’s February? Ok, ok, I know, I haven’t blogged in over a month. Actually it’s more like six weeks. Look, I’m sorry okay? I have a full time job and, you know, a LIFE. Anyway, the plus side of having not heard from me in a while is that now we have loads to catch up on. So brace yourselves. I am about to hit you up with three – yes, THREE – blog posts in quick succession. Bam, bam, bam.
(Hmm. That’s clearly not what quickfire blog posts sound like is it? More like click-click-click… which is distinctly less dramatic.)
Anyway, first things first. I’ve made big progress in the flat and I am now ready to share some of it with you. Do you remember our hallway? Well, it looked like this:
What, may I ask (and I did) is that RAIL? That’s not a storage solution, that’s a… well, actually you know my mate Simon does use one of these in his bedroom for clothes storage and it looks totally awesome but that’s because he’s insanely tidy and minimalist whereas my boyfriend and I, we’re total maximalists, darling. Ok, we like clutter. Fine, we’re messy. Anyway, The Rail was not going to work for us. And neither, might I add, were the tacky beech-effect bookcases. Or the resident iron. The retro Tottenham scarf I actually quite like but I need to come up with a more artistic way of incorporating it. The ‘bookcase drape’ is soooo 2003 (when I was living in university halls and covering pretty much every surface with fabric in an effort to make it look less like a 1960s prison cell).
So to Freecycle went the bookcases and to Rob’s mum’s house went the rail. But what to do with the books? Well… you’ll have to wait and see (because I haven’t written that post yet).
Then, I admit, for a long while it looked like this:
Oh dear. But hey, that chest of drawers is cute, right? Find out where that came from HERE. Ooh and I like the vintage trunk. Yes, there’s potential here, albeit hidden under a pile of coats and bags and shoes and keys and… etc.
I’d been ogling hallway porn on Pinterest for months and was aiming for a cross between these two:
Not being an interior designer, I have no idea how to draw plans but I am nevertheless a notebook addict and often my pages of neat shorthand notes (all lies, my shorthand is definitely on the ‘maximalist’ side) are interrupted by a scrawled idea of how I want something to look.
Ignoring the top page for a moment (that’s my dining room design… obviously), I think this CLEARLY shows what I was getting at. I even labelled everything. It’s practically foolproof. Or it would be if my writing wasn’t indecipherable. Look, at the top: that’s a shelf with some hats on, below it are some hooks. On the floor is the vintage trunk and to one side is a framed poster which Rob and I bought in Berlin. Now, you will be astonished to learn that my drawings were not to scale so in the end there wasn’t room for the poster. But the rest… well, I think I reproduced my sketch pretty accurately.
The hooks I found on eBay for £35. The shelf is from the Lack range at Ikea. The trunk I bought off Gumtree but I can’t remember how much it was though I do remember how hilariously fun it was trying to lug it back from Isleworth to Brixton (where I lived then) on public transport.
“But what happened to the chest of drawers?” I (don’t) hear you cry. With the bookcases out of the way, we found ourselves with a nice clear entry space:
Do you like my pinboard? I made it myself so I might do a step by step for that soon. Actually I could just tell you now because it’s really easy. It’s Ikea fabric stapled to a pinboard and then bordered with black upholstery nails. The pictures on the right hand side are a cool card I was given which I later framed and an old pub mirror which I picked up at the Pimlico Car Boot sale for a tenner. The ‘Coming Soon’ print is a bespoke piece I had commissioned and represents a comment on the capitalist ‘hype culture’ of modern art.
Just kidding, it’s an empty frame that I have yet to fill. I knew I wanted something big there so I put the frame up anyway to help with spacing. Then I thought it’d be semi-amusing to write ‘Coming Soon’ in marker pen on the backing paper. We had a Christmas party and not one person even mentioned it so either people took it in their stride or they all think I am a pretentious wanker. Who knows. Anyway, I’m happy that my vintage chest of drawers now has a home and role in my life, namely as Chief Holder of Spare Towels and all-round keys-and-junk-mail dumping ground.
Yes, I have a two-headed teddy bear, what of it?
Rob bought me that a couple of years ago as a joke. I hate any kind of schmultz and teddies as a romantic token do not feature in our relationship. But he thought this mutant bear was sufficiently sinister to be allowed. So that’s Two Head Ted and he comes from The Last Tuesday Society’s Little Shop of Horrors in Hackney.
I also put up some wall art in the corridor.
The mirror was a birthday present from my dad a few years ago. It’s made of recycled magazines. The two big blue patterned pictures are pieces of old wrapping paper that I found in the loft at a rented house I lived in. We also found books up there with tickets from Brixton library which showed they were checked out in the 1950s (imagine the fine!) so that gives you an idea of how old these could be. The two closest to the camera are French fashion magazines from the 1920s – La Mode Illustrée and Le Petit Echo de la Mode – which I got for a fiver each at the Vintage Furniture Flea in Bethnal Green.
Oh and the rag rugs came from Ikea about four years ago. £1 each – can’t say fairer than that.
So. Phew. I think you know everything there is to know about my hallway. And that’s probably far far too much. But you know what, I’m really happy with it. When I get home from work in the evening and open the door, I no longer feel like I’m walking into my boyfriend’s flat-where-I-also-happen-to-stay, I actually feel like I’m home.
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