Hi all – Athina here! So you’ve been enticed with the title of this blog post? We all love a good snoop don’t we? I don’t know about you but I love looking at other peoples homes – partly because I like to be inspired by others and see what can be achieved on all different budgets or styles and partly because I’m just a bit nosey I guess. So I thought it only fair that I return the favour and showed you guys what Theo (my boyfriend) and I have been up to for the last 7ish weeks since we moved in. In this post you’ll see my living room makeover which is technically not finished but I’m documenting it a this stage so you guys can follow me on this journey. Before I start though, it should be useful for you guys to know a few things…
TO SET THE SCENE
I’m part of ‘generation rent’ and pay an extortionate amount for a humble two-bedroom property with a small patio / garden in South West London – in light of this, budgets are tight. Everything I’ve done has either been out of my own pocket, upcycled or gifted to me by some lovely brands so that I could make the room into inspiring content. I’ve not been paid to do this and all reviews and opinions are my own. Secondly, although I rent I would definitely say that I go beyond what most renters can be bothered to do. By this I mean I’ve painted, bought additional furniture and made some holes in the walls – however I’m not making any damage I can’t rectify with a bit of polyfiller or unsensible changes to the property that would jeapordise my deposit. And lastly, this room is a combination of a landlords input (the dreaful IKEA Klippan sofa) and my own. Some of it I had the landlord remove as part of my offer.
SLIDE THROUGH THE BEFORE SHOTS…
HOW DID I PLAN MY DESIGN?
Being an interior designer I’m always banging on about how planning your interior design process is so important – and it is! Ideas you think will work in your head sometimes don’t look so good when you put them into a visual format for you to see. The planning began a few weeks prior to move in. I gathered paint samples, created mood boards using powerpoint, pinned stuff on Pinterest and used an architectural software to plan the furniture out. You could try websites like Homestyler.com to plan yours.
DID I CHANGE MY MIND?
Yes! When designing other peoples homes I find it a breeze to make decisions, but when it comes to my own space, I find it so hard to pin down my own personal style and not get influenced by trends or other peoples opinions. In light of this I changed my mind a few times and waited before making big decisions. For example, the walls I thought I’d paint, I ended up not painting and items I thought I’d love I ended up hating upon arrival. I think it’s important to not be scared of making mistakes – if a wall doesn’t look right after painting it, paint it back – you don’t have to live with it just because you’ve done it. The same goes for furniture – if it’s not right, don’t force it to work.
Leave paint samples on a wall for a few days so you can see it in all different variations of light.
THE WINDOW TREATMENT
I cannot stand venetian blinds – sorry to those who have them but in my eyes they look cheap. Every rented place I’ve moved to always has them so for me they’re the first things that had to go! If you’re a renter in the same position these type of blinds are actually really easy to take down (I watched a youtube tutorial) and re-install when you leave – so no excuses! I opted for shutters from The New England Shutter Company because I’m a basement flat so although I’m set back from the road, privacy is key and having shutters allows me to choose how much you can see in.
MY STATEMENT PIECES FROM GRAHAM & GREEN
I headed to Graham & Green for some of my key pieces as I’ve always been a huge fan of their products and we get a great 15% discount code off their range (use code TOPOLOGY15). I particularly fell in love with their Amaliah range so went for a side board from that range. I liked the fact the wood is rustic and has great texture to it which would contrast the matt dark wall colour behind it. To draw more attention to this area of the room, I needed a wall lamp that didn’t require an electrician (due to being a renter) so the Harrison wall lamp was the perfect addition as it’s a simple plug in wall lamp. I painted the wire the same colour as the feature wall to blend in.
MY OAK FURNITURE LAND TABLE
Having had so many laminate, veneer and chipboard wooden furntiure in my life, it was time to turn to solid oak! I’m in my mid twenties now so it’s all about investment pieces that will stand the test of time. That’s why I chose this extendible table from Oak Furniture Land as their prices don’t reflect the fact their items are solid wood. I chose an extendible table as I love to host but live in a city so space is limited, click on the image below to see the one I bought.