Friday, 25 June 2010

The new flat

So being as how we are living on the english coastline, I was thinking of redecorating the house with a beachy/holiday feel, but not too beachy. We need a contemporary modern vibe which feels chilled out. Easier said than done! Here are some pictures of the hallway from before we moved in, the long passageway with a dark green carpet that has a nice wooden parquet floor underneath.

As you can see it feels dark, that glass brick dividing wall thing with the knick-knack display cabinet doesn't help much. Although I understand its purpose. It allows the light from a window in the kitchen into the passage/hall and so provides the passageway with its only natural light source. The light fittings feel old and dated, and I just don't like them much.

Here's a shot of the divider and the lights up close.

I was over on A Beach Cottage looking for inspiration and spotted her hallway. Its lovely, bright and white. I was thinking of bright bold colours for the flat. But as we aren't going to live here forever(and need to brighten up that hall)white might be the best option. I especially love the old bleached white wood and her diy oar for coats. Although I don't think its entirely appropriate for a ninth floor flat, maybe I could use some ideas, painting the wood white for instance.

So the question is.. what to do with our entrance hall? I think, remove the wallpaper, paint it a lighter colour and although I love dark wood generally, paint the divider white and get rid of that cabinet - I don't see the point of it. Change those light fittings and maybe have a couple of bright paintings or even some prints framed nicely along the wall? But that's not the first task... that is reserved for the balcony.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

On moving

Moving is never as easy as you think it will be. The transition of houses, the actual physicality involved... and for some reason you always have more stuff than you thought you had. Many people de-clutter when moving home, we didn't. Although we have more stuff than we want, there is not much we can get rid of. In fact, each time we have moved the past few years we have found ourselves having to get more stuff for the next place. When we first came over we had 20 kg's worth of suitcases each, mostly clothing a couple of cameras and small things that we thought we needed. Then we found we needed sheets and towels and countless other little things that really we hadn't thought about. Living in a houseshare meant that we didn't need to purchase furniture or stoves, or cultery. But over the last 3 years we have been gathering little things, like the set of glasses and wine glasses because the house didn't have any or enough. And then last September we moved into a one-bedroom flat and found we needed plates and bowls and a kettle! So we went shopping for more stuff. But luckily again, the flat was partly furnished so we didn't need to buy a couch or bed. We made do with the lumpy old sofa. And then we moved again...

This time however, we didn't have any boxes, and although we asked around and looked on freecycle we couldn't get any. I did not see the point of buying boxes. So we moved with bags and the few suitcases that we had. It was not fun. It was the first time I hadn't had enough boxes in a move, and I think that the first rule of moving should be - use boxes! I have used wooden boxes, cardboard boxes and even - a couple of times in Zimbabwe, wooden coffins. I think my parents still have them sitting full of books and stuff in the garage. It did freak out the men who had to carry them though. Anyhow, moving with tesco bags is something I never want to do again. We were lucky enough have the whole month to move our stuff in, and it took that long. Because we moved in a little blue corsa. A couple of trips every couple of days meant it took a lot of trips. Luckily we were only moving about 10km or so. Moving in a small car is possible, especially if you don't have lots of big bulky/heavy things. And we have done so before. We also didn't have much money to pay for a removals company, so we did it our way. And half-way through moving, the car broke down - twice! We were collecting a box from a relative and a sound started rattling, badly. Our corsa was not happy. So we went home and called a mechanic, who ordered a new piece for it. While he was doing that we decided to get him to give it a service at the same time. And the next weekend - when we were moving again, something else broke. We talked nicely to the car, crossed our fingers and kept moving. By now our moving deadline was too close for us to allow the car to get fixed. We moved the last of our things, parked our car and called the mechanic. Turns out it wasn't a serious problem, and it was fixed in under half an hour. And I am so glad its over! We managed to fit everything we owned into the spare bedroom, so that the day we moved over we only had stuff piled in one room and so we can decide where we are putting things as and when we get to it. At least its out of the way while we redecorate the rest of the flat. Now its just a matter of getting into that room to find stuff when we need it!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


This is my first blog, and my first blog post. I have been reading several blogs for sometime now and although I rather value my privacy, I think it might be interesting to share some of my/our discoveries about my first ever decorating project.

We both come from Zimbabwe, the most beautiful country in the world. I have been in England for just over 6 years, while my partner joined me just over 5 years ago. Together we have lived in several properties, approximately 6 in England. It's kinda hard to keep track, this is house number 26 or 27 for me to live in (although 2 of those are a hotel and guesthouse which were my families homes for several months) - and I'm not 26 yet. Suffice to say I have moved ALOT. And although I used to think I enjoyed the whole 'moving thing', I have come to realise that I don't. I would like nothing more than to find and know that I have somewhere to live forever. But that said, this home is temporary although we are redecorating it.

To begin with, this is the largest place that we have lived in - in england that is (not Zimbabwe). It is has 2 bedrooms, a large kitchen, very green bathroom, lounge and balcony/sunroom, and is a whole 61 square metres, not including the hall and bathroom. It feels massive compared to the last one-bedroom flat which was all of 29square metres, including bathroom and hall, and although it had a lovely huge balcony it was a little cramped. Prior to that we lived in house shares with some rather 'interesting' people. So having 'a space of our own' is so important to us, and so nice at last!

I know that there are several decor blogs out there, but there seems to be a shortage of ones based in England, with people who have no money, no furnishings and yet still desire a 'home', even temporarily. So hopefully this blog will help reassure people that they are not alone out there, and maybe - just maybe, we will be able to make this new house home for a while.