Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Home: Living Room Inspiration

Since we now have a flat sorted out and the move is just over a month away, I'm spending more and more time daydreaming about decorating my first home. As we will just be renting for now, I wanted the flat to be a blank canvas (i.e. unfurnished) that I can decorate the way I want. While I was dreaming of white walls and no carpets while starting the flat search, I knew it was probably too much to ask (but it's my biggest pet-peeve in UK homes!). And it was. But I was willing to sacrifice my dreams of wooden floors and location nearer Oxford for the otherwise perfect flat in right in the centre of a town which I admit has almost everything you need in terms of everyday life. There is also the added benefit of considerably smaller rent prices than Oxford, which meant we could afford the two bedrooms we had wanted. Oxford is still just 20 minutes away by car, and therefore easily reached when I want to pop in for more variety of shops and cultural activities.

But back to decorating, or rather, dreaming of it! My boyfriend has given me complete freedom when it comes to decorating the flat, so my imagination has run wild. While I like to talk with him about my ideas, he seems interest seems to be restricted to the actual furniture (colour scheme of sofa cushions is of no interest haha). He seems to be happy with everything I suggest though, and I suppose my taste is not too overwhelmingly "girly". There will be no hearts, ditsy florals or butterflies, because as much as I love looking at the shabby chic style on Instagram and the like, it's not me. While the romance of English countryside appeals to me on some level, the minimalistic Scandinavian style resonates with me a lot more. While I don't want to recreate the style of Almost Every Single Home in Finland, there's a lot of elements in the aesthetic 'back home' that appeals to me. Perhaps even more now that I'm here in the UK.

I thought I'd begin a little series of home inspiration posts, starting with the living room (as I'm currently obsessed with it).

As you can probably tell, I'm currently obsessed with yellow and turquoise! We're planning on having most of our furniture quite plain and in neutral colours, allowing us to redecorate easily if we feel like changing the colours at some point in the future. Throws and cushions are great for pops of colour, and I'm particularly liking this throw and this pillow (£35, £12, both from Next). Geometric patterns are a favourite, as you can probably tell. Shops seem to be full of them now too, as well as my chosen colours, which works well for me. The yellow print cushion (£7.99) is from H&M and the chevron one (£11.50 and up) is from PureHomeAccents via Etsy.

H&M Home has some lovely pieces at the moment, such as this cute wooden bowl (£6.99) and flower vase (£19.99). I'm also big fan of Debenhams when it comes to homewares — and they're not disappointing with their selection of turquoise and yellow pieces, or geometric shapes. The now-sold-out framed art work and the chevron picture frame are my favourites (think I'll make a trip to my local Debenhams to see if they have them in store!). I also love the trio of little vases (no longer in stock) and the white jar (was £8, now £6.40), perfect for storage of little bits and bobs!

Moving into a new home is expensive though, particularly when you have no furniture. As I'm still an unemployed student, 2 weeks away from graduation, we are not exactly swimming in cash — but we still want a nice looking flat that feels like home. I've been looking for some furniture on sites such as Freegle and Freecycle, as well as local furniture charity shops. So far, I've got us a free bedframe and spotted a cheap dining table and chairs that we might pick up this week. We're also planning a visit to IKEA, which I admit to be quite excited about.

IKEA is great for some basics, such as the white BILLY bookcases (£25) and KALLAX shelving unit (£45). We're looking to get a large grey sofa, such as IKEA's KIVIK (£810) — though we will probably try to find a similar looking sofa bed, so that we can have friends and family stay over.

While we do have carpets, I think a couple of nice rugs around the house would not hurt. IKEA has a lot of beautiful printed rugs that won't break the bank, such as the little round VIRRING rug (£10). I'm also in love with the yellow Stockholm rug (£160).

My absolute dream is this beautiful Garston love seat from Made.com (£699). While not necessary at the moment (and slightly pricey!), I'm determined that it will one day take its place in our living room as my reading chair.

If you'd like to see more of my homeware favourites (and lots of other things), make sure to follow me on Pinterest!

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