Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Best Laid Plans

It's been a rough week.

We were told by our electrician, that due to the construction of the ceiling, hanging the "terrible twosome" would be more complicated (and expensive) than anticipated.

We're now waiting to hear from the Barratt electricians, who initially said that hanging these lights wouldn't be a problem, and every single digit of mine is crossed. In the worst case scenario, should these chandeliers prove to be as problematic to hang as indicated, we will just have to dismantle and store them until we are in a better position to get the job done.

I was not happy. However, watching the footage of the devastation in the Philippines certainly put it into perspective and made me realise that though disappointing, this can firmly be filed under "first world problems".

As the chandelier saga unfolded, there was more drama brewing in the form of our dining room chairs. They were already about a week late when we were informed that the delivery would be "curb side". As in, they don't bring them into the flat. As in, someone needed to be there to receive them (full time job, shmull time job).

To make a long story short, after arranging for someone to be here, ONE chair was delivered. The company (which shall remain nameless) for some strange reason split the order, and one delivery truck got lost and drove back to the depot - with the other three chairs!

Cue very angry telephone conversations in which they finally agreed to redeliver on the same day, despite it being "not something they usually do", and we received the remaining chairs late that evening.

We had also ordered black wool seat pads, but won't receive them until the new year when they are back in stock. 

In other news, there is this one wall without windows in our living area, that I have been giving the side eye to ever since we moved in. I keep thinking that if I paint it a very dark hue it will visually recede - and bizarre as this may sound I HAVE been missing our old black wall.


This wall runs straight into the kitchen, and I was thinking of painting the entire thing (under the ledge).

The boxes contain books, as this is also the wall where our bookshelves will go, like so or similar -

I've also begun to tire of having no where to rest my feet/glass/stuff and so have been giving more thought to a much needed coffee table. I mocked up the moodboard below to show the direction in which I intend to go.

1. "Railings" - Farrow & Ball   2. Glass Coffee Table - Habitat   3. Alsed Footstools - Ikea   4. Persian Rug - Woven Ground

Though I'm loving this merging of aesthetics (contemporary, traditional, and modern) on paper (screen?), we all know that looks can be deceiving. I plan to visit the Woven Ground showroom to see the colouring of this rug in person before making any final decisions, so there will probably be more on these plans later.

Here's to this upcoming week being better than the last!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Striking A Balance

Because of the modern feel of our flat, and having decided long ago on Bertoia side chairs for the dining area, I knew I needed a dining table that would provide balance and prevent a cold and uninviting feeling. I needed something that would warm up the room and create a nice juxtaposition of old and new.

The more I thought about it, the more I leaned towards a rustic farmhouse style table, like in the images below, preferably with turned legs to mimic the curve of the ceiling and soften the clean lines of the space.

via One Hour

via Abode Love

photo source unknown

photo source unknown

I soon realised that finding a dining room table in London is not a task for the fainthearted. It seemed all the options fell into 3 main categories : affordable/bad quality, expensive/bad quality, extortionate/good quality. An added concern was the issue of space. As in, we don't have much.

So when an acquaintance referred us to the small family run company where he purchased a custom farmhouse table, my initial thought was that we would have to take out another mortgage to be able to afford one.

I was wrong.

Perusing the website, the tables at the Birmingham based Nina's Country Kitchen, appeared to be exceptional value for money. Even more important, they were custom made, allowing me to purchase one built to my own spec.

Based on the dimensions of the Bertoia chairs, and of a standard dining room table I came up with the detail drawing below. I was very conscious of the height of the table apron, and tried to ensure that there was enough clearance for knees/thighs, which which can be a common concern when pairing modern chairs with farmhouse tables.

After a brief correspondence over the email, I sent Nina the drawing, explaining that I wanted the standard turned legs (although the legs in my drawing were slightly fancier). Less than 6 weeks later (yesterday morning), this solid oak beauty turned up.

The holes in the side are for an extension that allows us to seat 2 or 3 more people, and in the background, the infamous chandeliers are still sitting on the floor, mocking me more and more with each passing day. For those of you who have witnessed my facebook ranting, I have dubbed them the terrible twosome.

Once we take delivery of the chairs (Tuesday) and install the terrible twosome, our dining area should look a little something like this...

...and we can finally have meals again without an all consuming fear of spilling food on the beige sofa.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Home Sweet Home

I was prepared to be in mourning upon moving to our new build flat. Because I’m a sucker for a period flat, I sincerely thought that giving up our large sash windows and original wood floors would leave me with a feeling of loss. The view of the BT Tower and pretty church square mere yards away too, made the thought of moving bittersweet.

Silly me.

Turns out, double glazing, underfloor heating, and having actual storage was enough to make me question where my loyalties lie. Taking a shower in a bathroom that doesn’t feel like the north pole is certainly underrated.

So now that we are settling in, I thought I would share what the space is like now, although there is still so much to be done.

In the corner are the shelves and curtain rods that both need installing.

Below is a pulled out shot for context. Warning, it's a mess.

The dining room table will go behind the sofa, where the chandeliers have be balancing perilously for the last 2 weeks. The electrician did try to hang them, but unfortunately his ladder wasn’t a tall enough. The boxes are full of books, which will go on shelves once they are secured to the wall.

Here is the kitchen on other side of the room.

The novelty of having a full-sized fridge (my first in about 7 years!) has not yet worn off, even though we are having some trouble actually filling it.

Just to the right is a laundry/storage cupboard. Yay for no longer feeling like we're under a plane when the laundry is spinning!

Just off the entry hall is a small water closet. It’s size makes it a challenge to photograph.

Upstairs, the bedroom is the very definition of bland at the moment, but here is what I have planned for the space. The wardrobe to the side will be curtained off eventually.

Just off the bedroom, the ensuite is probably the only space that I don’t intend to make many changes to. I will probably hang a few photos in here and keep it simple.

So as you can see, it's still a bit of a mess. The priority at the moment is to get the shelves and curtains up. A coffee table wouldn't hurt either.

One day at a time.

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