What with how much I bang on about making changes to and seasonally decorating my home it’s high time I gave you the tour. These are the ‘before’ photos taken on our 2nd viewing and then some from the day we exchanged. Actually I wasn’t here on the exchange date, I was in India at the time and these are the photos Tom sent me so I still felt in the loop. I certainly felt homesick that day.
As you can probably imagine a lot has changed since then and in future posts I’ll show you how each part of my home is developing and our inspiration for each area. But first, without further ado, here’s what our little nest looked like on day 1.
This is the standard kitchen that’s in all the flats in the building. The building used to be an office block in central Bristol and was converted into flats 12 years ago. We’re only the 3rd owners of this flat but the previous owner was a buy-to-let landlord and his tenants didn’t exactly look after the place. It’s pretty grubby around the edges, painted an awful magnolia throughout and as you can see the kitchen is missing some baseboards.
We are actually in the process of picking a new kitchen so whilst the layout will stay the same we’ll be getting new units, counter tops fridge and oven. I really like the open shelves, currently one holds my cookbooks and booze and the other holds jars of beans, pulses, herbs, rice and other dried goods. With this in mind I am considering keeping them and then getting larger wall cabinets above the sink that go all the way to the ceiling. Unfortunately there’s not much storage in the kitchen so increasing the size of the uppers will really help. There’s also a gap between where the cabinets end and the half wall end (it’s noticeable on the photo below) which we’re hoping can fit another cabinet in. Expect a future post on our kitchen plans and inspiration.
This shows the kitchen looking from the end of the living/dining space. As you can see it’s a big airy space which we love. The left wall has 4 huge windows and French doors onto the balcony which lets natural light stream in. Not to mention is provides us with free heating – seriously it’s like a greenhouse in here! That combined with being on the 7th floor means fingers crossed we won’t have to turn on the heating this year (thanks downstairs!) You can’t quite see it in these photos but the magnolia walls paired with the yellow toned wooden floors gives the whole flat a sickly yellow tone which I hate, especially with the overhead lighting adding to it. Painting the walls was the biggest change we’ve made in this space and I can’t wait to show you how it’s turned out. If only I could motivate myself to paint all the other walls in the flat.
Here’s the view from the living area out to the French doors, that step is deceptively high!
The dining/living area
The rest of the main room is just a large space which we are going to divide (via furniture placement) into a dining and lounge area. We’ve decided to use the area below nearest the windows as the dining area. This means when eating and entertaining we can enjoy the city lights and awesome views and when we just want to chill in front of the TV we’re in the cosier lounge area and don’t have to worry about any chills coming in from the windows.
Here’s the view of the whole area. That half wall at the end is a strange DIY addition seemingly put in for the one purpose of having uplights, which I might add are not evenly spaced or symmetrical at all which winds me up. It’s also really badly done with visible seams in the plasterboard and no finish on the right edge at all. Also that weird wooden box thing just sticks out of it through which comes a permanently switched on extension cable and our phone line, the whole thing is so strange. Add to this, and it took a while to work this out, that vent hatch has behind it lots of important looking electrical switches. Literally what was the person who put this in thinking? We’re ignoring it for the moment but once we have the time and money we’ll rip it out and patch up the wall behind. Although, we have grown slightly attached to the mismatched lights so may have to find some kind of replacement for those.
This corner is where we plan to have our reading nook. We’re thinking a big squishy arm chair, bright yellow angled floor lamp, vinyl player and headphones nearby and a bar cart situation. We want it to be a little corner of tranquility so that one of us can curl up undisturbed while the other hogs the TV. Plus it’ll be an extra comfy seat for people to fight over when they hang out (the dining table seems to be the natural congregation point at the moment).
Our bedroom is actually supposed to be the spare room. The other bedroom had an ensuite, however, as you’ll see soon, it’s a very strange shape which made this the much better choice. You can’t see from this photo but the space is a really good size, we could literally put our bedhead against any wall and have space on either side of the bed for a bedside table. This is nice as in our last flat I had to sleep up against the wall and climb over Tom to get up first. We’ve put our bed on the wall with the door on it, that way we can sit in bed with the blinds open and look over the city.
The spare room/study
Here you can see what the ‘should be’ master bedroom is like. Now does it make sense why we’ve designated this as the spare room/study? The wall of windows is great but it curves meaning the rooms gets significantly narrower towards the end. This means the only place you can put a bed is right by the door and you’d still have to squeeze around the corner of it by the windows, that seems too annoying to do on a daily basis. This room is perfect for a guest room though as it has an ensuite that they can have private use of. It also has access to the balcony and 3 huge windows allowing light to stream in – perfect for crafting and creating which is what I mostly use the space for. I can’t wait to show you the 8 foot double desk I’ve made to go along the windows, it means Tom and I can work alongside each other or I can spread out to work on projects. At the end of the room there are 2 built in wardrobes which is so helpful for storage.
Here you can see the steps to the French doors.
This room is at the opposite end of the hallway from the living room, I don’t have any photos of the hallway but it’s a long L-shaped space with no natural light, meaning if the bedroom doors are closed it’s pretty dark – not the best space to photograph.
Spare room ensuite/2nd bathroom
This is the ensuite attached to the spare room. As you can see it’s a pretty blank space, grey marble style tiles on the floor and walls of the shower area. The shower’s really powerful which is great and I love that glass bowl sink with quirky crank type taps. Strangely the bathrooms in this flat do not match and I much prefer the fittings in this one.
What you can’t see from these photos is that to the right of the mirror are 3 wall mounted glass shelves, they’re great for storage and really pretty too.
The main bathroom
See how the fittings don’t match? This sink is hideous and it’s on top of some weird tiled construction I like to refer to as the lego brick. We’ve had problems with it though so it’s being replaced. Other than that this bathroom’s great and all we need to do is paint it and accessorise.
This is what really sold the flat to us, having even just a narrow strip of outside space makes such a big difference. As you can see what it lacks in width it more than makes up for in length. This balcony curves the entire length of the balcony giving up great views of the sunken roundabout below which is now used as a cool marketplace with a coffee shop, greengrocers and Burrito Bus. There’s lots to see from here and the views at night of the city lit up are really amazing. Below is the view from outside the spare room.
This is the view from outside the French doors in the kitchen. The previous owners left us a bench which I can’t wait to paint yellow. The metal wall at the end separates us from next door. I have big plans for this space and have already planted climbers over that wall and a kitchen garden and herb spot. I’m getting really into growing your own so next year I’m excited to continue to develop this space. We want it to be great for entertaining too so are focusing on lighting and seating.
Well that’s the end of the home tour folks, I’m looking forward to showing you the updated spaces and their inspirations soon.
Love, Sarah x