Having set up this blog specifically to talk about being ‘suddenly single’, being child-free, cooking, working out and yoga my first post is about something totally different, namely interior design. This is a subject that I wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole; it’s not something I consider myself talented at, and to compound the reasons why I shouldn’t talk about it, I have a large number of friends who do it professional at the highest levels.
But, but, but… I’m just so excited, I’ve never had my own place, for the last 16 years I haven’t even had my own room so to suddenly have an (incredibly small) place that I can decorate just as I please is entirely thrilling! I’m also probably buying more furniture than I ever have in one fell swoop. We furnished our first place with the cheapest furniture IKEA had to offer and hand-me-downs from family members; as time has gone on we’ve replaced things item by item as they became so awful we couldn’t live with them anymore and as we moved around properties with different requirements. I’m trying not to go crazy buying terribly expensive things, but nor am I getting everything in IKEA and Home Centre; at 36 I’m pretty sure I’m just too old for that.
My new place is a studio, I’m furnishing it in a mixture of pieces brought from the house I shared with my husband (amicable separations are great for getting the furniture and artwork that you want out of the shared home!) and new pieces that I’m buying. My guiding principles when figuring out what goes where and what I need to buy are to maximise storage space, to create as much of a separate bedroom as possible and to try not to totally overcrowd everything! I’m also embracing the kind of style that I like that and estranged husband* (EH) can’t bear, think shabby-chic, fairy lights for days and Buddha statues on every conceivable surface.
There’s a lot of work to do relocating on your own, and my week looks a bit like this:
- Monday – View flat, go to estate agents and pay deposit etc…, have EH order boxes and packing materials
- Tuesday – Book moving company and enlist friend’s help, book handyman, measure flat and figure out sizes of furniture required, buy drawers and cupboard at Pinkys, buy odds and ends at Crate and Barrel (and fall in love with insanely expensive lamp), buy bedspread and cushions at Marina Home, go back to estate agents, sign contracts (so many contracts) give them cheques
- Wednesday – Go to IKEA, pick up approximately half of what is required because the trolley is too small
- Thursday – go to West Elm and Pottery Barn at lunch for shower curtain and rail, laundry basket, curtain rails, storage baskets for under console table; after work go back to IKEA to pick up everything failed to buy last night,
- Friday – return to Crate and Barrel to order insanely expensive lamp and to buy kitchen equipment, start to pack up villa
- Saturday – pack up the room here I’ve been staying with friends and move all that stuff to the villa, finish packing at the villa
- Sunday – move everything from the villa to the new apartment, delivery from IKEA, delivery from Pinkys, unpack, watch in dismay as washing machine is taken away, realise will have to buy washing machine
- Monday – Unpack, handyman comes to put up curtain rails, shower rails, hooks, build furniture from Ikea etc…, and pick up essentials like mop and bucket
If that sound like it would take more hours then there are in a day, please note that I’m working between Monday and Thursday!
Post move update
Well the first thing to note is that the moving was emotional; I clearly had been coping far too well until that point and went to pieces just when it was most time consuming and least convenient. But at least I demonstrated that, like the tin man, I had a heart all along.
Moving is also expensive and difficult, and I’ve had to accept that not everything will be perfect immediately both because stuff happens and other stuff can’t happen because I can’t afford it to! I was going to hold off on posting this until everything was picture perfect, but having set the intention of starting a blog, I’d better see it through before losing all momentum and this gives me the perfect excuse to post updates a few months down the line. I think it looks pretty good already, a small but perfectly formed home, and I see peacocks on my runs!
*I use estranged in the sense of husband or wife no longer living with their spouse, not the more common usage of no longer being on good terms with.