Four years, two sofas, three TV units, three dining tables, four rugs and umpteen light fittings later (and breathe!), our living/dining room is finally "just right" and suiting our day-to-day lives perfectly.
I'd love to show you how the chameleon of a room has changed over this short period of time. I'll begin with the dining area...
This is how the room looked when we viewed the property. A large chunky oak dining table and media unit, magnolia walls, dark plum curtains. Cosy lighting, but not our thing.
We first tried a 6 seater dining table. I fell in love with this one that we found on made.com. It suited our 60's retro style to a tee. But when I look back at this photo, it does make me giggle at my younger giddy self. Not only was there no consideration for storage (exactly where I was picturing all my design books would go, I've no idea!) I suppose that's the problem with putting everything into storage for a few months before you move in to your new place. You have all this time on your hands for shopping for new things and you completely forget how much stuff you actually have! Although, the table was gorgeous and I have no regrets!
Surprisingly we managed with just the addition of a tall IKEA locker unit in a teal/duck-egg (...loads of stuff fit in that bad boy, it was fab!) and we lived in minimal bliss for the next 20 months. Along with the addition of our first pet together... Ringo Ham-starr.
Then I was pregnant and we needed more storage! The soon-to-be nursery was currently a general dumping ground - it had been on our to-do list since we first arrived. Everything in that room needed to go somewhere... so 2 chests of drawers were bought. (These deserve a future post of their own, so I won't go into details now.) It was going to mean saying good bye to the table that I had become so attached to. But then my lovely Mum found the next best thing – the smaller four-seater version of the same table!
We had decided not to find out the sex of the baby and throughout the whole pregnancy I was pretty certain we'd be welcoming a bonny boy into the world. My parents would have bet the same. But the closer I got to the due date, I kept getting this overwhelming desire to add pinks and florals into our home. I went a bit mad for silk flowers (pink ranunculus and peonies), I stitched together some floral fabrics and made a new cushion. I had bought some pink ditsy fabric to make more cushions but John drew a line before I had chance (kill joy!) ... Slowly but surely the flat was becoming more and more twee!
In spring 2015 our little bundle of joy arrived and we were surrounded by pink! As our little girl grew we started to realise that the furniture we had painstakingly searched for wasn't as adaptable as we had hoped. We kept wishing for more floor space for little M to play. We took the table down and the dining room became a play room...
I fashioned a little corner for little M to store her toys and bought her a mini beanbag chair - somewhere to sit and read her favourite books. She loved it, we loved it and it felt spacious again (especially during nap times when the toys were neatly stored away!)
But then a couple of months down the line, I decided it was time to start working again. I set up a desk over at my parents place (just a stones throw away) which worked for a while, but it was never very practical. I had to ask Mum to come and babysit while we swapped homes for a day! And I also missed having a dining table.
By now you're most probably thinking "is this girl ever happy?!" (and I wouldn't blame you) ... but bare with me!
We now have, two toy-box seats that double up as dining chairs and a slimline dining table, that can be pulled out as and when we need. I have also managed to sneak in a petite desk and create a little office area in the corner of the room... still leaving a good amount of floor space for little M.
Small properties can often feel cramped with "no space to swing a cat"... (who wants that anyway?!!) but in my experience, it's a matter of trial and error. I imagine it's the same for any property– as life changes, sometimes your home has to as well. It's all about making the space (and the furniture within it) work for YOU and your family.
And we FINALLY got there... for now anyway! ;-)
Love Mika x