Posted: 04 September 2015
When considering decorating ideas, it's amazing how a few personal objects can turn an unfamiliar barren building into a place you'll eventually call home. That feeling doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, but it also takes a lot of planning ahead.
The challenge of taking half a dozen empty rooms and turning them into something of your own can be somewhat daunting at first. Sure, redecorating with lick of paint helps, but there's much more to decorating than that.
My girlfriend and I began discussing home decorating ideas almost a year before we even started looking for our new flat. The first thing we discussed was colour schemes. We both agreed painting the walls a neutral colour would give us more options when deciding on furniture and furnishings, as they would be less likely to clash. As my girlfriend's father is a talented artist, it also meant we could hang many of his wonderful paintings on our walls. But it meant more to us than just having beautiful artwork in our new flat. It also meant my girlfriend's father, though he lives in a different country, could have a presence in our home. Then it dawned on me. We weren't decorating a flat with inanimate objects, we were decorating our home with memories.
This trend continued throughout the decorating process. Yes, I may have got a little bit obsessed about where the TV was positioned, where the couch was positioned in relation to the TV and whether or not the hi fi speakers were perfectly even on either side of the TV, but that was the exception rather than the rule. For example, we decided it would be nice to bring my parents' old lamp stand (not the shade, that old thing had to go) and use it in our new living room. It fit in perfectly, and strangely enough it ended up in the exact same spot where it used to be in my old living room, right next to the couch.
For the living room we also decided that it would be a great idea for my girlfriend to bring her old childhood cabinet over from Sweden. Yes, it might have been cheaper just to buy a second-hand one from a flea market, but having that familiar piece of furniture in that an unfamiliar setting, with all those associated childhood memories, meant a little bit of Sweden was now in our London home.
Likewise, we agreed the touch-operated bedside lamps my dad had would go well in our bedroom. He didn't say, until after we took them, that they were in fact my Nan's bedside lamps, and that he was moved when we took them as it meant, in some way, my Nan was part of her grandson's home.
Considering the wide range of items we got from such a broad spectrum of sources we were pleasantly surprised to find that everything matched up perfectly. The couch from the UK (apparently the Sunday Sale is still now on!) matched the armchair from Sweden, the guitars on the wall complemented the old wooden desks in the office, even the handles on the TV bench match my girlfriend's childhood cabinet!
It's strange. Before my girlfriend and I moved in together, I thought home decorating meant painting the walls and laying a new carpet. Now I realise it's so much more. For us decorating meant surrounding ourselves with old memories so we could create new ones, in our new home.
Check out our other blogs which will help give you in the lead up to choosing your new home or spare room!