7 In travel

the new digs, dahling

Almost exactly 4 weeks ago we moved into our new London digs. The process of actually finding and renting a flat in London was a bit of a nightmare — days and days of going from one end of London to another to view apartments that once I got there, had been rented out a few hours earlier (the rental market is incredibly busy and competitive at the moment). But after a few weeks, I stumbled onto the perfect pad for our year abroad. After viewing some pretty dumpy places, an agent took me to this one and I was shocked– it was clean, spacious (for London), and in a great area. Unfortunately the price reflected these things and was a bit out of our range. But luck was on my side, as the agent seemed to pity me and my not-so-successful flat hunt, and negotiated the price with the owner down to a reasonable rate (well, reasonable for London, let’s say!). We took possession the same day D arrived — he actually got to the new flat before me since he came in on an early plane that morning.

Here is our building. I adore it. The streets in our west London neighbourhood are lined with row houses that ooze character.

The hallway with front door and laundry closet.

Here’s is the kitchen/living room. It is an open concept space, which makes it feel nice and roomy. Sun streams in from the three windows at the end of the room (covered by blinds in the pic), which makes the place feel nice and light, even though it’s below ground.

It’s nothing short of school bus yellow, and although it’s not a colour I would ever choose to paint a room, I kind of love our bedroom. It can be the perfect colour to come snuggle in bed with a cup of tea on a dreary and gray London day.

The bathroom. Nothing special, but it has a shower & a one-faucet sink, which are two luxuries on this side of the pond. More than a few of the apartments I looked at when hunting didn’t have a shower, or if they did have a shower attachment, the tubs were under a sloped ceiling so you couldn’t stand up straight. And just about everywhere in England has two-faucet sinks – where either you get really hot or really cold water. Although I can appreciate these fun, quirky English eccentricities, our shower and one-faucet sink are heaven.

We haven’t had a chance to use it much yet as the weather has quickly become chilly, but it is lovely to have this little patch of outdoor space. The other great thing is that the painters have been around in the last few weeks cleaning and putting a fresh coat of paint on the whole space (it was looking fairly grimy, as you can tell in the second photo). It will definitely be a treat come spring-time!

So that’s the new place! We’ve gone to the discount stores for kitchenware and have been trolling around for good deals on furniture and things to put up on the walls (we’re trying to spend next to nothing since we know we’ll be saying goodbye to all of this stuff at the end of the year). Stay tuned to see how it’s progressing from this bare-but-bright space into our new cozy home.

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  • nadinethornhill

    Hey, you got your kitchen counter stools!

    It looks adorable…congratulations!

  • Suzanne Miller

    The flat looks great, Gemma. So much charm and character in London. That’s what I loved about the city. Just even walking up and down the streets, looking at the row houses. Seems like a great place and even if only for a year.

    • Thanks Suzanne! I totally agree — I never get tired of walking around this city!


  • nadinethornhill

    Love the new header! Did you make it?

  • Andrea

    Awesome place Gem!!!
    If only I could afford the airfare….

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