Friday, April 1, 2011

Moving Day - Decorating Edition

Today is moving day!  After two weeks of flat-hunting, a week of researching furniture and floorplans, and a week of packing, we're finally at D day.  It's funny: I love the anticipation of preparing to move and I love the excitement of settling into a new space, but I hate the actual physical moving of things from one place to another.  Luckily, I have a man with a van to help me, and so it shouldn't be too painful or time-consuming.

On Wednesday, after an epic John Lewis shopping trip for housewares, I went over to Jon's and put everything that I had left there in boxes.  It was an emotional evening; while it was very hard to finally finish dismantling the life I shared with him, the process also confirmed that I made the right decision.  Last night I packed all the clothes and things that I had brought to Alex's.  Every item I own in this country is in a cardboard box right now.  It's kind of weird that I can quantify my life like this - although I suppose that I am more than just the sum of my possessions!

The plan for today is that the man with the van will come to Alex's at 9am.  We'll load everything up, head to Jon's, pick up everything from there, and then drive to the new flat and drop everything off.  (I'm hoping that we'll be done with all of this by 11am as I can't afford to pay for more than two hours of this guy's time!)  I'll unpack some kitchen and bathroom stuff, probably, but won't be able to unpack anything else because I won't have anywhere to put it since the room is still unfurnished.  So then I will shlep to Ikea - getting to Croydon from anywhere but Croydon is a journey and a half - and will go to town.

If you remember the floorplan I posted a while back, you'll recall that my new flat is actually made up of three rooms as the kitchen and bathroom are distinct from the studio room.  This is fantastic; it gives me much more space and flexibility than I might otherwise have in a typical studio flat.  At first I thought that the narrowness of the studio room (it's 8.5ft by 20.5ft) might be an issue, but I have been comforted by drawing out a floorplan to scale and tinkering with where all of the furniture might go.  The idea is this: I'm going to put the bed halffway down the room and will place it so that it sticks out from the side wall, jutting into the room.  There won't be tons of space to walk past it - only two feet - but it will separate the room into the living area (the front half of the room) and a more personal area (the back half of the room).

Since I know you've been following this blog and you've paid attention to my posts on interior decorating, I'm confident that you'll have noticed that my chosen style is generally classic countryside.  With such a small space to work with, though, as well as a limiting budget, I'm going much more modern and minimal.  I've chosen the Malm range from Ikea for all of my bedroom stuff and, happily, the bed that my landlords are providing is Malm as well.

The living area is going to be more of a work in progress.  My table/desk will be Ikea, too; I'm just going to get the Melltorp table - and will absolutely be covering it in a pretty tablecloth because it isn't much to look at - and will either choose the Laver or Herman chairs to go with it.  (I need chairs that will stack because I don't have enough space to just leave them hanging about when they're not all in use!)  I also want to get a single futon/sofa, though I haven't yet found one that I can afford.

The fun part of the studio will be the accessories.  I've already splashed out on the Sunita lamp in pink from John Lewis for my bedside tables and will probably go the Cath Kidson route for textiles (tablecloth, chair cushions, etc.) plus whatever wall sticker(s) I decide on.

Question: does anyone know if you can paint Ikea furniture?  I'd sort of love to paint all of the Malm stuff in Farrow and Ball's Skylight...

If I'm not too exhausted I will blog tonight to let you all know how the move went!  In the meantime, wish me luck!


  1. Congrats on the move! Where is the new flat?
    As for painting Ikea furniture, Im sure you can. I know the Malm is sort of a smooth base, you may need to rough it up a bt before painting, to get the pain to adhere to it.

  2. Good luck with your move today Betsy! It's moving day here too -- really looking forward to tomorrow when it's all over! :)

  3. Good luck, Betsy! This is such fun to watch you put your London life together, chapter by chapter!

  4. I'm sure all went well this morning and you're already unpacking some of your stuff. Best of luck with the new digs, Betsy. I know your place will be gorgeous when you've finished decorating it - you have such great taste!

  5. oh my gee, thanks for all your well-wishes, guys - I've needed them!


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