Packing up and picking furniture

We’ve been thinking and talking about moving into our new home all summer, but with exchange happening tomorrow (fingers crossed) and picking up keys a week on Monday, it was time to put some of our talk into action. I know I’ve promised photos for awhile, but we decided not to post anything until we’ve exchanged. (In London, up until the point of exchange either party can walk away without any legal recourse, so we didn’t want to tempt fate with premature pics on the blog).

A few weeks ago, overwhelmed by the long list of things we need and want, we agreed to only buy the bare necessities and wait on everything else until we are physically in the flat. This way we’ll be able to make realistic decisions about the space, and how we want to use it. If you look at our current long-list, you would think that we’re buying a two-story, four bedroom house. We’re not. So we want to get in, get real, and then make our purchases (which hopefully will co-incide with some nice Christmas sales). The two things we agreed to buy now are the dining table and our bed.

The dining table was a pretty straightforward purchase. We knew we wanted something to work with these guys, which we picked up in a vintage furniture shop and refinished earlier this summer:

Feeling Blue

To highlight the brilliant blue and reflect light, we decided to find a white dining table. I wanted something relatively slimline, without chunky square legs so that it would compliment the curve of the chairs. And we wanted this to be one of our ‘investment’ pieces, as it will sit in our front room. After a lot of looking around, we ended up at BoConcept. The brilliant thing about this brand is almost EVERYTHING can be customised, and the general aesthetic is very much Urban Danish design. We’re smitten with almost everything the brand makes. We started with this table, but swapped the black metal frame for brushed steel y-shaped legs, which you can kind of see in the prototype pic below.

Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 23.32.38 Screen shot 2013-09-22 at 23.34.21

The guys in the shop were amazingly helpful, and everything should arrive in about three weeks. We’re both feeling very excited (no buyers remorse, thank god), and can’t wait to see it all together. The purchase has also helped us finalise our plans for the front room: white with brilliant blue accents, charcoal or white textiles and steel hardware (no copper, you may be surprised to hear). We have a few teak wood pieces (vintage sideboard and chair) that will also bring a bit of warmth. Plus we might include a few other pops of colour here and there, just to break things up a bit. But those will come later.

As for the bed, that has been a lot more complicated. It turns out we’re both quite picky in this department. A lot of the options we dismissed felt too ‘country’, too traditional, too big for the room, or just not us. After two months of saying no to everything we found, we finally stumbled across the Ledger bed from Made.com in a dark Elm stain. We both didn’t hate it, which sort of meant it was a yes. Or at least, a non-no. But as the ordering date neared, we both started to drag our feet.

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It’s a perfectly nice, well-made piece, but it turns out that Liam and I are not big fans of hardwood frames – even when they’re this simple. Hardwood furniture yes, but beds – not so much. (I guess we’re complicated like that). Plus as we talked through floor plans, we wanted to make sure whatever we selected would give us as much space as possible in our room, both for under-bed storage, and in actual physical space around it. Anything too thick or wide could mean we would sacrifice on something like a bedside table.

While we were out on Saturday, we stopped in at Habitat to have a quick look at bedding and rugs. Not on the list of necessities, but I had a 20% off voucher thanks to Elle Decoration & London Design Week, and we’re still trying to work out what rugs we actually like. To cut a short story even shorter, we walked straight into the new Emmerson bed and within minutes, were sold.

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The frame itself (you can just barely see peeking out from behind the pillows) is black iron in a raw, powder-coated finish. There’s a white linen sling that loops over the top stretches to the base to form the headboard. We both love how minimalist it is (serious space saver) and that its simple shape will be easy to build around. If we get tired of this fabric down the road, I’ve worked out that it’s not difficult to change, and the frame is high enough that we’ll be able to store some things underneath if we need to. At 2/3 the cost of our original choice, we were feeling pretty happy with our find. Much more in keeping with the feel we’re hoping to create – kind of modern-Scandi-industrial, but softened through good textiles and bright, fun color.

So that, combined with packing up half our home today means we’ve made some serious progress. The whole experience of buying a house in London is often so drawn out that it can feel surreal, and hugely stressful – even once you’ve had an offer accepted, so much can still go wrong. But now we’re on the home stretch, and things are finally beginning to feel real, and really exciting.

Hope everyone else had great weekends! Back tomorrow with more from London Design Week. xx

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