So many of you have asked for more personal style posts, so as well as more shots of what I wear, I thought I would give you a peek inside my home. While I dream of living in a vast, airy apartment with views over rooftops, a balcony upon which to spend afternoons reading, and a walk in wardrobe, my reality is sadly not (yet) that. Until we can figure out where in the world we want to eventually settle, the Clever Boyfriend and I rent our little flat in Cambridge. It’s not huge, but it is filled with light and a mere stone’s throw from glorious open fields, leafy cycle paths, and the colleges on the river.
Because I can’t change the colour of the walls, hang large pictures or choose the furnishings, I have to be more creative with making the place feel like it’s my own. I’m no homemaking dictator, but here are a few tips that I’ve adopted in my own place – none need cost much money, but will make a vast improvement in making your place feel homely:
I save space by displaying my favourite perfumes (besides, they’re too pretty to hide); treasures on the windowsill – ‘B’ a gift from my dearest friend, summery scented candles, a golden Big Ben and a white bobble-head celluloid rabbit from Tokyo.
Bedroom: The most important room to keep clutter-free; this should be your haven. Crisp white Egyptian cotton bedding and fluffy pillows for the most welcoming bed; a beautiful scented candle or two (one exquisite candle is better than 10 cheaper versions – they will fragrance the room even when not burning, and case the most beautiful, soft light when they are); stacks of beautiful books and magazines for evening reading in bed; pretty bedside lamps (their light is much cosier in a bedroom), fresh flowers (even a single bloom in a vase beside the bed will feel lovely), a display of your favourite perfumes and treasures.
Living room: Display your favourite treasures and collections on tables, shelves and window sills where you can enjoy them; a shelf filled with lovely and enriching books and a lamp beside which to read them; somewhere to play your favourite tunes; a deliciously soft blanket or a few quirky cushions for couch-lazing; vintage maps, wallpaper, simple drawings or black and white photographs make beautiful art when framed.
Entryway: Somewhere to hang the jackets/scarves/tote bags/umbrellas currently in rotation (those not being used should be stored away); a little table or dish to catch keys, coins, and other essentials needed each day; a place to take off shoes as you arrive through the door; a welcoming mat, picture or quirky display; a mirror for final primping on the way out the door.
Miniature townhouses (my mother bought these in England when I was a child, and they were one of the few homely touches that would fit in my suitcase when I moved here myself) sit atop my cookbooks; a stack of beautiful books for lazy evenings indoors; my first Barbie doll (that arrived in a package full of jewels and treasures from another dear friend in Australia) perches atop my Kartell lamp; DIY art, vintage prints, and other accoutrements to inspire me at my desk.
Bathroom: This room should generally be free of random accoutrements, and decorations are generally best when they are simple and inexpensive – a display jar full of shells collected from walks on the beach, a single cut flower, a candle to burn when lazily bathing, and your favourite beauty treats on display (to remind you not to save them ‘for best’). Invest in the fluffiest towels you can afford (heaven to step out of the shower into) and gorgeous beauty products that make you smile every time you use them.
Kitchen: Should be welcoming and clean. Pots of herbs on the windowsill or kitchen sink will feel lovely (and are delicious); a freshly-scented candle to remove cooking smells; a stack of beautiful cookbooks; pretty china and glassware (scour flea markets or ebay for cheap vintage plates and cocktail glasses). A favourite teapot and umpteen types of tea are, for me, obligatory.
I’d love to know how you make your home your own?
Love, Miss B xx