Inside My Home, pt.1: The Personal Flourishes

Pots of herbs on my windowsills become my ‘garden’, while favourite coffee-table books and accessories (in this case, a Lulu Guinness lips clutch) sit on show.

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.

My bedside table – where flowers and candles are obligatory. 

I’d love to know how you make your home your own?

Love, Miss B xx

26 thoughts on “Inside My Home, pt.1: The Personal Flourishes

  1. Ahhhh your place looks so sweet! I want ALL of your books and I can’t believe you still have your first barbie *and* in great condition, she looks brand new! X

  2. Lovely…

    I share your tastes for sensual elegance: lots of flowers and plants; pretty linens (I splurge on shams for a linens “wardrobe”); vintage fabrics, embroidery and trims I have made into throw pillows; lots of candles (including the scented one by the bed); peach silk pleated silk shades on the bedside lamps (sound familiar?!)…

    We have a small balcony (top floor! river view!) with a bench that holds all our tools and hardware and gardening stuff; on it we place custom-made cushions (chartreuse with cobalt linen trim) and a variety of pretty, soft cushions — then hang a matching (blue and green) bed covering behind it all to make a pretty backdrop — which hides the ugly glass balcony divider.

    Home is where we recharge. It must be clean, uncluttered and lovely if we are to feel that way as well…

  3. It’s all so lovely and your post is so timely… I’ve just moved into my New York home. My essentials are flowers, scented candles, white linen and my pieces of art… which are still on a ship coming from Melbourne!

  4. Lovely post, your house is so sweet and feminine. I have a little bird statue and a single flower in a vase on my bedside table too! I love that you have candles everywhere.

  5. Absolutely delightful! I’m moving into a London studio in September – after 68 days of living out of a suitcase (yikes!) – and your post has given me petite inspirations as to how to make my studio a home. Thanks x

  6. It all looks so lovely! I’ve been wanting to do things like this to my flat for a while but unfortunately the boyfriend likes surfaces to be clear and everything put away! I’m slowly starting to get my way with putting photo frames up, keeping my perfumes out, buying fresh flowers, etc. We’ve also got some lovely wooden flowers from Covent Garden which make a great centre piece and a pinboard where we stick up photos and trinkets from days out. Slowly but surely I shall put more things up/out…

  7. I love everything in this post. My answer to your question would be very similar to yours, although you’ve probably put it much more eloquently than I would have done!

  8. How lovely B – all your bits and pieces are just perfect and now I feel like I have truly had a peek inside the secret dream (living) world of Miss B! I love fresh cut flowers…such a simple touch. And you’re right about great candles – I can smell the Baies Diptyque one when I walk past in even when it’s not lit.
    I have a stack of books on my bedside table and even when I don’t have time to read them, I still love to gaze at them! xxx

  9. I believe that the most important thing to make one’s home a room full of creative and inspirational energy is adding pieces of your personality to the environment… pieces that inherit your aura, your soul, your inner smile.

    My room is full of Vogue – I have so many it would be useless to count because the piles grow each day. Tons of books in the shelves give me a feelings of spirituality, literacy and above all wellbeing because I know that every time I open a book I travel to another time, place, history and emotional journey that allows me to be different personalities at one time.

    One’s home truly is one’s castle but only if you see yourself in every corner.

    xoxo

  10. Love your little tips. I love how everything with you is so personal, down to the little details. Love the perfume bottles too, however doesn’t that sort of destroy the fragrance? Or that was what I was told anyway. Fragrances should be stored away from sunlight. I love how you arrange things, it doesn’t look cluttered, it looks airy, fresh, delicate, and beautiful. Hope you are feeling better x L

  11. Your flat must be a dreamy place. I’m currently on a flat hunt and dream of it to be just like yours: my little personal England in Rome! Can’t wait to find a place I can finally call home and use your precious tips! XXX

  12. I know what you mean B! It is always important to give your home little gorgeous touches and I can see so many lovely things similar to what I have. I think we have very similar tastes home decorating wise too (I have gold Fauchon lips)! 😉

  13. What an amazing lace you have! I love all the little, cute details!
    I want to fill my home with character too! I want my home to be me. 🙂

  14. This is so lovely! Your place looks like an absolute dream! I’m still currently waiting to have my shipment of things sent over from the UK… so am feeling a bit un-homely at the moment thanks to only have two suitcases worth of stuff! Eeeek. Will return to this question once I remember what I do to make it my own… (i am a sucker for flowers, candles, and walls covered in photos though). xx

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