I’ve had a lot of fun writing this post. Lately Chris and I have been thinking about moving flat, and even city, in the not-so-distant future, and so to go round taking photos of my favourite things and writing a post about them has been a nice and quite cathartic thing to do. I’ve lived in this flat for over five years now, with two different flatmates, then on my own, and for the last nine months or so with my boyfriend, so there are a lot of memories and things gathered over the years that I have a lot of love for. Here are the ten things in my flat that I love the most.
10. DVD Collection – This is number ten because often when I look at how many DVDs we have and by we I mean Chris, who is a film nut by trade, I really, really dread the prospect of moving. What if our next flat doesn’t have a convenient cupboard in which to contain not only our vacuum cleaner and mop, but also our ten 50 litre DVD boxes?! However, it’s one of my favourite things because it brings up strong memories of when Chris first moved in, and we spent an evening amalgamating our DVD collections with copious amounts of wine and pizza also surrounding us. I also love to categorise, and this provides ample opportunity for this.
9. Bookcase Bar – This used to be a bookcase that I inherited from friends when they emigrated, and since I didn’t have anywhere else to put it, it went in the kitchen. Not really big enough for cookbooks, this slowly became an accumulator for post, cat food tins and other assorted nonsense, and one day on a mad whim I decided it should be, of course, a bar. So here’s what’s in our bar just now: some whisky, including our friend’s very tasty homemade bramble whisky, some gin, tequila, rum, kahlua, and more Angostura bitters than we’ll need in a lifetime.
8. Chris’s Bureau – This is just a lovely piece of furniture. Chris inherited this bureau from his grandfather, and keeps all of his work stuff here. There are some nice random things on the desk and I think it’s just lovely, it’s much nicer than my desk which is just a plain big bit of pine. There’s another bookcase, too.
7. Assorted Decorative Bits– I won’t go in to too much detail about these, they’re just a few things that we have and really like in the flat. Top left is a big red clock from IKEA no longer on website, sorry, that we have in the kitchen, and one of the things we bought on our first trip to IKEA when Chris moved in. Top right in the background is a candelabra we also bought from IKEA, and you can change what angles the detachable candle bits go look on the website, I can’t describe it effectively. Then in the foreground is this brilliant tea light holder made from an old wine bottle on a wooden stand that we bought in a pop-up shop in Shoreditch when we were in London this summer. It’s automatically better because it’s German. Bottom left are these adorable hand-painted guinea pig salt and pepper shakers that I received as a present a couple of years ago. And finally bottom right are a few things that we keep on top of one of our book cases in the living room that give the place a bit of character: a porcelain tea cup made into a scented candle, Chris’s grandfather’s old briefcase complete with initials, and a globe, because who doesn’t love a globe?
6. Dressing Table – I don’t have any sentiment for the dressing table in particular, more that I love having a dressing table for getting ready in the morning. I’d hate to not have a place to store my considerable collection of beauty products, and I am a recent, but fanatic convert to acrylic Muji storage for this purpose. And another bookcase in the reflection.
5. Hipster Fireplace – I think this post is giving an impression of us being more hipster than we actually are: we also have VirginMedia, Netflix and a TV, just in case you were wondering if we were something straight out of Portlandia I should also probably have dusted it before taking a photo... I’ve had this Sony Hi-Fi since I was about fourteen or fifteen and although it’s probably vastly outdated as indeed are CDs we much prefer listening to music on this. Behind the hi-fi we have a quite frankly AWESOME print from StandardDesigns on Etsy, ah, Etsy, that shows tracks from The Smiths album “The Queen Is Dead” as VINTAGE BOOKS. Why? Why not? It’s excellent. I always judge our guests on how epic they think this print is.
4. Pulley – I find it difficult to accept that it’s unlikely we’ll ever be able to find another place with a pulley, since for some tragic reason they are now obsolete damn you, tumble dryers! For the first two years of my independent living away from home I grappled with those god-awful clothes horse things to dry my laundry, but this has been a joy for the last five years. It’s a proper old-school laundry pulley that takes up the whole ceiling-space in our tiny hallway, and when we move I will sorely miss it. If my generation begins to get a bit luckier and I ever up owning a place, I will definitely have a pulley fitted, end of.
3. Various Artwork – As yet we’ve not really made any big investments in artwork, but we’ve gathered some prints and posters that really help to make the flat our own. It would have been a bit much to include all of the pieces we have so here are my favourites. Top left we have two A1 size posters of two of our favourite books, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark. I know, I know, we’re such high-brow literary types. These are in our living room and one of the first things we bought together, and I love them.
In the very top right is one of my favourite paintings without question, which I have loved and wanted a print of for a long time: Windows in the West (1993) by Avril Paton. This depicts a typical tenement in Glasgow that the city is so well known for, which I love, and we keep this in the kitchen and I always find myself drifting away whilst looking at it when I’m cooking or washing the dishes. I just love the detail and the calmness of it. Chris had this print in his room before we moved in together, and it was one of the best things along with his wide-screen TV that he brought with him!
Then below are a few prints of our favourite late-nineteenth/early twentieth century artworks. Chris and I always head for the modern art gallery on our travels, and it’s nice to have some of our joint favourites in the flat to remind ourselves of trips together, and also because we love all of these pieces. Top left: Soft Watch at the Moment of First Explosion (c. 1954) by Salvador Dali; top right: Room in Brooklyn (1932) by Edward Hopper; Kiss by the Window (1892) by Edvard Munch; The Eiffel Tower, Paris 1929 by Andre Kertesz.
Last but by no means least, at the bottom of the image, are the Coen Brothers print we bought from a seller on Etsy called Claudia Verosio, which you can view here. Chris and I are both HUGE fans of Joel and Ethan Coen, and I love these prints inspired by four of their very best films: O Brother, Where Art Thou, True Grit, Barton Fink and of course The Big Lebowski. I would have liked to have one for Fargo, too, but I just love these. We keep these in our kitchen above the dining table.
2. Booky Corner – When Chris moved in he didn’t just bring a large collection of DVDs and checked shirts, he also brought a lorryload of books, mostly crime fiction and graphic novels also an enormous Chambers dictionary, which I’d wanted for ages – SCORE (Note: I accept I have strange priorities). To accommodate these we bought a corner unit of Billy Bookcases from IKEA, and I love it. The bookcase on the left is predominantly Chris’s crime stuff, the corner one is mostly reference books and my beloved Hermes Baby typewriter, and on the right are mostly Scottish history books for my PhD. We also have another two full bookcases elsewhere, which is showing no sign of relenting. I love sitting in the old, worn but amazingly comfy leather reclining chair that I grabbed when my grandparents bought new ones, especially with a cup of tea, a good book, and optional cat on lap.
1. Chris and Loki – They had to go in the number one spot by default, really, being living beings and all although secretly I prefer the hipster fireplace. Life in the flat, and life in general, wouldn’t be the same without these two crazy guys.
This has been a really fun post to write, and I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing some of my favourite things from my home.