Making A House a Home

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A little over two years ago I moved to London from Manchester. I also moved from a lovely little one bedroom flat in the city centre, with double height ceilings, wooden floors, big sash windows, space to keep my stuff and a nice landlord, to a basic bedroom in a two bed with no living room and a tiny kitchen, sad magnolia walls and ambiguous coloured carpets, incompetent estate agents and, at various stages, a mouse problem and a mould problem.

Environment is so crucial when it comes to wellbeing. My first year in London wasn’t easy and I’m quite sure my miserable bedroom only perpetuated that. No matter how hard I tried I could not make it look any better without throwing out half of my things, so eventually I gave up completely.

The nature of this job combined with my lifelong hatred of throwing anything away ‘in case I need it’ means that I have a lot of stuff, and so squeezing everything I had accumulated in an entire flat into my one room with no built in storage was impossible. I lived for a year and a half with a large cardboard box full of jumpers in front of my bookcase because I had nowhere else to put them, a minuscule floor space that got smaller and smaller as the years went on, and with no living room to escape from my mess into. I had nice bedding and a few plants on my windowsill, but besides that buying cute homeware did not make me feel better because I had nowhere to put it. My bedroom looked worse than my much smaller bedroom had in student halls, and I felt overwhelmingly that I had regressed.

Mirror – La Redoute*
Plants and pots – IKEA
Jug – H&M*
Candles – Primark*
Basket – La Redoute*

this post is sponsored by Primark

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Back in the summer came my time came to move out as my flatmate and friend abandoned me to move to Australia. I can’t afford to live alone here and searching for somewhere to in London is The Absolute Worst, but after a great deal of stress I finally found a room in an area I love, sharing with two great girls. There are original fireplaces and sash windows in every room, I have wooden floors in mine, there is even some built in storage and I finally have a LIVING ROOM!

A fresh start and a nicer ‘shell’ was the kick up the bum I needed to sort my home out. I slowly but surely got rid of more clothes, I asked for a nice storage trunk for my birthday and felt like a grown up, I bought things like prints and picture frames and clothes racks, and I made sure that everything I owned had somewhere to go.

Cactus – IKEA
Dinosaur – an arcade!
Faux sheepskin rug – La Redoute*
Black and white throw – Primark*
Grey jersey sheets – Muji (similar available in Primark)
Cushions – Primark*

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Once I had sorted out my storage and big furniture, I could finally start accessorising. I have collected a variety of cute throws and rugs and ornaments that serve no purpose other than looking pretty and making me feel better. Primark homeware is perfect for finishing touches: sweet looking ‘faux’ plants that you can’t kill, bright fairy lights, lovely affordable bedding, cushions and throws, and loads and loads of candles.

My house isn’t particularly large or grand and by London standards it is fairly inexpensive, and I won’t lie and say it is always (or ever) as tidy as it looks in these photos. But it feels so good to finally have a space I am proud of again, and a place that I will be sad to move out of not just because I hate moving. Until then, I’m going to carry on making this house a home.

Heart lamp – Urban Outfitters (sold out, but make your own)
Candle – Primark*
Fairy lights – Primark*
White bedding – IKEA
Pink jersey bedding – Primark*
Knitted throw – H&M*
Mustard throw – Primark*
Mustard velvet cushions – Primark*
Hot water bottle – Primark*
Pusheen mug – Truffle Shuffle*

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Gold metal basket – H&M*
Record player
Small silver chest – La Redoute*
Candles – Primark*
Plants – IKEA
Kim and Charlie illustrations – Oh Gosh Cindy
Large trunk – eBay

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Coat rack – La Redoute*
Macrame hanger and terrarium – Primark*
Large trunk – eBay

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Cactus vase – La Redoute*
Fake leaves – Tiger
Fake succulents – Primark*
Flowers – Bloom & Wild*
Plant in black pot – Geofleur*
Plant in silver pot – IKEA
Splatter jug – gift
Marble jug – Primark*
Light box – Primark*
Hands bowl – Tiger

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  1. Bettye Rainwater 6 years AGO REPLY

    Oh, I feel you! My last apartment was like that. It was an emergency move and I thought I’d be there for 6 months, tops. I was there for FIVE YEARS. I JUST moved from there this August and I couldn’t be happier about it. The last apartment was devoid of anything positive – it was small, it was dark, there was no air movement from windows, it was brand new and had nothing of charm or character. And like you, it just seemed so far from feeling like “ME,” that I hardly made an effort. I just existed there. But the new place is SO much better and I’m inspired to decorate and do homey things here. So yeah, I can empathize with what a tough time that was for you. When your HOME doesn’t even feel good…it makes everything else that much harder. So glad to hear you’re in a better place.

    I just came across your lovely blog today and have read a few posts and am really enjoying it!


    • hannahlouisef 6 years AGO REPLY

      right! glad you’re feeling more at home now, it makes such a difference! and thank you so much for reading, hope you continue to enjoy haha <3

  2. Jenn R 6 years AGO REPLY

    My life in London always feels so transient, I have a hard time really settling because of this. Living in furnished flats isn’t helping, I think I need to save to buy my own furnishings and get an unfurnished place.

    • hannahlouisef 6 years AGO REPLY

      it definitely helps, although all my furniture is pretty basic besides the chest! I think a few throws and some plants can go a long way even in furnished places 🙂

  3. audrey leighton 6 years AGO REPLY

    that little dinosaur in the cactus.

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