Olivia's Life in London…On a Budget

Olivia's Life in London…On a Budget

Janel Laban
Feb 10, 2012

Name: Olivia
Location: Stoke Newington, London, England

I live in my one bedroom flat with my husband, our two dogs and two cats. The place is larger than average for a London place, and because it is a lower-ground flat we are really fortunate to have the most charming little garden (which the animals are also very happy with). We've only lived here for 6 months, but I spent a lot of time before we moved in obsessing over every detail, each piece of furniture had to be just right.

Because we're on a budget, we made a deal - we would aim to fund all new decor with money earned from selling old junk and unloved pieces of furniture. Ebay and gumtree were very useful, both for sourcing unique pieces (such as the 1930's french beer table in our kitchen) and for unloading disused things. We also sold a lot of our stuff at flea markets and picked up some great things too.

The most difficult thing in styling our space is that the previous owner had very much a Laura Ashley country cottage aesthetic, with floral curtains and trim and cream wall to wall carpeting. We painted all the rooms with Farrow and Ball paint and took out the curtains and carpeting. The flooring we put down is a white oiled oak, which in retrospect is probably not the best choice with 4 pets in the house (not that I'd do it any differently!).

My husband works from home, so another challenge was making sure he had an office area, without it overtaking things. I had to forgo my dreams of a dining table (even though I had already bought the chairs!), and instead we have a fold-out table which we pull out when guests are over and cover with a tablecloth. It all worked out pretty well!

I'm not sure how I'd define our style, all I know is that when it's been a dreary, cold, rainy London day, the best thing in the world is to come home to my very own flat, do a little happy dance and snuggle on the couch with the gang.

Thanks, Olivia!

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