Part 2: The Old Place (A renter’s adventure into making a house a lifetime home)

Part 2: The Old Place (A renter’s adventure into making a house a lifetime home)
April 9, 2018 admin
Block of flats


A bit about the old place and backstory to our move.

Read time: 4 minutes

The major malfunction of our last place was simply lack of space. Ours was the kind of studio flat where you could be in the ‘bedroom’, ‘kitchen’, ‘dining room’ and ‘living room’ without ever moving from your (only) chair. For a sense of scale the only internal door was to the bathroom, the kitchen had no oven and our bed doubled as our sofa. We couldn’t really have people over – it was kind of a ‘one in one out’ policy. We had even developed our own cooking style we coined as ‘the slow and blow’ using a slow cooker for tender insides and a blow torch for external crisping rather than the more traditional oven.

Don’t get me wrong, we loved this place. Great location, affordable, and our first proper home together. And my oh my was it warm. Nestled in among the hot water piping under the stairs of the building we had free underfloor heating. Wondrous for a cold blooded creature like me and completely amazing in the winter. Somewhat unbearable in the summer however.

In the two years we lived there we also got married, giving it an extra je nais se quois for us emotionally.  It also meant we had gathered a fair few lovely presents on top of the general detritus of life which seems to gather without you even knowing how, which we had hidden in every nook and cranny. You couldn’t look behind a cupboard or shelf without finding an unexpected vase or chess set lurking unceremoniously, waiting to be given it’s moment to shine atop a beautiful and uncluttered coffee table or sideboard. Expecting we wouldn’t stay there for long (we were quite surprised when 2 years passed) we had also kept all our packing boxes and had them wedged between anything and everything. Come December 2017 we realised we had officially used the last space available when I kid you now, you could only open the front door half way. It seemed it had come to a case of move home then, or possibly never leave the flat ever again.

Birdseye view floorplan

So after deciding enough was enough and checking our sums that we would be able to afford it we went flat hunting over Christmas. I won’t go into the stress of doing this: dealing with estate agents, organising viewings, paying exorbitant admin fees (you all know the score). We were lucky to find a place that ticked most of our boxes (after seeing some real shonky options – I cannot believe that landlords are allowed to rent some of these things, but don’t get me started on that) and we moved in in February 2018. Actually only a few minutes down the road from where we were before, but a world away in terms of space (you’ll notice the our old studio pretty much fits entirely into our new living room!). We are now the proud tenants of an unfurnished one bedroom 1960s flat in a block in North London. Not exactly the dream house, but it’ll do nicely for us. 

Birdseye view floorplan

Part three coming soon when I really start getting to grips with the practicalities of making a house a lifetime home. I’d love to know your thoughts on what you’ve read so far and what you would like to see me cover. Please also feel free to share these blogs f you know anyone who might be interested. Thanks for reading 🙂 

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