There’s no place like home

Living Alone


What a difference… two years makes!

 16,032 little hours…

On the 8th of November of 2014, at a mere 22 years old, I collected the keys to my first property. I clicked the heels of my Ruby Red Slippers together and suddenly I’m outside the front door of my very own flat.



What on earth do I look like?! Not a flattering photo!


The process of finding a place I could see myself living in was long and drawn out, but not as long and drawn out as the actual process of buying was. I encountered issues left, right and centre. From things costing more than I was quoted and had budgeted for, to the tenants out right refusing to leave. Safe to say, I’m in no hurry to move any time soon.


But, after months of tears and panic, they finally left and I could sign on that dotted line. It was hardly a palace to begin with. The floors were sticky and the walls had some questionable stains, but it didn’t matter because it was mine.


Gradually, with the help of family and friends, that little festering hole of crap became a cute, modern home that I am super proud of.


To begin with, we ripped/steamed the wallpaper off the walls. Not that much steaming was needed as it was practically hanging off anyway!




Then came the floors. The carpets in the lounge, hallway and bedroom hardly warranted being called carpets (as evidenced in the above photos!), they were so old and trodden in they were practically concrete. So we said good bye to them fairly quickly. The lino in the kitchen however, had to stay a little longer as the floor underneath it was vile and keeping that old, grimy plastic flooring seemed to be the better of two evils.




Once the walls were freshly plastered and painted and the new carpets were down, the flat already looked so much cleaner and modern, not to mention more spacious.


I decided on a fairly plain colour scheme with the view to use colours in the accents, like cushions and small decorations, but you’ll see those later!



Next it was the kitchen, a literal breeding ground for bacteria probably not even known to man yet. It was horrendous, I wouldn’t have wished my worst enemy to eat food prepared in there.

With the help of my Dad and his friends, we tore the whole kitchen out and as a very very generous moving in present, my parents helped me to buy a bespoke kitchen to maximise the space. I am so grateful for this and I am very lucky to have such amazing parents.


A whole lotta elbow grease and sweat and this:



Was transformed into this



I mean, can you even believe it’s the same blimming room?!


When it comes to the shower room, I’m going to have to invoke the Bambi rule of niceness. I have nothing nice to say about its original state so I won’t say a thing.


This is the room my dad is actually most proud of in its finished state. Fresh white walls, super straight tiling in the shower and a cute tile patterned cushioned floor to finish it off. I can now take a shower without the risk of contracting some kind of disease.


The whole flat has changed so much;

The bedroom started off like this:



This is the back wall that the head of my bed is now against


The deep windowsills were stained dark, making the space feel smaller and older.


Now it looks like this:




I love how deep the windowsills are. Easily one of my favourite features of the flat.


The lounge started like this:


Notice the dark stained door frames and skirting boards


And was transformed into this:


Changing the door frames, skirting boards and windowsills to white made such a huge difference and makes the whole room seem more open and light.


Fun fact: that windowsill on the right in the above photo is my favourite place to sit and write, hence the placement of the laptop!

When it comes to DIY, I definitely do not comply. I wanted desperately to try my hand at everything but I just had to face the fact that I am not handy in the slightest.

I tried a few things like;

Putting door handles on…


Tiling (Well one tile…the top right one to be precise)


Putting flat pack furniture together…


Small side note: what the actual heck is going on with my eyebrows? How high do I want those arches?!


And even trimming the bottom of my front door with a hand saw…


But ultimately good ol’ papa Bradley had to step in and take over those tasks.

I mentioned earlier that my walls are very plain, and I opted to add a splash of colour with accessories, which, if you’ve seen my Summer Home Favourites blog, you’ll know I’ve chosen to use Duck Egg and Dusty Pink for my accents.

In the lounge;

I got these super soft cushions from the Range:



This gorgeous inspirational canvas from the Range:



In the bedroom, I got this throw from Home Bargains




And I have got plans for that wall above my sofa, so stay tuned for that!

[UPDATE: The wall above the sofa is now complete! Click here to have a look!]


Huge shout out to Emma and the team at Hunt Roche who made the whole experience of buying my flat so much nicer, Emma even coped with having me on the phone in tears at some points! If you’re looking to buy or sell in Southend on Sea and the surrounding areas, definitely give Hunt Roche a call!



Nicole x


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