I have about 3 suitcases worth of stuff that all fit into an Uber, so moving is usually not a problem. It probably comes as no surprise that I like to spend my money on experiences … and food …. and wine. Therefore, I try to pick the places I choose to live in after location and price. In London, that means you can end up with some very questionable places that seem impossible to make homey.
This is how I end up in places that are incredibly cheap to rent but – at first glance – less than desirable to spend your time in (especially during lockdown).
What I Look For in Rooms
No mould. This is important! It is never worth renovating a damp, mouldy room as it comes with serious health implications which, in the long run, will definitely be more costly.
No carpet. This might be a personal preference but I cannot work with a carpeted room. I don’t like the aesthetic and I don’t understand whoever had the idea it was a good idea to do this … who? … who!?!!
Natural source of light. I have learned this from living in dark rooms before. Light is important for my mental wellbeing. I opt for big windows if possible and will pay attention to the direction the windows are facing.
Fresh layer of paint. I found a painter on Gumtree, who charged me 150 Pounds to paint the entire room plus built-in closet. The difference was night and day, instantly brightened up the room and gave it a “Fresh N Clean” look.
Furniture. I usually opt for second-hand finds around my area. As I moved during lockdown, however, this was an impossible task so I did buy an inflatable mattress until I found the perfect bed frame later on. As most places in London come furnished, it can be tricky to make furniture improvements but I found that landlords usually don’t mind if you improve the place … (duh).
Deep Clean. This probably goes without saying but it was a very time consuming task that was essential. I could only feel comfortable once I had deep cleaned the hell out of my little room. I mean … how would I be able to facilitate my random wine-on-floor sessions if not clean.
Plants, candles, art and books. I’m all about the ambience. I go out of my way to make a place cosy for me (did you know Netflix has a selection of virtual fireplaces? I DID). I have an Alexandra Francoise art piece that comes with me wherever I move. For the majority of the time, I read books on my e-reader for environmental and convenience reasons. I do however have a stash of books I’ll hold onto and always use as an element of home decor whenever I move to a new place.