Reading all the wonderful blogs I do, it has made me really appreciate 'real' interiors, as much as I ADORE a beautifully styled room, there is something fascinating about seeing how 'real' people live; especially before and afters!. As I have never owned my own house/flat/apartment/hovel of my own, (that in its self is an interior designers version of chinese water torture) it has made me inventive when it comes to putting my own stamp on the many rental properties I have lived in over the years. You have to work that much harder, to work around or with things that are really not your taste, but still make it feel like its your home.
Although its not the most inventive I have been in my rental life, I thought you might enjoy seeing my last flat in London, the small but perfectly formed studio flat - before and after photos........ be kind ;)
Du Cane Court Balham, the original plans
Du Cane Court is an Art Deco apartment block on Balham High Road, Balham, South West London.
A distinctive local landmark, it was opened in 1937, with 676 apartments, is the largest privately owned block of flats under one roof in Europe. It is so distinctive (at least from the air) that it was reputedly used as a navigational landmark by German pilots bombing London during the second world war. It was a popular place to live for many music hall stars in the 1930s and '40s and boasted a social club, on the top floor, before the area was converted into flats. My flat was part of the old Social Club.
Du Cane Court now, my flat was on the top of the stepped section
half of the second to top 'step' was my roof terrace, one of only two large terraces in the whole building
BEFORE: looking from the sleeping area towards living & terrace
AFTER: I moved the dining into the middle of the room & put living in the corner, it was a great spot to stash all my excess fabric collection.......!
BEFORE: the kitchen, the green tiles really didn't do it for me, but you work with what you have
AFTER: I managed to squeeze ALOT into that tiny kitchen. Rockin' the Cath Kidston teatowel
AFTER: the utensils sat in an old glass jar & the fruit bowl, next to the pot plants, was also clear glass, great for not taking up too much visual space in a tight spot
BEFORE: sleeping area to living
BEFORE: very attractive shelving unit (NOT) I did get permission to paint, but never got round to it
BEFORE: Whole back wall of wardrobes with cupboards above, my saving grace
AFTER: I covered the shelving unit with a beige stripe cotton, perfect for disguising the ugly shelves and back of stereo and books
AFTER: the amount of stuff I managed to shoe horn into those cupboards was a miracle!
BEFORE: front door to the left
AFTER: kitchen to the right, bathroom door next to wardrobe on right
AFTER: not a huge change, but the voile curtain gave me much more privacy
BEFORE: was dining, now.....
AFTER: living, this is where I used to sit to blog, hence the mac. The armchair is one of the few pieces of furniture I shipped back to NZ with me. I found it looking battered and sad, got it fixed and reupholstered, its now my fav piece! P.S: The main curtains were not my choice....
AFTER: I put up the printed voile at the window, privacy, peace & calm (apart from the traffic noise!!!)
AFTER: winter cosiness
BEFORE: living/dining to front door
AFTER: not the greatest image, the book shelf got V full with all my china finds....but cosy
AFTER: looking through from the roof terrace
AFTER: living to terrace, indoor/outdoor flow was great
BEFORE: roof terrace
Enjoy the great views from the terrace
Can you see Canary Wharf in the background?
can you see the Gherkin Building in the back ground?
Thanks for visiting, do call again I'll put the kettle on :)
past posts about life in the studio flat here