Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday Inspiration

OK so with getting engaged, going away for a weekend, organising an engagement party in less than a week and working (with less than cooperative computers) I have been busy the last 2 weeks! I always seem to find time to go on pinterest though...mostly during the football or when Tom watches programs about model trains (no lie we watched half an hour of one the other day).

I'm also still doing the 6 book challenge at work and read book no 2 'The Road Home' by Rose Tremain in the 'award winners' category last week which was a good read and an interesting look at someone else's perspective of England. Now onto no 3 'The White Queen' by Phillippa Gregory, in the historical fiction category - really not my usual choice but actually very absorbing so far!

Onto the inspiring images from this week...

This living room looks so casual and cosy, yet stylish and light.
I like the mix of patterns here, something I'd like to try with our sofa as it's a cushion backed one
The retro chair originally caught my eye here, but also check out the painted floor (I would love a hardwood painted floor...) and all the pops of colour in the textiles
Built in bookcases and a daybed to read in? Can I move in right now...
An island with a sink on and subway tile equal pretty much my dream kitchen, I also love the light fixtures and the stools here. Also if you click through the picture and look at the rest of the room it is so light and has a dining area and family area and everything...

As usual more on my pinterest, I also started a wedding board! So far only full of pictures of dresses and flowers...but still loads of interior and home inspiration out there.

Have great weekends all, I'm looking forward to a quiet one to recover from the last few weeks!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Kitchen Reorganising

Saturday while my table decorations for our engagement party were drying I decided to reorganise the undersink cupboard
We had a lot of stuff in the undersink cupboard and the one next to it on the left that didn't necessarily need to be in the kitchen. It was either stuff that we rarely use or stuff that isn't kitchen related but has ended up in here. In the undersink cupboard we had a lot of pet stuff like flea treatments, worming tablets etc in a plastic box. I took all this out and moved some stuff from the cupboard on the left into that box
It was all stuff we do use so want to keep but don't use that often, as they are all fragile or breakable I didn't want to put them into this box
The box on the left is full of kitchen items we don't use often like place mats (umm we don't even have a table?), straws, food processor attachments, cake decorating stuff. The box on the right is full of pet stuff. They're both now back on top of the wardrobe in the hallway, where they have been sat empty for a while since we got them, put them up there and forgot about them!

The cupboards look a bit organised and you can actually see what's in them!
The box on the top has all our tupperware and food storage and the one underneath is the box pictured above, I also chucked the tea towels in there. The rest is pretty self explanatory, vases, carrier bags, cat food etc
And look at all the counter space that is no longer filled up with bits and bobs and clutter as we can get everything we need to into the cupboards!
The kitchen is one room I always struggle to keep clutter free as we like to cook, and me being vegetarian and Tom not it means we need 2 pans to make meals that usually only need one and that makes for a lot of kitchen stuff, so keeping kitchen stuff in the hallway might seem odd but it's all hidden away and it saves us a bit of space. 

The storage boxes came with our ottomans in the bedroom (£49.99 for one large and 2 small from The Range) and we have 4 of them, 3 on top of the wardrobe and one under the coffee table in the living room. I must say I didn't know what I'd do with them when we got them but they've been pretty handy! I sorted the one in the living room out as well as it's a 'dumping ground' for living room stuff like remote controls but post, takeaway menus, nail varnishes and other random items often make their way in there and it gets full up so once every few months I go through and put everything away where it actually is meant to go (often the bin) and make room for more junk. At least it keeps the living room tidy!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

What did we do on my birthday?

We got engaged!

Tom took me to Paris for a surprise trip and proposed...






I had no idea where we were going only that we were going away somewhere, he even fooled me into thinking he didn't bring the passports by leaving his new passport on the coffee table and sneaking it out at the last minute so I assumed he'd left it at home. So until we got to the Eurostar station I really didn't know where we were going!

Obviously I said yes!

We had our engagement party on Sunday and I'll share some pictures of that (and some DIY table decorations) soon...

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Photobook

I placed an order for this last week and it arrived on Friday
It's a photo book of the last 3 years, I hope to do one per year from now on. I'd seen a lot of them around and saw a post over on young house love how they do one every year, but ones I'd seen here seemed expensive. This 100 page book would have cost just over £100! I got a groupon voucher though so only paid £29, for 100 pages of photos that's a bargain, next time if I'm only doing one year I probably wouldn't need so many pages and will look out for vouchers and offers. It's from photobox, I've also used them before for printing photos and they were pretty quick and good quality.

I started with some old photos and the one on the cover is also from 2009, I went for 2010 as a start point as this is when we got a decent camera, all the photos before 2010 are from phones and disposable cameras so there aren't many and the ones we have aren't great quality. I chose a handful of the best ones for the start of the book.
It was really easy to customise, I liked having some large photos and some smaller photos in different layouts
Or mixing up sizes on different pages
Even the smaller photos came out really well though and it's great to get so many photos on one page when they are silly photos from nights out etc that don't necessarily need a full page to themselves. Also as a tenant it's great having so many photos printed but not needing to find ways to display them in frames when we can't put them on the walls. 
The captions were also easily customised and I could change font, colour, size, placement etc
 I also chose the background colour, and will try and get future ones in the same colour as well
I did discover that 100 pages is actually a lot to fill so I added in some divider pages and some with only 1 or 2 photos on
It's really nice to have the last few years photos in one place and as it's a book it's so much slimmer than having all of those photos in an album and looks a bit more polished. Please excuse the mess on the table in this photo, can you believe we have to start brushing the cats teeth (every day as well!), we are just starting off and getting her used to it so the table is strewn with all the cat tooth cleaning stuff so we can just grab it when she comes up onto the sofa.
I tried to get it in chronological order but after being transferred between a few computers some of the photos had lost their time stamps but from memory I've tried to get them roughly in order!
I've really also tried not to just have holiday photos but also photos of day to day things, parties etc. We took over 600 photos when we went to America last year so it would have been easy for the whole book to just become holiday pictures, but I have a lot of those printed out already and in frames around the flat.
It was difficult though when we went to such a beautiful place!
The hardest part was actually getting the photos together, as I realised we had uneven amounts of photos, like loads of Graces birthday and not many of Olivias! Although Toms sister Becky kindly emailed us a load of pictures. We really just need to take more photos and this year I'm trying to take the camera out and about with me more.
This project also found the end of my patience with our old desktop computer, I had to use it because all of our photos are stored on there but it's so hopelessly out of date that it just couldn't run the photobox website half the time, once I had the photos I wanted loaded onto the site (which took me literally days) I worked on my netbook but every now and then realised I had forgotten one and had to go back through the very lengthy process of trying to upload more. All sat at our very unsuitable desk (You can't get your legs under it and the chair doesn't tuck in so you end up slumped over to reach the keyboard) on our mangled old office chair. So we might be getting a new computer sooner rather than later, if I had my way it would have gone out the window that day!

I think it was worth the stress and the back ache any way as we got hundreds of photos printed for under £30 and the book looks great! I was really impressed with the process of putting it together once I was on a working computer, it really is easy just to drag and drop photos into spaces, choose the layouts and add any captions etc.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Friday Inspiration

It's the end of my week off work, I had a wonderful birthday (more on what we did soon!) and have had a relaxing few days off. I do still have the weekend and bank holiday Monday so not actually back to work for another 3 days :)

Friday inspiration this week...

This airy and classy living room looks beautiful, I especially love the table

This kitchen is minimal yet quite luxurious (The chandelier is very fancy for the kitchen!)

The art deco inspired table and screen here caught my eye, I like gold accents but never can seem to pull them off properly (I think you need to spend a bit of money and do it properly)
Well gold appears to be a theme this week! I think this bedroom is so calm and pretty yet not too feminine so would work as a shared space

This frame gallery is not too overpowering because of the light colours and the gold frames (more gold!), the little hallway is also cute and the yellow door is such a happy colour

As always more on my pinterest

Have good bank holiday weekends! We have a nice weekend planned with a party on Sunday and lunch with friends on Monday

Thursday, 23 May 2013

What I Wore

This outfit is actually from a few weeks back on May Day bank holiday, it was lovely and sunny so Tom and I went to the Jazz Festival but only caught the end of it (literally) so went for a few drinks over in Montpellier.

Forgive the weird face I never did know how to fake smile!
The dress is vintage from eBay for under £5 I think (I love an eBay bargain my wardrobe is full of them), it's an odd midi length but perfect for early summer/spring when my legs are still too pale to show to the world.

The belt was a gift, the shoes are from Brantanos and were a bargain £3 in the sale!

My shades are part of my growing collection of glasses from here they're so cheap that I can afford to have 2 pairs of prescription sunglasses (I have some darker aviators) and about 10 pairs of glasses.

The earrings are also vintage from etsy years ago.

So there's another outfit post, I really only do these when I put on something and think it's worth showing to you which isn't very often haha!

As you can see from the compost on the floor and the few new small pots behind me I had been doing some gardening that day and will share a garden update once the seeds have grown a bit more, at the moment it's just a load of empty looking pots so not really worth taking photos of.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Renting - Current Stories

Renting has been in the news a bit recently, I saw a feature on Watchdog last week about the unregulated lettings agencies industry and experiences people have had with lettings agents. You can read the report here

After our first property we were put off renting from lettings agents as while they weren't con artists or terrible people they were just a bit useless. However, as letting agents are completely unregulated in the UK anyone can set up an agency with no experience, credentials or training. 

There is also no independent body to report unscrupulous agencies to. There is a property ombudsman who you can report agencies to if they have signed up to the scheme, but it is not currently mandatory for them to register. Obviously there are laws covering you in general for theft or fraud and you can take agencies to court, but if you are unhappy with them for bad service, asking for unreasonable fees or giving you unfair treatment then there is nobody to report them to and no regulations really laying out how they should be treating you in the first place.
There are going to be new laws introduced that mean all agents will have to register with a property ombudsman (although this is not yet law, and there is no date set), but will not dictate who can become a lettings agent. In the UK around 60% of lettings agents are already registered with the property ombudsman, which regulates the housing market.

Watching the report by Nigel Havers I saw a lot of things I had experienced, having problems getting money back from agents, not being able to speak to your agent, and the mysterious landlord who they represented making decisions without us being informed.
Personally when my sister and I were looking for our first flat we thought we would be safer with a lettings agent, as we kind of assumed they were somehow regulated. 
Have any of you ever had a bad experience with a lettings agent?
My advice would be:

  • Check if they are registered with a property ombudsman or if they have any credentials like awards, diplomas etc.
  • Read the contract in full and in detail, if there are any points you aren't sure of question them, get it all nailed down in detail before you sign anything.
  • If there is anything in the contract about staying with one energy supplier or any other supplier then get this removed, you have the right to change utility supplier and in the report on watchdog there were agents that have in the contract that tenants had to stay with a company that was overcharging them and they found it very difficult to switch.
  • Unless you have extenuating circumstances which means you have to, try not to pay a lot of rent up front. If you are then given your notice or move out you might face a fight to get your money back, and if you have a very bad agent may not get it back (as in the case of Nigel Havers here). We have always paid a deposit and one month’s rent in advance then paid monthly from there on in.
  • Once you sign the contract and move in you lose a bit of power over the agent, if there are issues with the property that need fixing or there are inconsistencies or things you are not happy with in the contract do not sign it and do not move in. Agree that any repairs will be made before you move in, and get the contract sorted. Our current landlord did 2 or 3 drafts of the contract for us as there were things we needed to agree (about pets mainly), a good agent should be willing to do the same.
  • The joy of renting is if you really don’t like it, you can move with minimal financial outlay.
  •  If you love the property but hate the agent it's difficult. We found out the contact information of our actual landlord from the landlord of the flat below us and could have contacted them as a last resort, in the end we moved out before we needed to but chances are they don’t know how rubbish the agents are and if there are major shortcomings or negligence from the agent then you could inform them. This should obviously be used as a last resort because they have employed an agent for a reason, so don’t contact them for a small issue. If I were paying a lettings agent to manage my property and they were mismanaging it to the extent that I was about to lose a tenant I’d want to know.
  • If and when you do move out the deposit can be a bit of a sticking point. I once spent two days cleaning our flat before moving out to be told that it was not clean enough and I had to lose some of the deposit. It was not clean to  a ‘professional standard', the flat was sparkling as far as I was concerned but at this point I had had enough so just took the money and ran, to our new house via a private landlord, grateful the whole thing was over.
  • Take inventory photos when you move in if your agent or landlord doesn't, and then also on moving out so you can compare. There is an allowance for reasonable wear and tear in most contracts, so get this straight before you move in what they will allow as ‘reasonable’ so you can make any repairs (Like maybe touching up paintwork) before the final inspection and get as much deposit back as possible.
There was then also this feature on Yahoo! On a new development in London that allows 5 year contracts for tenants and the ability to decorate and make changes to the apartments. The prices are absolutely shocking, over £1000 pcm for a one bedroom flat, but it is in London overlooking the Olympic park. I thought the idea of long term contracts was great for more security (tenants could still give notice and move if they needed to), but I would be reluctant to make large changes and spend a lot of money on a place that ultimately was not ours.
What do you think, could you be tempted (if you could afford the rent!)?
They also had this interesting comparison between now and 2007
Do any of you rent? Is it by choice or through necessity?

Sunday, 19 May 2013

6 months in - what do we miss?

OK so we had a nice post on what we love about the flat here, but what are we lacking?

Really there's not a lot, mostly just stuff we were aware of moving in and just need to get used to.

  1. 'Apartment Living' as the Americans call it can take a bit of getting used to (before this we lived in a maisonette and then houses), there are people living above us and on both sides. Sometimes there can be noise from them, and sometimes I'm conscious that we might be disturbing them. We also share the wheelie bin, so have started using litter tray liners and bin liners for the cat litter and are more conscious about not filling the bin up in the first few days. Also being used to having a driveway and a garage etc it takes some getting used to living in a flat.
  2. From that last point, not having a driveway or being able to park right outside our front door. There is free parking on the other side of the road and if there's no spaces there there's permit parking (Tom pays £80 per year so not too bad but still an added expense) down a side street just round the corner, only twice have we found no spaces on either road and had to park further away. I don't have the car, so it's mainly Tom that deals with this and most of the time he gets a space reasonably close, but when it's tipping down with rain and/or you have heavy shopping to bring in it can be a pain. We do have an access road out the back though so we can unload stuff and bring it in through the back garden but then we have to go and park the car.
  3. On from that point, not having my own car. This really isn't a downside of the property really just something I've noticed. I could have a car (we're allowed 2 permits) but really it would be a massive extravagance financially to have 2 cars, I don't need to drive to work (Massive plus point there though!) so it would stay parked for the whole week and only be used maybe at the weekends. I really miss having my own car though, it's a minor inconvenience but it just means I've lost a bit of my independence, I have to get used to waiting for Tom to ferry me around or waiting for him to get home so I can have his car. Anyone who knows me will know this is not really 'me' to rely on someone else so much and to have to ask Tom to do stuff all the time, even if it is stuff I always did when he gave up his car at our last place (I keep trying to remind myself it's just his turn!).
  4. We used to have a big living room at our last house that held our sofa, armchair, turtle tank and a drop leaf dining table. It was the first and only place we have had a dining table and I loved it. We had Christmas at home for the first time, and had Sunday dinner regularly inviting family round, we had nice meals sat at the table rather than eating off plates on our laps. I really miss having a dining table here, although I'm trying to find a small table that we can use as both a desk and a table and hope to remedy this soon. Although I'm afraid we will never be able to have 10 round for Christmas dinner again while we're living here, as it will have to be in the office in place of the desk and will be a table for 2 or at the most 4 if we pull it out into the middle of the room. I want a table where we can have the printer, laptop and cork board which can be converted to a dining table quickly by adding another chair and taking the computer stuff and cork board off it. Really if we didn't have the turtles or could move them into another room you could get a bigger table in there, or you could put a table in the entrance hallway but that's pretty far from the kitchen so wouldn't really be great as a dining room.
  5. Also on that note of having people round, not having the spare room so we can't have people stay over. We still have the storage space as we have the office and the entrance hall, but we don't actually have a spare bed any more. Although we only had people stay over twice at our last place, and we have a sofa which people could comfortably sleep on or we could always get an air bed to put in the living room if we wanted to.
  6. Lack of natural light in the bathroom and office, these are rooms we spend minimal time in but if I start using the office more it would maybe become more of an issue. I usually type posts on my netbook while sat on the sofa, but have been going to a chiropractor for my back recently and don't want to do this long term. Once we have a table/desk set up with a proper chair I want to actually use the office, so will have to invest in some good lamps! A solution I've thought of would again be to move it out to the entrance hallway, but in the winter it's a bit cold out there so wouldn't be a nice place to sit and work. We'll see once we get the table and get it all set up.
Really that's all I can think of right now, and none of them are really massive issues, just some little niggles we've discovered along the way. I'm hoping that I'll get used to not having a car (I'm telling myself it's greener, I'm getting more exercise and I can get another one whenever I want to!), and we're pretty used to living in a flat now and not having the same amenities as a house. The other issues are really things we can work around we just need to figure it out and make adaptations, so there's nothing really that I regret about taking this place and on balance we definitely like more about it than we dislike about it, in fact we're very happy here!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday Inspiration

After today I have 10 days off work, and it's my birthday on Monday - woohoo! So I'm in a pretty good frame of mind this evening, and off for a nice meal tonight with work to top it off.

These are the lovely and inspiring photos I've seen this week

I always wondered how people painted the inside of bottles and still kept flowers in them without the water ruining the paint, this post explains it! It's in Spanish but the pictures are pretty self explanatory if like me your Spanish only extends to 'un vino blanco por favor' :)

I love the colour here, and the informal dining area with benches rather then chairs, the light fixture is also pretty awesome

OK the chair placement is a bit odd (2 chairs just looking at the bed, expecting an audience?) but I really like the lamp and the light airy feel...

I think this tile effect is interesting, although I probably wouldn't go for pink shiny ones stripes of tiles add something a bit different

OK, not so much the teen bedroom look I was inspired by here but the hanging photos with clothes pegs. I'm always looking for ways to display photos without having to put holes in the walls...

As always more on my pinterest, have a brilliant weekend!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

6 months in - what do we love?

Another kind of recap post, on what we love in our new home.

If you look back to our first few posts, you can see we were given our notice at our last place. Although it was not the ideal home for us and I was starting to get ideas about moving (we move on average every 2 years and had been there nearly that long...), but even so moving was not our decision. Looking back though I am so much happier here than I was last year, I will share a history of each place we've rented and it might get ugly but I think it's important to lay out why I think I'm informed on most problems you could encounter being a tenant!

Any way back to the point, firstly what do I love about our flat?

  1. The location. I don't have my own car because I don't need one. I can walk to work and get the bus to my other work (I'm split between 2 hospitals). We're near enough to the town that we can walk to the town centre and other areas with shops, bars, restaurants etc. However we aren't actually in town so it's quiet and there is parking etc.
  2. The size, we have the 2 hallway/extra rooms which are extra to what you usually get in a one bedroom. The rest of the rooms are also really well proportioned, we seem to have the perfect amount of space and I can clean over the whole place in a couple of hours. Plus it doesn't cost a fortune as it is still really a one bedroom.
  3. The garden, love having some outdoor space, it's a manageable size and no lawn to mow!
  4. The landlords, we were concerned that as they live above they might be overly 'involved' but we have only seen them a handful of times, although they have responded to any queries or requests really quickly and reasonably. 
  5. It's painted white, not magnolia. I hate magnolia, why does every landlord want to paint everything magnolia?! I love the white walls as we really can go with any colour scheme for accessories and furniture in any room.
  6. The quality, the place was freshly decorated and carpeted before we moved in and is really well done.  The light fixtures are all nice and the blinds and curtains are all nice quality. 
  7. Money saving, while the flat is £50 per month more than our last place in rent, we have a freeview aerial here so don't pay for cable, the heating is all new and efficient and the place is smaller and generally more modern than our last house (despite being over 100 years older than it) so over the long term should be cheaper to run.
  8. The area, Cheltenham in general is a nice place to live in our experience. There is plenty to do and loads of festivals on through the year. There are plenty of nice restaurants and we feel like we have more of a lifestyle here, we sometimes feel a bit common for the area haha (seriously it's a bit posh).
  9. It's old, I prefer old buildings to new and I like the wonky walls, sash windows and period details.
  10. Maintenance, while the place is pretty low maintenance we also have space and scope to make it our own (obviously in a limited kind of way), but this doesn't over extend into fixing the place up and spending our own time and money on someone else's property. It's in that sweet spot you want as a tenant that you can hang pictures etc but the place doesn't need too much work.
That's the 10 things I love about our new home (at some point I'll also have to stop calling it 'new'), I'll do a post on what we miss or wish we had and what we can do to solve these (very small) issues.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

How am I doing?

Firstly, thanks for reading over the last few months, it really been great to have a creative outlet and a little corner of the internet to whitter on about our flat, home d├ęcor and renting. I'm amazed some days to look at the stats and see that people are actually reading!

After the last post on the progress we've made over the last 6 months with the flat and what I still want to do, I thought I'd also ask you guys what you want to see more of here on the blog. I'm pretty new to this so would love to hear how you think I'm doing.

A few things I've been wondering...
  1. I try to post every other day, and to be honest with working full time I'm unlikely to be able to write a post every day all the time but I could sometimes post more often, would you like to see more posts? Or is the current amount enough?
  2. At the moment I have a few regular posts like the Friday Inspiration and Payday Wish List series, are there any other regular posts you'd like to see? Like maybe a Q&A/discussion style post on renting or anything you want to send me questions on (obviously nice questions no rude topics my parents read this!)
  3. Other than those few regular posts I really just update with any projects I have going on, mostly small stuff (as we rent I'm unlikely to renovate the kitchen or knock down any walls...yet haha), but is there anything you want to see less of/more of? I have a lot of non decorating related posts to write on our experiences as tenants in the past and on things like renting with pets...
That's all the things I've been wondering, really just feel free to comment, email, facebook, or however else you want to get in touch any time with a question, comment or feedback (Or just to say hi, I'd love to know who's reading)

xxx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Progress

We've been living in our flat 6 months now, so I thought it's a good time to look back and see what progress we've made (and what we still have left to do...which is plenty!)

Let's start with the kitchen, probably the room that's least changed
We've decluttered and added in some storage jars and storage solutions, also we've added in some finishing touches like the 'keep calm' sign. Still left to do in here are new mugs (thinking those DIY sharpie decorated ones that are all over Pinterest), new bread bin and mug tree, new canisters for tea coffee and sugar (thinking silver metallic) new recycling bin, maybe a rug or at least a doormat, new fruit bowl and possibly a window treatment. Also we still need to declutter some problem area like the top of the microwave.
You can see larger photos and more detail on the changes in the kitchen here, here and here.

Onto the living room
We got the new bookshelves and I changed the basket under the table for a larger one with a lid (It came with the ottomans from the bedroom), we also added in my DIY runner. Other than that the changes have been minor rearrangements of frames and CDs etc, I want to eventually get an ottoman or trunk to use as a coffee table, change the TV unit, add some art/photo frames on the fireplace (where we have been told we can put picture hooks, yay!), add more pillows to the sofa, maybe make a faux roman blind for the window (to go over the existing boring one) and generally add in a bit of colour as the room is a bit bland! Possibly thinking yellow to go with the Fender...
You can see more on the living room here and more on the DIY runner here.

The into the Office
We have some art on the tank and a mat under the cat litter tray, but the desk is now even more of a mess as we have 2 PC screens at the moment (anyone want to buy one?!). We are looking at the whole computer situation, as I have my new netbook (which came with one of those screens) so very rarely use the desktop, Tom uses it sometimes but if we had a laptop that did iTunes and Tom could play games on we could get rid the desktop, freeing up some space. This all costs money though so will be something we sort out gradually. We also want to get a new desk and new desk chair, and possibly a rug under the desk. The turtle tank will also need replacing at some point (see this post on the leak we had the other week!) but that's also something quite expensive that we will need to save up for.
You can see more on the office here and here

Then into the bathroom
This room, like the kitchen, hasn't really changed a great deal it has mostly just been decluttered and I'm trying to not buy more than one bottle of something at a time (you know when your shampoo is on offer so you buy 5 bottles...yeah I'm trying not to do that). I want to get some more art or something in here as it's a bit bland, I'm thinking on the back of the toilet as I like the lilies there in this post. Also I think we need a new bath mat as our has goe a bit off white, new towels probably soonish as well as I bought really cheap ones and they're starting to go a bit off colour (they also looked great in our last bathroom but I'd prefer black or white ones here).
You can read more on the bathroom here and here

The bedroom, it was gross before!
We've gotten rid of the 2 armchairs that were in there, reorganised my shoes, moved the trunk in from the hallway, got new wardrobes, got ottomans for storage on top of the wardrobes, rationalised the stuff under the bed and moved a lot of it out to the wardrobe in the hallway, brought the canvas in from the office, got new paperwork storage and generally tidied up! To be honest it still has a long way to go, I want to get a new bed, get bedside tables, rearrange the furniture so the chest of drawers isn't in front of the window (makes it hard to open the window), add some art or photos to the chimney breast (again this is where we've been told we can put picture hooks) get new bedding and a mirror, get some bedside lamps and bring a bit of a cohesive colour scheme in (so far we have about 10 different wood tones and 5 different textiles in here and it looks a bit crazy). It all seems to hinge on the new bed I so once we have that we can do the rest.
You can see more on the bedroom here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Then onto the entrance hall way, probably the most transformed room so far!
I reorganised in here a few times before getting our lovely big wardrobe to put all our junk in, it's a room that isn't really used by us except to walk through when we come in and out of the flat and for storage, so really I want to give this space a use other than drying clothes. As we don't spend any time in here more often than not it's full of clothes airers with washing drying on them, so you come in the door and it looks like this

Not exactly a warm welcome. So our aim in here is to maximise space so we could actually spend time in here, I'm thinking a reading nook as all the bookshelves are in here.
You can see more on the entrance hall and how we got to this point here, here and here

Onto the outside space, really we have just planted some things and are waiting to see how they do but it looks better already in the back garden

We're just waiting for seeds to grow and plants to fill in, then we might get a few more pots and some pretty garden things but we will build it up over time. There's not been any change in the front of the flat, not a lot we can change really!
You can see more on the garden here, and here.

There's the last 6 months of projects and changes, it's nice to look back and what you've achieved sometimes and see how much progress you've made even though there is plenty left to do!