One afternoon in 2002, after weeks of flat hunting in South London, we suddenly found ourselves looking round a place with more than enough room to swing a cat, in fact there was enough room to have a whole party in the kitchen. So for that reason, we went ahead and bought it.
We had three happy years there, before we left the big city behind, to find fortune (and ante natal classes) in suburban Nottingham, and so rented out our flat to two Polish brothers.
Last week we sold our old flat, to a lovely couple, so I thought it would be fun to share some pictures. Mr A took the one above, when he popped down to London to check it was all okay earlier this month.
Being before the day of blogging and camera phones, we have just a handful of photos of our actual time living there. This gorgeous high quality image below is Mr A in the kitchen when we moved in. Note the wine, on the table – we needed it! The place needed work, including a full rewire. It was so exciting having our own place, that we didn’t seem to care about living in a building site for months.
We moved in the summer, but I remember at Christmas we were still living with exposed floorboards and half painted walls. The Christmas tree was forever being knocked over, but we still cooked a New Years Day roast for all our friends.
This is the same view of the kitchen as we left it. We chose the Art Deco look in keeping with the Edwardian house, but funny how things date isn’t it? That table belonged to my brother who lived with us for a year. I always remember it having his decks on, before we nicked it as a kitchen table. I will also never forget waking up to Mr A and my brother asleep on the sofas under the curtains, which I hadn’t managed to hang properly, which they had drunkenly mistaken for blankets.
Below, is another shot of the kitchen when we first moved in, before we actually had a kitchen fitted. Got to love that green and orange colour scheme. We were young, I don’t think we even noticed the flat didn’t really have a kitchen, just a sink, and a leaking gas stove.
When we ripped out this fire surround to put in a kitchen, we found an original cast iron fireplace boarded up behind it, which was really exciting. We found a home for it elsewhere, as we needed to make space for a new cooker.
Mum took this photo above, see back then it just didn’t occur to us to take a photo of us in the flat. Reminds me, the world has gone photo mad. We originally painted the walls in the kitchen the same colour as our favourite bar down the road, on reflection, like the bar, I think it looked better in the dark, or maybe this was the first coat. A Polish tenant, very politely called me to ask if he could paint it magnolia, at his own expense. I loved those tenants, they were there for the first four years we rented the flat, they always fixed things themselves.
This is how it is now, a much blanker canvas!
And this is where that old fireplace finished up, in the living room, after the broken gas fire was removed. It isn’t actually cemented in at this point, that took a few months to get round to doing, hence the Czech puppets hanging off it from a holiday to Prague. Although, Mr A even bought a workbench and DIY books when we moved in, and made shelves either side.
After a bit of research we found these tiles, much more in keeping with the house’s Edwardian style, and painted the turquoise ones black to match.
When we moved to Nottingham, we fell in love again with a house with a very similar living room. Our eye for home furnishings has improved somewhat too.
Mr A forgot to take a picture of the bathroom, I used to love the tiles as they were original red and green arts and crafts tulips. Sadly they were a pain to keep clean and I never quite worked out how to restore them.
So lovely looking back, now it is time to look forward. Selling a home can be stressful, and this took 4 months, but in the end we ended up chatting to our buyers quite a lot over email and it was a very amicable sale.
I said goodbye to the flat years ago, I cried so much the last night I had in the flat, I was an emotional wreck, 7 months pregnant, preparing to leave London, the flat and my teaching career. But in all the years it has been rented I have never been back, it felt too sad.
So I was really touched to get this picture of these two on Friday, I actually cried – happy tears though. Just look at these excited faces.
Seeing this picture gave me absolute closure on that lovely flat. I am so pleased these two have chosen it as their new home. Meet Russ and Lorn, who also blogs at Sauna, Spa, Steam. I hope you will be very happy here and have great fun, as we did, making it feel like home. Go for it, out with the old, in with the new!
They are busy planning a wedding, so do check out the blog, new home, wedding on the horizon – such an exciting time to be blogging. We moved in newly engaged and planned our wedding round that kitchen table too.
Looks Like Russ is very at home already, meanwhile… Lorn has already discovered Streatham’s sauna might not be quite the kind of experience she can cover on her blog. Although, I have to say, instead, check out the Turkish bakery, and the veggie cafe which I miss, and my brother tells me there is now an amazing pizza place, and the Irish Pub always did a mean roast.
And if you ever want to return and do a My Home Rocks – we would be especially excited to go through the keyhole once more!