The Highs & Lows of Decorating Your Flat

I've had a lot going on around here the last two months, settling in a new city, starting school, and busy getting my flat ready. I have to admit, it is quite a task, it is almost impossible to create your entire space with zero experience (since the only thing I've ever decorated was my bedroom..ha!). When it comes to home decoration, patience is really the key, and though I didn't get any professional home styling service, I spend a lot of time reading and surfing on Apartment Therapy! And I'm so happy I did, the information they provide online and in the book is extremely helpful. Now, its been a while since I got my flat, and the work is finally done! 是的,歡迎來到我倫敦小公寓(就這樣直接大公開,實在有點害羞)不過呢,經過一陣子的奔波,從找房子、找傢俱、量尺寸訂傢俱、送錯退貨換貨(默)一直到最後挖掘一些佈置家裡的小物品,這個要一路陪伴我的英國留學生涯的個人小世界終於完成了!在正式出發以前,為了完美佈置我的個人空間,我做了超多功課,除了不停地翻閱剪貼室內裝潢雜誌外,就是每天熬夜看 Apartment Therapy 這個網站(後來還入手了書),這上面的資訊真的太豐富了,還貼心地分門別類統整出租房和買房忙在佈置上該注意的事項,好實用。最近要搬家或重新裝潢的人真的很建議可以參考看看!因為整體來說真的是個費時費力的工程,所以我歸納出了我這次經驗的幾項心得與你們分享,希望你們會喜歡這樣的分享方式。好咧,廢話不多說,立刻來看看吧。

1.Choose a Colour Scheme  為自己決定一個色調

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The first thing about  decorating/redecorating your flat is to choose a colour scheme. Bare in mind that you don't want to go crazy on colour picking, because you do want them to match. Also, its very important to stay true to your own taste. I went for grey and white, I also added bits of gold to liven the space up. And I love how it turns out, its cozy and simple, just like my personal style. 

在一切工程開始前,最重要的是在心裡選定一個色系,在接下來挑選傢俱或是家飾的時候心裡有個底,就不會東西搬回家後發現整體很不搭。這次,我選的主要色系是灰色和白色,另外再加上些許的金色當點綴,利用金屬的溫潤來綜合灰色系的冷冽。另外,樣式和設計上我也都盡量從簡,就跟我穿衣服的風格一樣,以簡單舒適為優先。

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I got this gold bookshelf from the Tom Dixon pop-up shop at Old Selfridges a month ago. And I couldn't be happier, because Tom Dixon is one of my favourite furniture designers of all times. I love how it is so minimal, leaving all the decorating job to the books.  I picked out this Brooklyn bridge canvas (New York is third favourite city, following London and Melbourne) from Not on the High Street, they have such a beautiful and creative wall art collection that I really recommend any of you to check it out. 

書櫃是我花最多時間到處找的,看了好多家店,不是太美但看起來很不堅固,要不就是長得太實用,相信大家明白我的意思。本來想買和床頭櫃同系列的時尚玻璃書架(請往下滑),但周遭的人一直勸退,表示玻璃書櫃實在太可怕了,感覺隨時會碎裂,好危險。後來在 Old Selfridges Hotel 的 Multiplex Pop up Shop 發現由貝斯手變成設計師的鬼才 Tom Dixon 的作品,金屬色系配上極簡的工業風粗曠線條,這樣的組合真的好像設計旅館裡頭會出現的傢俱,而且他不怕晃,非常穩。

home_tourMy living room is basically where I work, because it is the room that gets the most natural light, which is perfect for photoshoots (most of my monthly favourite series, flat lays, and product shoots are done here).

客廳的採光度最足,兩個月下來,已經不知不覺變成我的小型攝影棚,選物系列和保養品等等的產品攝影都是在這裡進行的(突然很慶幸房東留了一個大茶几給我)。在沒有什麼安排的週末早上,就會幫自己泡杯茶翻翻雜誌讓自己清閒一下,雖然很多時候還是會莫名演變成一邊喝茶一邊編輯照片(完全是工作狂來著)home_tour

Though I don't necessarily do work at home, I organised a little area as my home office, where I can get some late night writing and editing done. And of course, I need my favourite Audrey Hepburn right in front of me. She's such an idol.   

一開始一直很猶豫到底需不需要書桌,畢竟我大部份的時候都是在咖啡館寫作業或文章,而且我的餐桌是四人坐的空間很夠。但是後來想想還是決定給自己規劃出一個類似小辦公室的空間,一來我想要維持生活品質,吃飯和工作還是要分開,二來,身為學生有時候還是要開開夜車的(笑)往上瞧,這就是我的小書桌,附上我個人非常喜愛的奧黛麗赫本,期許能夠像她一樣忠於自我。

2.Make the Most of Your Existing Furniture  善用原先就有的傢俱

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To decorate a rented flat is very different from decorating a bought one. You tend get a few pieces from the landlord, (in my case its a big coffee table, a few small cabinets and a dining table set), I try my best coordinate these with my other pieces, and let me tell you, its quite a task, since the furniture from the landlord are pretty macular, while my preferred home style was rather feminine. As I want to avoid dark colours in my bedroom, I moved the landlord's cabinet to the entry way, and used it as an entry table. I grouped some of my decorative items on it, in order to create harmony and focus at the area. 

佈置家裡是很有趣沒有錯,但是租房跟買房的佈置方式大不同。一般來說,租房有時候都會遇到房東留下一些傢俱的狀況,以我的案例來說,房東就很大器的留下了一個很大的茶几、餐桌和櫃子。不過雖然房東的傢俱和我給自己設想的風格不太一樣,但與其要求房東全部搬走再花錢買新的,不如花點巧思重新規劃他們的位置和用途;例如,我就把原先房東原先放在房間裡的深咖啡色櫃子搬到門口當玄關矮櫃用,抽屜的部分放室內拖鞋,然後櫃子表面拿來放鑰匙和信件,這樣出們的時候也比較不容易忘記。另外還放上次去荷蘭玩的方屋小模型和在倫敦 West Elm 發現的可愛麋鹿,走點可愛俏皮的路線,這樣就能綜合掉這個櫃子原本的粗獷感。

3. Get a Headboard 投資一個床板

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Bed is such a personal thing, a good mattress gives you the best dream, while an unsuitable one practically ruins your entire next day. However, having the perfect bed, or you can called it the heavenly comfy bed, its not just about the mattress, the headboard is just equally important. I use to not have a headboard in Australia, but for someone who loves reading on the bed, it can really become an issue. Yes, back pain. So when I started bed hunting in London, my first priority was finding a really comfy headboard. I picked this cream headboard from John Lewis because I want my bedroom to be light and airy. I also wanted to create texture, so I went for suede other than wool. I really reckon getting a headboard if you can, plus, you're actually spending money on a piece that you will always use, not matter how many times you move. Trust me, you'll always need a headboard, always. 

一個家裡面,最重要的傢俱就是床了,睡不好隔天起來沒精神什麼的都不順,加上我又是一個對睡眠環境很挑的人(請給我燈全關和和兩顆硬枕頭,謝謝)床墊不說,就連購買床板也是門學問。以前在澳洲的家是沒有床板的,但是因為我很愛坐在床上看書,久而久之長期靠著硬梆梆的牆,幾個小時過去,背都會很酸痛。所以這次搬家,我學到教訓了,床板千萬不能省,多花點錢讓自己舒適一點還是比較值得,而且,這是不管搬家幾次都絕對會用到的東西啊。來來回回在 Heal's, John Lewis, West Elm 不停走訪,挑到的不是停產,要不就是要等個四個月(默),甚至還遇到送貨前一天突然打來說商品有損壞,要重新訂貨但不知道要等多久,為了這個床板還真的是歷經曲折。最後,我在 John Lewis 找到了這個好舒服的 Vispring ,而且還很幸運地搭上五個禮拜內就可以完工的客製化方案促銷風潮。從形狀、高矮、配色和布料全部都是自行選擇,自己做完這麼多決定,頓時有種長大變成熟的感覺(挺)因為想要保持房間的淺色系,所以刻意選了奶油白,然後再利用麂皮布料增加層次。

4. Add in Your Personal Accent 增添個人風格bedroom_decor

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My favourite part of decorating my flat is that I get to add in my personal accents. However, it can be quite tedious as well. Since its so easy to splurge on the beautiful looking ones on the shelf, then end up realising you have no idea where to put it in your place. Most of my finishing touches are from West Elm, which I absolutely love. I also have another tip when it comes to adding your personal style, I recommend instead of spending money on the accessories, spend money on the things you will actually use. For example, a nice candle is such a great home decoration, or a couple of glass trays can also bring in that glamorous tweak. I even used perfumes and hats to style my bedroom. And not to mention, hardcover books are practically the best. So next time, try investing on your everyday essentials, its a great idea. 

其實前面講的量尺寸訂家俱都不算難事,真正難的是要四處尋寶找到能夠搭配價錢又要合理的小物品,加上我又是一個極度喜歡買插畫回家掛的人。不過,身為女孩子,當然都會希望自己的家裡能夠多一些裝飾,況且在倫敦,實在太容易發生一個不小心手滑買一堆在櫥窗上看起來好好看,但一回家就發生不知道要放哪裡好的窘境(默)所以呢,在經過無數個讓自己很無奈的經驗後,我發現與其把錢花在家飾上,不如轉而把目標放在好看又實用的生活必需品。以床頭櫃來說,像是蠟燭啊、書本、保養品甚至是衛生紙盒都是很好的裝飾,這些東西細心挑選過後,也能很美觀,物盡其用,這樣的方法很值得一試。

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I hope you'll find these tips useful! Decorating your flat from scratch is such a full-on job, and I'm sorry if this post is a lot longer than my other ones. But I'm so happy with the result. I wanted my home to be simple and cozy, yet polished at the same time. Somewhere I can really relax, somewhere that's really 'me'.  My little London flat, is now something so close to my heart. Do you guys live in a flat or a house? How do you want your home to look like? Share it with me in the comments or Facebook, I would love to know! 

不知不覺就打了一篇落落長的文章,這應該是既從痞客邦搬來後最長的一篇了吧。其實我知道我很幸運,不用跟大家擠宿舍或是分租,家裡給我很多資源,不管是出國讀書,還是食衣住行,他們跟天底下的父母一樣都想要自己的小孩用最好的。不過其實從小到大,我一直有著習慣,對於很多事我總是一再隱藏,怕別人知道媽媽會來接我上下學,之前在澳洲也不敢跟學校的朋友說是家裡租房子給我住,因為同學都會給我異樣的眼神,覺得我過得跟別人不一樣,覺得我很「奢侈」。就連現在到了倫敦,這樣的防衛心態一開始也是會不自覺的建築起來,但在外頭時間久了,也遇到了和我面對同樣問題的人,我想說,是的我們能夠出國讀書,可以花比較多租金自己住一間房子是種享受;但不代表我們不努力,有很多事情也都是要親手包辦,在國外即便通訊發達,遇到問題就算會怕雙手一握還是自己挺身解決,因為台灣其實很遠,沒有父母家人讓你靠。生活上的大小事,當時還未成年的我們要自己去釐清解答,我不認為出國之後自己英文有變得多好,或是我多有國際觀,這些東西並不是靠留學就會有,很多在台灣的朋友懂得都還是比我多,但我比很多人獨立,相信所有留遊學過的朋友都知道這是種磨練,磨練後的成果誰也搶不走。每個人都有自己的故事,每個家庭都有各自要面對的問題,我知道自己幸運,但我不因為這樣就偷懶,我也是跟其他人一樣努力著(握拳)好咧,我有感而發完了,希望你們會喜歡我的佈置分享,生活不是給別人看的,是給自己要過的,讓我們一起一步步累積,共同努力邁進吧。

IN THE POST:

Most of my furniture and home accessories are form West Elm & Zara Home

Book shelf and Coat (bag) Rack from Tom Dixon

Wall arts: Not on the High Street