As the new school year begins, many of you may just have moved into a new home ; or come back from holiday into rental accommodation; or into a house they own but which feels a bit foreign after two months off school (definitely my case!). I also always feel an urge to make my house feel cosier in September, ahead of the winter months, so here are a few tips on how to do so:
- Buying new (or old) furniture. If you are into upcycling, Gumtree is an absolute must for second-hand stuff – furniture or other (and then you can ask Anne to help you make these things look good!) . If you’re after new furniture, the first thing you will have noticed about LIL is that is 10-mn drive from IKEA - how could they have picked a better location!!! You also have a number of furniture shops located nearby Finchley Road station , including Habitat and Roche Bobois . And a bit further on the Jubilee Line, John Lewis ’s selection is always reliable for good quality items. And for higher-end, the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour is a wonderful place to wander around. Online, Swoon Editions and Made.com are good place to look.
- Getting new curtains . The first thing I’ve always done when moving into new houses – rented or not – is make new curtains for all rooms (I must have made 30 to 40 sets over my adult life…). It’s such an easy way to make the house feel like yours – with the added bonus of masking the 4am British sunlight in June, as discussed in this newsletter. If you’re not into sewing you can simply have the curtains made for you. The Curtain Factory Outlet in North London has a wide selection of inexpensive fabrics, which you can buy as such or ask them to make curtains with.
- Buying new plants . This has been my latest craze, as I more and more find that plants add a personal touch to a house. There are a few garden centres close to school: Birchen Grove in Wembley; and Squire’s garden centre in Stanmore. For online-shopping addicts like me, crocus.co.uk has a great selection and delivers extremely quickly (tried and tested as all my shopping tips…).
- Buying colourful cushions . One of my very good friends (full disclosure here!) started her cushion business over the summer and she’s managed to convince my how well-chosen cushions can make a big difference to a room – here is her website if you want to be tempted… But of course, there is the option of making your own, see above for fabric shop.
I hope these suggestions will help you enjoy your home even more!