When I started my first job in a French advertising agency in Paris, I was over the moon. The hours were long, wages low but sharing a flat with my two friends from Uni was fun, less daunting (we had all moved from Bordeaux to the “big city”) and allowed us to be able to go out and do cool things, instead of having all our wages swallowed by our rental accommodation and back then, Paris was a lot more affordable than London!
Nowadays the average price of private rental in London is more than double in the rest of the UK and if you want to live in London and make the most of it, flat sharing is one of the best ways to make this happen.
When you’ve found the ‘almost’ perfect bedsit (right price, right location), don’t be put off by the magnolia, pale green or lavender walls (if these are not your cup of tea). See if you can negotiate with your landlord to pay for paint supplies in exchange for a month rent-free and highlight how house proud you are and then paint it white to bring more light in and create a great canvas to do some cool creative things. When months are tight in cash, your room will probably end up the place you hang out the most with your friends so let’s make it cosy and welcoming.
Use what the city and nature have to offer…
Grab a few pallets from a DIY store and turn them into a base for your mattress to give a relaxed vibe to your room (check how I styled our guest room two years ago) or use wooden crates from your local grocer and paint them in white to turn them into side table like I did here.
Make Washi tapes your best friend…
They don’t stain walls like blue tack does and a couple of rolls will allow to create some pretty cool moodboards with tear sheets from your favourite mags. Create a happy mood moard with B&W photos of your friends, laughing and partying. Just looking at all these photos of people you love smiling will lift up your spirit in winter time.
Make your room cosy with textures and cushions. Shepherd Bush market is a good place to source cushions and fabrics (linen included) at a low cost. Get £2.25 paper shades from Ikea and customise them with black paint to achieve the look of the ones designed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni.
Scour craft shops to get hold of cardboard letters (the ones to paint) and create words to either display on your desk (LOVE) or kitchen (EAT), they normally cost £3.5 each at the most.
Go for a walk around your area and check houses being renovated, often you will find brand new left-over pieces of MDF that you can paint with blackboard paint.
For bed linens, stick to plain colours rather than patterns that will outdate quickly. Ikea has always at least one design in each collection in nice hues of blues, grays or browns. If you’ve painted your walls white like I recommended earlier, it will look very stylish and inviting.
What are your tips to create a happy flat-sharing place??
As every little helps, My rooms is also offering you £100 off your first month rental. Simply enter code BOFO01 when you register on their site before 31st September 2015.
Norm 06 pendant light | Set of 4 Feel-good cards | Comfy jumper | Mirror with stand | votives to used as tea glasses afterwards | soft & cosy rug | rocking glasses (they rock but do not spill!) | soap dispenser | paper star | washi tapes