When the boyfriend moves in…
Who wants a snoop around our new room? Everyone? Thought so!
I love looking at how people style new rooms as much as the next gal and seeing as you enjoyed my bedroom post and the post I wrote two years ago on styling my boyfriend’s new flat, I think you’ll enjoy this one.
This new room is where the two posts meet in the middle. My boyfriend has moved into my house and rented this room (whilst I rent our now-shared bedroom). It’s the perfect scenario – we each pay our share of the house but now it feels almost like we have two rooms.
Styling a multipurpose room
So welcome to the ‘other room’. There’s no annoying bed to get in the way, no floordrobe, twice the space and twice the style. This is where my boyfriend’s hobbies meet mine. Or maybe a more accurate description would be ‘where my boyfriend’s things meet my style’ because let’s be honest, I may have had a bit more say in the matter of decorating…
Let me show you around our new pad. Here’s all the uses that this multi-purpose space has for us.
I started from scratch with a brand new Lillasen Desk from IKEA which now gives me far more space to type up those blog post. The old black Vittsjo Desk I originally used got quickly snapped up by my boyfriend after he realised how perfectly his keyboard stood on it. My chair and lamps carried over but I added a gold cage paper tidy from Tiger, a Flamingo Ceramic pen pot from Paperchase and big plant poster in a frame (also from Paperchase) to freshen up the space. I’m in two minds about hanging the poster up on the wall rather than keep it lent on the desk. What do you think? I’d love to know you our thoughts!
The most exciting addition to my workspace is this beautiful hand-made Conical Basket by Artisanne which I picked up from Cassius and Coco in Crouch End. That shop has the best homeware that always changes (but always sells out so you’ve got to be quick if you like something!). Pop into their colourful shop in North London or in Chiswick for gifts or a woven fix for yourself. The basket itself is hand woven by women in the Thiès region of Senegal using traditional ‘Wolof’ techniques, weaving grass together with plastic string. This is tradition-meets-modern design at its finest and thankfully it’s sustainable too as the local artisans are paid a fair wage.
I couldn’t plan out the room without giving him at least a tiiiiny bit of space to do his thing right? A man of musical inclination, he needed space for his guitars, pedals, keyboard and records. We both loved his red side table which he’s kept through all of his 4 moves as it provides a colour match to his Red Terje Chair and keeps messy musical paraphernalia underneath whilst being the perfect height for everything else.
Cushions came from Etsy and the frames for his records from Urban Outfitters. I snuck in a hanging wall decoration from Matalan but I’m sure he’s thankful for it!
Our storage solutions
The main original purpose of the room was foremost for storage. As boring as it sounds, when there’s 2 of you (ok, I pretty much count as 2 people with all the stuff I own so 3 of you), you need to consider what goes where. For me it was essential that this room could store out of season clothes, stock for The Bloggers Market, props and camera equipment. Basically anything that wasn’t needed in a bedroom.
You can’t see it in these pictures but behind the door stands a floor-to-ceiling shelving unit with IKEA tubs on top which is packed with boxes for storing unsightly things such as fabric, DIY materials and paperwork (told you storage was fun!). Next to that stands a wicker and wood wardrobe holding our winter accessories, jackets and my bags. Suitcases are stacked on top as much as I wish they could be hidden away. Does anyone have tips for getting them out of sight?
Our final storage solution which I very much want to keep on display is our beautiful Mid-Century Media Console by West Elm. A generous gift, the sustainably sourced, eucalyptus beauty of a side board stands pride of place in the centre of the room. By no means conventional in its contents, the unit is filled on the left with out-of-season clothes, on the right with clothes that will soon find a new home and in the centre crockery and props for photos and special occasions. I’m absolutely in love with it to the point where I won’t let anyone place anything on the top of it for fear of marking its beautiful acacia veneer so geroff.
This is an investment piece I will be keeping forever and ever. Just LOOK at it.
What to put in the middle of the room, that’s the question. Do I reserve it for dancing/ yoga/ the biggest flatlays or do we plonk something in the middle? We ended up opting for the latter and are pleased we did. Whilst it does feel a little bit full, I can’t tell you how nice it is to wedge your behind into a bamboo chair, put a cuppa on the Lovbaken side table and pop your feet up. It’s a revelation, I tell ya.
After seeing a pouf in Habitat that was out of our price range and finally admitting that I probably couldn’t crochet one myself, we took to Etsy and discovered this round knitted pouf in a perfect shade of mustard that matches the mini pom pom garland around the fireplace. It’s firmly packed yet strangely light and has encouraged me to relax much more since owning it which after this post I wrote about the struggles of relaxing is a very welcome thing indeed.
Then there’s the Afaw Berber style rug by La Redoute. Yes, THE one with its own Instagram account. But hear me out, there’s a reason it’s been re-stocked hundreds of times, it’s perfect. It was the only rug my boyfriend and I both said ‘YES!’ to as soon as we saw it. And we looked at a LOT of rugs. It’s so fluffy and warm and just the right size and price. Winner.
Other additions to the lounge space include another Etsy find – a vintage bamboo magazine rack on Etsy to match my family’s hand-me-down chair, the beautiful Jessie oak leaning bookshelf nabbed in a Habitat flash sale, the Chairworks hand woven bowl from Cassius and Coco and various ornaments from West Elm including their pleasingly bulbous Scandinavian glass vases, white ash coasters and Folk Pad printed bowls.
As for the artwork on the walls, they range from a brush lettering commission by Carrie, a coffee map of London, prints from Super Duper Things and a Cacti print by The Lovely Drawer and my latest acquisition, a grid of Instagram Framed Prints from Inkifi. I chose images from our travels from my Instagram and simply dragged them into position on the website. I then chose their sustainable natural wood frame to incase it and boom, it arrived in the post days later! (FYI, they make great gifts – I just got my Manager a gift card to create his own for his birthday!)
Shop the room:
Jaguar Dapper Animal Plate – West Elm / Polished brass frame – West Elm / Llama Ceramic Animal Planter – West Elm / Hello Word Object – West Elm/ Stockholm Mirror – IKEA / Dragan Bamboo Boxes – IKEA / Bamboo plant pot – IKEA / Flamingo pen – Paperchase / Bamboo Lantern – Matalan Home / Living with Plants Book – Geofleur / Cactus vases – Not Another Bill / Yellow Honeycomb Garland by Peach Blossom / Green plant pot from SMUG / Painted plant pots from This Way to the Circus / How to Grow book by Hollie Newton – Amazon
Thank you for reading this MAMMOTH post. Do let me know what you think and if you have any tips for me if you’ve got your own shared room.
Thank you too to the kind brands who have gifted me some of the items in this post.