Flat Upgrade DIY

I have a great flat. It’s in a great location, and it has a spacious living room, a back deck, and a garden that is perfect for a hammock in the summer. The downside is that the furnishings were obviously picked out by a very old (and potentially blind) person. It’s also a student flat and has been for many years, which means it has had its share of wear and tear. However, my flatmates and I have made it our mission to work with what we’ve got to make the space feel more like a home. Here is a snippet of what we’ve done so far.

The Great Curtain Change Up of 2018:

Check out this before and after

The curtains in my living room have been my Everest. They were an awful floor length floral pattern, with stains and rips all down the backside. I hated them with a burning passion. I spent hours cruising the web and was finally able to replace them with a nice neutral cream set for about 25 pounds thanks to the magic of Amazon UK. The new pair really brightens up the room and helps to tone down the mix of patterns. They can also easily be taken down and the old ones put back up after we move out.



I am lucky enough to have two stunning pieces of art in my room by the artist (and more importantly the father of my precious goddaughter) Tim Hussey. If you don’t want to put any holes in the wall, command hooks work great.    

fam portrait.jpgThe true star of our living room comes in the form of our flat family portrait. A Groupon deal allowed us to get this blown up on a canvas for a fiver each. Easily the best purchase I’ve ever made.   

bar cart.jpgBoozy Bar Cart:

I have had this trusty bar cart for almost 3 years now. It was an Ikea buy that makes drinking vodka mixed with Gatorade feel a little bit classier. Here’s a wooden option that, when spilt between a few flatmates, won’t break the bank too much.  

flowers up close.jpgFresh Flowers:

My mother once told me that every well run household has freshly cut flowers. Picking up a bouquet from Tesco is inexpensive and adds vibrancy to a room. You can find a vase on the cheap at one of the many charity shops in town.   

babushka.jpgThe Cozy-Factor (modeled by Ellie Connon):

Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than when you can curl up on the sofa with a good book or a movie and feel cozy. To make our living room a bit more livable, we went hard with the fluffy blankets. I also got several throw pillows from Ikea and purchased some pillow covers from Amazon to replace the dingy ones that came with the flat.  

bulletin board.jpgBulletin Board:

Another DIY project I tackled at the beginning of the year was the bulletin board in my kitchen. It was just a standard cork board, but with some flat headed tacks and a cheap tablecloth it can look much more colorful and neat. I pulled the cloth over the front and used the tacks to hold it in place from behind.  

At the end of the day, this is a student flat that I will be moving out of in less than a year, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t make my time here as comfortable as possible. Amazon and Ikea have some great deals on home goods. Money saving websites such as Groupon can also help lower prices, and small items such as blankets and flowers can change the look of a space without costing you your security deposit.

-Isabel Quattlebaum










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