So, it turns out that I had quite a few things in that Hong Kong flat mentioned in my previous post. Not only that, but I had a fair number of items in my mother’s storage unit back in the States. Thankfully the London flat absorbed the majority of the stuff that arrived in April without issue. I won’t bore anyone with another itemised list, but safe to say I have more sets of dishes than any one person could possibly need. However, it’s wonderful to have everything under one roof and I’m slowly but surely editing.
If I had to describe the design theme emerging in my new home, it would be “industrial repurposed”. There are a wealth of clearing houses, restaurant supply stores, second hand shops and other treasure troves filled with used industrial equipment and furnishings, all at reasonable prices. I’ve added many of them to my Local London map. Constraints breed creativity, and it’s been so much fun figuring out what I can make out of my finds. Hard to believe that none of them cost more than £50. So far, the industrial objects I’ve converted to residential furnishings are:
- Cafeteria tray cart = shelving
- Retail clothes rack = headboard
- Laundry tub = terrace table
- Jerry can = lamp
- Lab bench legs = vanity
- Ladder = bookshelf
- Wire storage rack = bathroom storage
The ladder to bookshelf transformation is not complete (as you can see below), but inspired by the interiors of this Airbnb rental in Melbourne (pictured above right). As a side note, if you’re looking for a fabulous place to stay in a great Fitzroy location, I highly recommend. She bakes delicious bread too!
Moving has also given me the opportunity to design plywood furniture for the first time since university. Luckily, CNC machines are increasingly accessible and East London’s very own Machines Room has one of the biggest around. This pdf has a handy map of all the known makerspaces in London as of Jan 2015. I designed parts in Adobe Illustrator, exported to *.dxf and had them cut from a 4×8 sheet of 24mm birch plywood. The parts were used to complete the vanity, bathroom storage and bedside table. With the extra material I made a couple peg boards for jewellery storage. If you’re not quite prepared to design your own, Opendesk has a great selection of furniture schematics that you can purchase.
It’s wonderful to have an outdoor space for the first time in years. I lined railings with English lavender and blue grass from Columbia Road Flower Market. Still figuring out how to cover the black surface in an economical, durable and minimalist way. Open to suggestions!
My nesting is far from over. Just bought Kirby Arcade Boost fabric in Carbon to re-upholster a pair of 1970s French armchairs that I got for a steal on Etsy. Can’t wait to see how this playful pattern breaths new life into their simple, angular shape. If you have any first-timer tips, I’m all ears!
There are also a few more objects I’m pining for:
- Beautiful handmade cutting boards from Hampson Woods (made in East London)
- Whimsical cloud toilet paper holder by Bertrand Jayr for Lyon Béton
- Simple, timeless Kartio drinking glasses from Iittala
- Functional table or platform bed legs from Floyd in Detroit, USA
Keeping track of these and other ideas on a London Flat Pinterest board. Surely, the more I entertain and inhabit the space, the more new ideas and possible improvements will surface.