Back in the salad days of August, 2011, I introduced you to our new schtick in London and promised to get back to you with a little peek into our home. Well! Hello from June, 2014. I can’t say we’re prompt, but we’re here, and that’s something.
It’s a Tuesday afternoon, which means I can still hear the echo of our weekly housecleaner closing the door behind her, which means this place is as decent as she’ll ever be. Other than that, I haven’t staged a thing. See, by way of example, that piece of nose-blown toilet paper on the floor by my kid’s feet, and the way she’s sitting there on her sick day staring blankly into an iPad while eating a lunch I didn’t even make.
I’m sure the commenters on some of those high-rollin’ interior design websites would have a thing or two to say about an unstaged photo shoot (half against, half in favor, naturally). But luckily you guys are awesome and will not complain, right? You won’t say, for example, what the heck is up with all the decorative animals everywhere? I’m just noticing that right now through your eyes, actually. I’m as much in charge of the decor as I am petrified of animals, so let’s just not discuss it, shall we?
Anyway. That table up there is where we eat our meals. It overlooks the backyard that we share with all the neighbors in the building. It’s my ideal perch for when I want to be Gratzer-outdoors, which means indoors but with the windows open. The table itself is my life’s one real nod so far to mid-century modernism. It’s a Heywood Wakefield Harmonic Drop-leaf Extension Table that I bought for ch-zzzn-eap on eBay and made Cope drive like 300 miles in a u-Haul to pick up in rural Pennsylvania. Someday when all four of us can reliably use coasters I’ll get someone who knows what they’re doing to refinish it. Until then, it’s the perfect spot from which to yell down to the girls in the garden between sips of totally uncoastered Sauvignon Blanc.
Here’s the kitchen, which I use on days unlike today, when I’m not feeding my kid a Pret a Manger sandwich for lunch. The little island is just this old guy from IKEA. It took me like a year to figure out how perfect it would be to have it there, and it really made a huge impact on functionality, storage, and comfort in the room for very little money. I’ve noticed everyone’s talking about solid-surface backsplashes these days. The one here has held up well and been easy to clean, in case you’re curious. I’m not personally obsessed with the look, but since we’re renting here, I really can’t complain. (Actually, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from living in London, you can always complain. It’s just that it won’t do anything.)
Here’s a look at the main living area (same room as the dining area, just from the opposite angle). If you’ve been reading for a while and are super-observant, you might notice that almost all this furniture is from our house in New Jersey, where it resided in multiple rooms. Hence the light brown sofa both facing another sofa and butting up against a chaise. I wouldn’t have chosen this arrangement from scratch for this space, but in the end it’s been cozy and totally good enough. Hooray for totally good enough! View full post »