Yes, it’s me… Today I will be giving myself the home tour treatment. I live in Edgbaston, a suburb in Britain’s second city. The houses in my neighbourhood are typically massive three storey townhouses and many have been converted into apartments. This is the case with my home, a 1930s split level flat (or duplex apartment if you want it to sound much more American and appealing) that has been carved out of the first floor and roof space of a generously proportioned and detached property.
So, come on in. Make yourself at home and have a mooch around. If I’d been more organised I’d have baked a banana loaf.
The Living Space
It’s a bit of an unusual layout… You walk into a small reception hall that leads directly in to the living and dining area on the first floor or to the right you can climb the staircase to the office space, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. Let’s start on the first floor with the living space.
The living and dining area is huge – once a first floor main reception room of a three storey townhouse it measures in at 6.20m x 4.88m into the bay (20’4″ by 16’0″ in old money) and although no longer working the fireplace and other period features such as the original sash windows are a really nice touch. I’m not a fan of UPVC I’m afraid. The sofa’s are from Halo, the dining table is Ikea and the Arco style floor lamp is Dwell (why pay a over a grand when this copy for £200.00 looks this good!) Everything else furniture wise has been acquired over the years from flea markets, eBay and in the case of my 1970’s G-Plan coffee table – stolen from my parents.
The top section of the staircase was widened during the apartment conversion and opens into the second floor hallway which is in an L-shape. This extra wide hallway (nearly 2m wide) has just enough width to squeeze a desk into without seeming cramped… The vaulted ceiling, Velux roof light and white walls also add to the illusion of space means that I’ve essentially been able to squeeze an additional room into home. As an office space it works brilliantly as the desk sits against the wall and if I look to my left I see my bedroom, to my right is the velum window… it feels like a massive room! My desk is probably my favourite item of furniture – it is a 1940’s original design – battered beyond belief but that means that I can relax because it doesn’t matter if I scratch it. I bought it off eBay after a night of Malbec fuelled bidding and probably paid more for it than I should have done but I love it so it’s ok.
The Kitchen and Bathroom are both nice light spaces, the colour scheme is the same in every room of the apartment… I choose two colours both from the Crown Period range – the finish is described as “Dead Flat Matt” and has that chalky powdery finish that looks so deep and lush whilst being considerably cheaper than the likes of Farrow & Ball. The main wall colour is “Aged White” which apparently re-creates the colour of lace from a vintage wedding gown(!) and I chose “Duck Egg” as an accent colour. I decided on one colour scheme throughout, a tactic that increases the feeling of space in smaller homes, it’s an idea that lauren discusses in more detail in her post Creating A Whole House Palette .
The bedroom has a beautiful semi circular window that dominates one of the walls and provides views toward the city. Bedside tables are created from a crate and old up-cylced drawer unit and the bedside lamp is an Adam Crohill original made from a glass jar purchased from TK MAXX home and some fairy lights from Cable & Cotton. You can find out how to make your own version here. I’m not sure what to do with the window… As you can see it has no curtains or blind – I really don’t want to loose that beautiful shape but it is somewhat inconvenient to have an East facing bedroom that has no way of blocking light. I have kinda got used to it now and Lizzie has taken to using a sleep mask when the morning sun is particularly strong but if anyone out there has any bright ideas (if you’ll excuse the pun) then please share!
On a whim I painted a monster on the other wall. His name is Martin.
There must be loads of other details worth mentioning but it’s so hard to see them all when it’s your own home… So if you spot anything you like or want more information on then please leave me a comment and i’ll do my best to answer you.
- Who: Adam & Lizzie
- What: 1930’s 1 Bed Duplex
- Where: Birmimgham
- Style: Contemporary with shabby and industrial flourishes
Up For Rent
So there it is – I suppose if you are talking themes then this living space is contemporary and modern, with occasional shabby chic and industrial flourishes. Crates are used throughout, we have up-cylcled mis-matched furniture and painted wooden floors. The tiled bathroom and kitchen with oak flooring and solid wood worktops add a touch of luxury and the huge open living space and large windows give a loft apartment feel. I love it and I call it home, but not for much longer as it happens. I am currently in the process of moving to Cheltenham with Lizzie (I assure you it wasn’t simply because of the lack of curtains in the bedroom!) and so an exciting new chapter begins, involving knocking down walls and general renovation fun. Watch this space for an introduction post to #TheCheltenhamhouse soon!
I am currently looking for tenants for my Birmingham apartment so if you know someone who might be interested, or if the pictures above have persuaded you to move to Birmingham then please do get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.