Well hello there!
I’m Kate, a lifelong Londoner who recently relocated North to Manchester – you can find out a little more about me here if you wish. You’ve joined me on a very exciting day (for me at least), as I’m revealing the very first photographs from my new home in Salford Quays, which I moved into three short months ago.
It’s taken a while to get everything sorted, and truth be told it’s not completely finished (because when is a home ever finished really?) but things have really begun to take shape and the place is certainly feeling very much like home to me now! I chose my new flat initially for it’s blank canvas appeal; all bright white walls, warm wooden floorboards and minimal architectural adornment which meant I’d be free to stamp my own personality on the space as much as possible.
The majority of rental flats in my block come pre-furnished (you know, all glass and chrome and hideous) so I was adamant I wanted to find one unfurnished and struck gold finding this space. I’m luckily on the right side of the building to take advantage of the sunshine streaming through the window in the late afternoon/early evening as the sun sets behind the Quays, and as soon as I realised this knew I had to take full advantage of the glorious summer sunlight by embracing the relaxed bohomian vibe I became obsessed with whilst staying at Casa Cook last summer, but never had the opportunity to make work in my home before.
It was definitely time to invest in some beautiful new textiles and —of course— that lust worthy rattan cabinet from IKEA!
When I first moved in the only pieces of furniture I had with me were my trusty Habitat sofa**, a couple of side chairs and my Knoll coffee table**. For weeks my living room was a jumble of boxes, so I knew that finding the right storage solutions was a priority. Regular readers will remember me extolling the virtues of Tylko custom flat pack shelving** in a recent post and I’m so happy with the units I designed using their online software!
I opted for the white finish on the birch plywood shelving to help keep the space light and airy, and knew I wanted to keep the majority of propping to carefully considered vignettes, each of which is highlighted beautifully by Tylko’s clever unit configurations.
I created three separate units for my living space. The first was a low level unit to house my television, X Files DVD collection and a few magazines that are far too beautiful to be filed away in boxes. Then I created a mid-height unit, which I’ve stocked with a few choice bottles of alcohol, photographs from my travels, and a stockpile of blankets to layer on the sofa once the warmer months are through. The top shelf is also the perfect height to display my Manchester print** from Mapiful and decorative arrow from Bend Goods – the perfect boho accent for the space, don’t you think?
The final unit is the tallest and sits behind my sofa in the area I’ve mentally zoned off as my office. Sitting alongside my desk, the lower shelves of this unit house my filing, reference books and printer, while the higher shelves are propped more thoughtfully with a few of my favourite books with the prettiest spines, decorative knick knacks and a splash of greenery.
The lovely folks at Tylko are offering all Fabric of my Life readers €75 off any order over €500 using the code: ‘fabricofmylife’, valid until 01/07/17.
Scandi boho accents
What I love about a Scandi boho aesthetic is the fact it offers a pleasing blend between my desire to be a minimalist, and my natural tendency to surround myself with beautiful things.
The pure white walls of my home provide the perfect backdrop to carefully layer considered tactile textures and sentimental trinkets against without having the look become too cluttered. To help keep the look coherent I used my navy sofa as a starting point and made sure all the tones I added in were soft and dusky —lots of pale pinks, greens and greys— to ensure a restrained colour palette that would remain pleasing and calming to the eye.
Since my sofa was a sea of navy blue I wanted to break up the colour block slightly by draping this gorgeous Berber throw** from Holly’s House across the back, which works wonderfully well as the tassels on the ends hang down the exposed back of the sofa. I then added a couple of super affordable cushions from the new IKEA STOCKHOLM 2017 collection, creating harmony between the navy sofa and creamy throw with their casual watercolour print in graduated blue tones. My sofa adornment is completed with an IKEA LUDDE sheepskin spread on the seat (a must for achieiving the Scandi-boho look!) and the addition of the beautiful pink Paris cushion** by one of my faves, Nina Kullberg, to soften the overall feel.
My Knoll coffee table** was looking a little stark against the white shelving and monochrome design of my Asko rug** from Woven, so on impulse I decided to try the giant STOCKHOLM 2017 tray I’d picked up in IKEA on top of it – and it fit perfectly! I love the extra dimension and boho vibe it adds to the table, plus my favourite oversized magazines (Holiday, Luncheon) fit beautifully inside.
The latest addition to the space is the white Moroccan pouffe** from India May Home, which I’d had my eye on for ages and fills the space between my low coffee table and taller side table wonderfully. When topped with a decorative silver tray** it doubles as an extra surface to lay down a book or cluster a group of candles, whilst serving as an additional seating option when guests come round.
I knew I wanted to use artwork as an effective but affordable way to bring a sense of summer escapism into the space, and that these pieces should propped up casually against the wall, as opposed to hung.
I’ve paired a monochrome Palm Trees print** with the soft, dreamy style of Tove Frank’s Feathers** atop the rattan cabinet, and have One Fine Day’s quirky Eye Eye print** propped up in the corner of my office area, under the window. This is still a space that needs a little work —a rug, a plant in the seagrass basket and a few sprigs of pampa grass in the Ian Snow vase from Wayfair**— but I’m hoping it’ll become a little corner I can retreat to for a moment of calm during the working day, looking out onto the treetops and the buildings of the Quays beyond.
The other thing I knew my living space had to have was an abundance of greenery. Because its a space I not only relax in but also where I spend the majority of the day working as well, I felt now was the time to really bite the bullet and fully embrace the urban jungle trend that has been gathering momentum the past few years.
The biophilic design philosophy championed by interior designer Oliver Heath at a recent event I attended has really struck a chord with me, and I’m hoping that by surrounding my working and living space with an array of succulents, cacti and other houseplants I’ll see a positive impact on my productivity, creativity and overall sense of wellbeing.
I’m definitely not naturally green-fingered so am taking it a few small steps at a time, but am so happy with the plants I’ve brought into my home so far.
I’m lucky to have many wonderful places selling plants locally to me in Manchester and have picked up plant babies from Object, Form and Flourish in recent weeks. I’ve also added a couple of artificial sprigs from Rose & Grey and brought in an extra shot of botanical goodness in the Howea Forsteriana print** from Ross & Brown, which hopefully detracts attention away from the horrible monstrosity of a wall heater below it..
GET THE LOOK.
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I do hope you’ve enjoyed having a nosy around my new living space and getting to know me a little!
I’ll be sharing a peek into my new bedroom shortly, but in the meantime if you’re interested you can check out some of my new home inspirations in my series of Fab Flat posts.
Next up on the BlogHop is Making Spaces, so please do head on over and give lovely Karen some love.. ♥
A number of items in this post have been gifted and are denoted by a double asterisk(**). This post is a part of the #UKHomeBlogHop featuring 27 UK interiors bloggers.
All photography © Kate Baxter.