I bought it back in 1986 when I was 21, for an amount that sounds laughable now.. [20,500 pounds] and I lived there for two years...
It was TINY, but it was my first home and I LOVED it... So I thought I would tell you about it.
It's interesting from a design point of view because I wasn't sure whether my personal style had changed all that much in 20 years... so I went and dug out some old photos... and this is what I found.
First here's a link to the outside using Google Earth.. to show you what the building looks like.
Hope it works here goes... 76 Rowlands Road ..
Ignore the 'posies' shop link on the left of the photo.. and it's not 110 either which is the designation given to it by Google Earth.. it's # 76 Rowlands Road.. the left half of the big white Edwardian semi, in the centre of the photo, and I had the flat at the rear of the first floor. That's the second floor to the North Americans reading this... since you guys call the first floor what us Brits call the ground floor. One up from the ground anyway.
It was converted into flats in 1982/3 after a fire destroyed the inside of the building..
In a curious coincidence, I was dating one of the firemen who put out that blaze. I even went down to watch for a while.. since fires that big were news in my town back in the day. Three years later I bought one of the flats.. spooky huh ?
Ok.. I'm prattling..
I'm no artist so I apologise for the scruffy.. but it will give you some idea of how small it was. About the same size as a brand new Vancouver condo actually ;o)
The room itself was 17ft by 17ft, with a kitchen about 6ft by 8ft carved out of one corner.
The bathroom off the hall was about the same size as the kitchen and the hall was about 3 by 5.
Here's a bit of free advice.. don't buy a converted flat anywhere other than the TOP floor... especially if the single girl living upstairs has a squeeky bedframe.. nuff said.
I'll start with the photo of the bathroom because it was the first thing you saw when you opened the front door.
YES !! the sanitary ware IS orange. It was a colour called Sun King, which apparently was very popular with
The wall tiling ISN'T tiling either. In the UK we call it 'tiling on a roll', and basically its just a plasticised wallpaper.. although to be fair the area round the bath where I had a shower put in did have proper tiles.
I WAS responsible for the curtain unfortunately.. which if I remember correctly was made from a tablecloth cut in half then frayed round the edges on to make it 'country', The tie backs are just satin ribbon... you have to laugh don't you... arh ! the 1980's how I miss them.
Oh and you can't see it in this pic, but there was carpet on the floor... I know how that freaks you North Americans out.. ;o)
Next we're in the main room itself.
This sofa backed onto the bathroom wall, and this must have been quite early because later I got a slip cover for it. Both came from a Habitat superstore on the Purley Way I remember, which was the first one of it's kind.. Habitat's response to the first UK IKEA opening at Wembley.
The weeping fig on the right behind the sofa is Bernard. He stayed with me until I moved to Canada in 2002, 15 years after this was taken. I mention it because when I show you the photos of the place I bought next, you will see Bernard again.
I think it's seems I had a more girlie/frilly style when I was younger.. but you have to bear in mind that I had no money, so there are a lot of bits and pieces.
For the entire time I lived here I only have a portable B&W telly... and the TV stand was a painted cardboard box stuffed with newspaper to give it strength.
Next is a turn through 90 degrees.. so this is the west facing wall. You can just see Bernard in the corner.
Interestingly this shows a collage of art and to this day I still like art displayed this way. Back then it helped to give to weight to what was basically just a collection of clip frames with greetings cards and magazine covers in them. I still have most of these.
The curtains were M&S and a soft peach colour.. very fashionable at the time, and matched my duvet cover as I recall.
|Just another view to show the wardrobe in relation to the couch.|
The huge pine wardrobe was one of the first pieces of 'good' furniture I ever bought.. Made of old church pews, the top was hanging and the base had a huge drawer in it. Fabulous storage. Unfortunately when I moved my next flat had built in wardrobes so I had to sell it.. shame.
Opposite the wardrobe these two pieces are the only furniture I still have from those early days.
The wicker and bamboo cupboard my mum and dad bought at auction for my sister.. and I aquired it later.[ It's on the upstairs landing you can see it here. ]
The pine chest of drawers is my all time favourite purchase. It's circa 1860 and came from a rather nice antique shop in Chichester. These days its doubles as my bedside table, and if I had to pick one thing in the whole house to save from a fire.. apart from people and animals of course, this would be it.
I kept my hairdryer on the floor in front of that mirror, and that's where I used to get ready in the morning because the light in the bathroom wasn't good enough.
And yes.. I know that little print on the wall is too high. !
I can't understand why I never did anything about those horrid brown flat panel doors and cheap & nasty handles.. couldn't live with them now..
You can just about make it out under my gym bag and aerobics gear.. Yes I did aerobics.. everyone did in the 80's.
You can see the kitchen door on the left and the door on the right opens into a big storage cupboard.. usual home of the gym bag.
So what has changed..?
The overwhelming and ubiquiteous peach was an 80's thing.. I liked it then, but of course I wouldn't have it now. The fussy bits and pieces, the frilly curtains and the twee lighting would no longer find a home at my house.
No more red kitchens or orange bathrooms either.. but again that was partly affordability, and partly fashion.
My taste is MUCH cleaner and more linear now, but also much richer I think.
I will concede though that I still like STUFF... and I will never be accused of being a minimalist.
One thing that hasn't changed though is that I like interiors that are warm and welcoming.. whatever the style or colour scheme. This little flat was certainly that.. and visiting bodies were regularly found strewn about the place in the mornings.. and NO not just male ones.!! ;o)