Apartment living

It’s been a busy week, but finally our Honeybee left for the USA on Friday for three months volunteering at a summer camp.  We’re hugely proud of her.  With three years of uni behind her, the dissertation marked and passed, she can now get on with doing what she does best, having fun! We’ve been enjoying the warm sunshine down south and have had many cycle rides along the beachfront but I haven’t done much in the way of finishing up the house project though.

A lot of my purchases I buy off eBay especially if I am looking for something special and I can’t get it locally and also because you can get lucky if you've got time to wait for the right thing to come up on auction.  However lately I’d had some really bad luck on items I’ve bought on eBay and it seems to take the edge of the excitement of winning something for a great price especially when it arrives damaged.  Even though the suppler replaces pieces, it’s just not the same.  So currently I am waiting for a glass piece to replace the broken sconce on a chandelier…I’m not very good with waiting…

Anyway a few days ago, a good friend and I were having a conversation about her newly renovated apartment and how to go about furnishing it.  For some this is an easy task but for most people it’s like having to build a computer but not having the slightest idea how to start or what components one needs to assemble it.

So let’s take a look and see what elements we need to look at in order to simply the process of furnishing it.

How will you use the space - Is this a holiday home or a permanent base?  And yes it does make a difference.  You need more space when it’s your permanent home, but you get to be more creative with a holiday home especially if you’re not renting it out.

Flooring plays a MAJOR factor in any space.  It can dictate how the space feels and can give or take away character from a room.  Does it have original wooden flooring, wall to wall carpeting or more modern ceramic tiles? What colour is the wood or the tiles, is it dark or light? You might need some rugs to cozy it up or create different zones.

Light - How much light do the windows allow into the rooms?  Are the windows small and pokey or floor to ceiling?

Wall colour - fortunately whatever the colour is in any room, this can be changed in an instant.   Paint is the easiest way to transform any room.  What colour you go for will depend on how you want the room to feel.  You can also go horribly wrong if you choose the wrong paint colour.  I’m so over seeing Magnolia everywhere…especially when there are so many exciting paint ranges on the market and a vast array of the most interesting colours we’ve ever had….so be creative, take a step outside of your comfort zone and try a new paint colour even if you only paint one wall!  Having said that, a white canvas can be just what the space needs.  It’s all about the mood you want to create.

Floor plan – open plan or traditional - the idea is that there is an even flow from one room to the next. This is more difficult to achieve with an open plan space where the kitchen, dining room and lounge all merge into one large space.  The elements that make up an open plan space need to TALK TO EACH OTHER.  You can mix pieces of furniture from different eras but you need to be careful what you’re mixing with what.  Eclectic interiors are not easy if you don’t know how to achieve the look.

Colour – don’t bring in too many colours – three to four colours at the very most.  Think about the colours you love.

Furniture – if you’re starting from scratch, this is literally a head scratching moment.  Think outside the box.  Try to stay away from everything matching.  For me it all boils down to how I want the space to feel.  Whether I’m decorating a bedroom or a dining room.  Mostly I visualise how it will look.  I make a list of what items I want to see in the room and then I start looking for them.  I never purchase everything from the same place.  This is a HUGE no no.  Putting together an interesting space takes time.  You can’t do it in a day.  It might take you a couple of months or longer.  You get the bones right, and then you start adding some cool art, a few great décor items, a couple of your favourite books, some cushions and throws etc…and suddenly it starts to take on character…your personality. This is when a space is successful, when it echoes the personality of the people who live in it.  When someone comes in and says ‘oh this is so you’…then you know you’ve done a great job. Oh and one last thing, don’t buy anything you don’t absolutely LOVE. 

Here are a few of my go to places for Art, décor items etc. 

  • Etsy.com
  • Ebay.com
  • All Posters.com
  • Rockett St George
  • Angelatmytable.com
  • CoxandCox.com
  • Abigail Ahern.com
  • Debenhams.com
  • Notonthehighstreet.com
  • TKMaxx
  • And don’t forget to trawl your local antique shops, charity shops and high street shops looking for one off pieces.

It's my birthday today and it's Father's day, so double cause for celebration.  We're off for lunch in the great British countryside.



  1. Very good and practical advice my dear!
    Have a wonderful Sunday :)
    Hugs !

    1. Thank you Kasia, hope you are enjoying the weather down where you are! Sharon xx

  2. Hi Sharon...we also live in a appartement.....love it....!!....have a nice sunday...love Ria...x !

    1. Thank you lovely Ria...I had a beautiful day with the family in the countryside. Sharon xx

  3. Hop your daughter will have a lovely time in the USA! Beautiful interiors!

    Happy week,

    Madelief x

    1. She's having an amazing time Madelief, she's sending us pictures all the time! Happy week for you too! Sharon xx

  4. Hi Sharon,
    Good luck to your daughter. I'm sure she will have a brilliant time. I love the adventures our children embark on.
    Great images - it always tickles me to see empty picture frames on a wall. Very effective.
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Liz x

    1. Thanks Liz, I am always amazed at her confidence and ability to communicate with anyone. Hope the sun shines where you are. Sharon x

  5. Hi Sharon,

    I wish your daughter have a great time here, even though where I live the weather still can get a little too cool for this time of the year.

    Very nice photos, but where is it?

    1. Hi Regina, I forgot to say the pics I took in Portsmouth on a little cycle last weekend. Sharon xx

  6. Hope Honeybee has a great time in America. My daughter finished Uni in Portsmouth last week and is now back home as she started a new job on Monday! I haven't come across some of those links so will look at them! Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah, I'm sure she will, she's sending us updates at the moment, but when the children arrive for summer camp I don't think she will have time. Congratulations on your daughter finishing uni, I'm sure she's glad to be home again and so fortunate to already have found a job! Sharon xx

  7. Wish your daughter all best things! Lovely photos Sharon !

    1. Thanks Olympia, the world is much smaller than it was when I was younger, she's having a great time! Sharon xx


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