So, I've done it. I've made the move to Melbourne! But all this packaging and digging out coats and scarves has made me reminisce of days in London. I have never missed her more than I do right now, so I thought it fitting to post about the perfect place I used to live in East London - a safe oasis of lush living called 'Bow Quarter'.
My boyfriend and I couldn't believe our luck when a good friend invited us to rent his small but amazing flat after he flew away to Australia. Bow quarter used to be a match factory before it got converted into seven hundred and something flats. When taking us on the tour of the historic gated community, he had barley made it past the duck pond and into the mini grocery store before I decided that I wanted to live there. So you can imagine my excitement when I laid my eyes on the stunning high ceilings and huge window in the original exposed brick wall.
Sure it was small. The bedroom looked over the living area (mezzanine style) with the open plan kitchen below and the small bathroom behind it. But it's not the size that matters, its what you DO with it that counts! ;) And with a bar and gym in our very own building (yes they cancel each other out) I felt like our home extended far beyond our little front door.
I tried my best to work with the furniture that was already there which included a brown corner couch, glass coffee table and some light pine tables and desks. Lots of natural colours, soft textures and plants helped me make the place feel cosy and homely. We got a really affordable shaggy rug from Argos which really helped, and a floral quilt my mum painstakingly made just for me was one of the final touches.
The kitchen had a lot of stainless steel industrial looking appliances which I really liked so I put them on display. Everything had to have a place because of our lack of space, but we quickly got used to this and attempted to keep everything tidy, cause as soon as you mess one area up, the whole space is affected because it's practically one big room.
There was nothing nicer than coming home to Bow Quarter, having a key to big iron gates that let me through castle-like brick walls, walking past the pretty manicured gardens, collecting parcels from the post room next to the iconic red telephone box and saying hello to all of the resident's pet cats that wander the grounds. As a freelancer who works from home, having a constant supply of affectionate kitties to play with just outside my building was invaluable!
In the spring time the trees bloomed with white flowers. Autumn brought stunning red and orange leaves that would fall leaving gorgeous red cherry-like bunches on the branches. Even in the depths of seemingly never-ending winters, Bow Quarter made it okay. The heated pool and spa was there if we could ever be bothered to use it, and we often didn't even need to use our heating as the flats either side of us gave our flat a big warm hug. London snow became less of a pain and more of a treat, turning Bow Quarter into a winter wonderland.
Okay well I have successfully made my self even more homesick for London now, which doesn't help when I've just had to say goodbye to awesome Brisbane friends. Now on a mission to find a cool place to live in Melbourne, I regret being spoilt by beautiful Bow, as I doubt that anywhere could hold a candle to 327 Manhattan Building, Bow Quarter.