When we moved to London back in February 2015, we were lucky enough to have corporate housing while we searched high and low to rent our own London flat. It took longer than we hopped to find the right space for us but we eventually did. We found the place that would be ours during our time abroad. A place we could make our home and find comfort in. It took time and patience to get this space where we wanted it to be. As much as you could do for what you knew was a rental and a temporary home—one we didn't want to pour lots of money into (that is for traveling right now). We never expected to leave this flat—as long as we were in London, this is where we would be.
In August while we were visiting back home in the States, in our last few days of the trip we got an email that stated we could no longer stay in our flat. Without diving into details, it's far too complicated and tiring to talk about, let's just say we got screwed over by a large estate agent. One of the last things we wanted to do while we were living abroad was to move flats. Besides not wanting to deal with the costs and burden of moving, it just didn't make sense for us since we don't plan to stay across the pond forever. The neighborhood of Angel has been our home now for about 18 months and had proven to be a great spot for us at this time in our lives.
It felt like as soon as we landed back in London near the end of August, okay—maybe even before that, we were glued to our computers trying to frantically find a new flat. We felt upset and were anxious to figure out where we would be spending (hopefully) the remainder of our London years. Anyone who has flat hunted in London knows how fast, crazy, and weird the market can be but after seeing some promising flats and having the initial shock wear off, our excitement finally took over. We started to be able to look on the bright side of this move even if it wasn't what we had originally planned to be doing. We saw this as our chance to live somewhere we could only dream of living before. Our chance to change neighborhoods and let ourselves search for flats in some of our favorite areas of London.
After a few weeks of flat searching and going to many viewings, a flat became available in Primrose Hill. It was some how in our budget and was the perfect fit for what we were looking for. We could not believe it. After luckily snagging the first viewing and putting our offer in, the flat was ours! We have had some weeks of waiting since then but are excited to finally be making our big move this coming weekend.
While we are excited to enter a new chapter of our expat life in London, it is also bittersweet. Our first flat wasn't necessarily a dream home (I'm not sure anyone dreams of living in a basement) but it was our home and we loved it. It gave us our space to relax as we found our footing in a new city. We brought items in to cozy it up—from a rug I bartered with a street vendor for to coffee table we trekked across London to find and to our souvenirs we have picked up from all of our travels. It also gave me my first ever separate office space to create and re-establish myself as a business here. This flat has so much sentimental meaning with it and it is going to be hard to say goodbye to.
Over our years here we have gone on trips and come home to this space. We have had some peaceful beautiful moments here and also some major major lows (don't ever ask me about the bathroom renovation—ha). I guess this is how you always feel leaving a place that you've spent any part of your life in though. I felt the a similar way leaving both of our Boston apartments. It didn't hit me really until last week when I posted some of our furniture to giveaway. Then I quickly realized soon this flat is going to be disassembled, filled with boxes, and then ultimately empty. I'm going to miss even the awful parts—like having to the climb out the window to leave when it was a hot humid day and our door was stuck shut. It's been quite the quirky flat.
This place has meant so much to us. We loved it for what is was. and for what we made it to be. And we will always remember it as our first London flat. It was a place that welcomed us at our first step inside and continued to throughout the years. But we feel fully ready to close this chapter—to close the red (some times sticky) door one last time—and to move onto the next. We are looking forward to making our new home, learning a different neighborhood, and settling in again. Cheers to London chapter two!
Rug from Camden Passage Market
Lamp from Ikea
Pouffes from Amazon
Coffee Table from New Vintage
Side table from Ikea
Sheepskin rug from Amazon
Small trunk from New Vintage
Guitar stand by Kinsman
Photo prints from Artifact Uprising