My living space

Sunday, 9 March 2014

A little while ago, my best friend Ashley asked me to photograph my bedroom for her dissertation. Her thesis focused on print versus digital culture in the magazine sphere, and knowing I'm one for collecting everything in sight (including magazines) she asked me to show a little bit about myself, where I live and why I still buy print. These photographs are all taken in my flat in London, where I've lived since late August. I'm currently residing in what's actually our flat's living room! It's unfortunately through this room the kitchen is accessed, which was a bit worrying at first, but we've worked out a great system which has kept me incredibly happy so far. Luckily I also like having people about all the time so I'm really happy having my flatmates pop their head round the door when they go grab a drink, or chat through the partition when they're making food in the kitchen. It's also letting me live in a great part of the city for (comparatively) very little money.

To get around the privacy issue, we picked up two giant second hand IKEA Expedit units, which are about 1.9m square - taller than any of us! I used these to make 'walls' which separate my living space and make a little corridor through to the kitchen. A king size flat sheet trimmed and nailed to the back of each unit, and a little improvised curtain rail for a door, and my 'room' was built. It actually turned out very well, as the amount of storage the units provide means I didn't need to try and fit in a bookshelf or wardrobe either, just a small desk and a hanging rail for my dresses. The square shelves of the Expedit series are undeniably practical, and have adorned many living rooms and bedrooms over the years. Unfortunately IKEA recently announced that they are discontinuing the line, much to the dismay of everyone, especially record collectors - you can see in the bottom of the last picture how perfect a fit the shelves are for vinyl! (It's actually a good thing though, because the new Kallax line is effectively the same but uses less wood, which is better for the environment.)

I have a lot of stuff, I won't lie. A lot of people consider their university accommodation not as a home but a temporary stopping place. However I very much feel at home in London, particularly in this flat, living with some of the best people I could ask for - I consider this my home, rather than either of my parents' houses. My mum's house doesn't have a lot of room (the box room study, where I stay, is around the size of the average prison cell), and so pretty much everything I own is here with me. Books and magazines are what takes up most space, and my collection is fairly rapidly expanding. Amongst the tomes of my degree are some of my favourite novels: A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, The Stone Gods, Blindness, Slaughterhouse Five, The Bloody Chamber, Maus, House of Leaves, The Color Purple, and The Road, as well as many others! I've also got a ton of anthologies, classics, coffee table books, art books and a lot of magazines, zines and newspapers I've picked up along the way. These all deserve posts of their own, really. My magazine collection is proving a little difficult to get around now, simply because of its weight. I've got the last two years worth of Vogue, a few Elles, some independent publications and the occasional Art Review but the magazines I always pick up are Oh Comely, Love, AnOther, Garage and Hunger. All nice big magazines with high quality content - but they do add up to a fair amount!

Around my room I've also got a fair few cameras. My antique cameras are mostly at my mum's still, or in a bag in the corner (there's simply not enough room for them), but I've kept out three of my Lomography cameras (Fisheye 2, Diana Mini & Holga 3D) and a Brownie Twin 20 from the early 60's. I've also got some of my collected objects on the shelves now, some of which you can see in the pictures and all of which I'll be doing a master post about soon - there's some odd bits and pieces to see, such as my taxidermy duckling, old photographs, preserved beetles, a frog in a jar with three legs, tintype photographs and some old pottery, shells and strange books. The other unit holds all my clothes (colour co-ordinated, of course) and my favourite pairs of shoes (pretty much all black). 

My desk is my main workstation after my bed! I've got my rather underused sewing machine - it's waiting for summer projects once I graduate! - my laptop, my ever-useful whiteboard, my iPod dock, writing stuff and the usual stationary. I also have all of the print issues of CUB magazine that I've worked on and a lovely framed print given to me by a very kind man. The wall above my desk is usually covered in posters and postcards, another thing I seem to pick up hundreds of a year. My room is very 'me', and I'm going to be sad to leave my Expedit units in here when I swap rooms with Ainsley in a couple of months time. It will, however, be quite nice to have a proper door again!

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” 
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own 


  1. I love your room and all of the personal touches which make it yours. How long have you been there? It takes me ages to get somewhere feeling so homey.

    1. Thank you! I've been in this room for about five months now. I have such a lot of stuff that as soon as it's out and about, it tends to make a place look like 'mine' very quickly! Having odd bits and pieces always helps I find.

  2. Your room is so pretty! I really wish I was able to make my room so comfortable, but most times it's a terrible mess! I love the ikea shelves, maybe someday I'll commit to buying them! So glad to have such a glimpse into your room!!