Welcome back to another episode of howirent! Today we are touring a flat share in London. This is the final episode for this year, but you’d better believe there’ll be a season 2 so stay tuned!
If this is your first time visiting, hello! Let me give you a quick run through . . .I’m Medina, a DIY Blogger and Author of Home Sweet Rented Home). I am absolutely crazy about interiors and decorating my rented home. For years, I have felt renters to be a group of people that were often over looked in the world of Interior Design, so this year I thought it about time I addressed that.
That’s where this series comes in! #HowiRent is a monthly home tour series I started that champions renters, who in spite of all the usual renting constraints, have managed to transform their homes into abodes of personality and style. Click here to see the previous guests in this series.
INTRODUCING THIS MONTHS GUEST . . .
Kristabel is writer and owner of the Blog, I Want You To Know, where she shares a wealth of information about fashion, travel and lifestyle. She also talks a lot about racial identity and her experiences as a Black British woman living in the UK.
Kristabel’s background is in Fashion Knitwear Design , and after interning in New York, as well as showcasing in Graduate Design Fashion week, built her portfolio to include blogging, public speaking, and content creation for brands (which she now does full time).
I love Kristabel’s boldness with pattern! Her Instagram feed is bursting with colour, and showcases a collection of beautifully put together fashion outfits, various travel experiences and interiors – follow here. Now over to Kristabel!
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO TOUR OF KRISTABEL’S FLAT SHARE.
Tell me a little about yourself? What do you do? Do you have any hobbies?
I feel like my job is my life! Basically I’ve been working full time as an online content creator for the past six years.
When I’m not on my phone, I’m usually at Zumba, barre or improv classes. I’ve also been known to frequent the Karaoke Hole in Dalston with my finest Holly Valance performance.
Where do you live?
I’ve been living in North London since June 2014, but I’m originally from South East London.
Who do you live with?
I live with my bestie Lucy, her boyfriend Stephen and a music manager called Ben.
Where did you live before?
After graduation, I lived at home for three years. It was an interesting time, especially after having my independence whilst living in Nottingham and New York (I interned there for 6 months).
What is your relationship with your landlord like?
I’ve met him a couple of times but most of our correspondence goes through an agency. He seems like a decent guy. When he inspected my room, he didn’t comment on the 10 frames I’d nailed to the wall, but at the fact I had a New York poster.
What first drew you to the idea of shared renting?
I needed my independence! I started looking at a couple of places South of the river, then Lucy mentioned that someone was moving out. The rent was reasonable, the room was a decent size and I’m so close to everything I need. It also helps that we split all the bills four ways.
Can you share any pros and cons of renting this way?
You can definitely have your patience tested at times. There are so many habits you may have grown up with, that seem alien to others. Case in point, a washing up bowl. I was elated when I got one for the house but no one else likes it.
Living in a flat share definitely tests your diplomacy skills. On the upside, I live with my best friend and we’ve become so much closer as a result. You know you’ve found a good ‘un when they help you undo your braids over Netflix.
Do you have any top tips for anyone looking for shared accommodation?
I’m probably not the best person to ask, as I looked at four different places before Lucy recommended this one to me. It looks like I’ll have to start researching tips soon though, as our landlord has just informed us that we’ll need to vacate in two months.
We had an inkling a while ago and whilst it’s sad, it’s very rare to live in the same place for such a long time. I just have to remember that I’ve been incredibly lucky to live somewhere affordable, that’s allowed me to figure out my business and learn so much about myself.
Do you get on with your housemates? Were there any ground rules when you first moved in?
Lucy feels like my right arm, whereas I’m not as close to the other two. There wasn’t much in place when I moved in, so I established a house kitty for buying things like loo roll, cleaning products and any improvements for the house.
If one person opens up the bank account, then you can get everyone to add the contact less cards to their phones, so that one person doesn’t have to buy everything.
Do you spend a lot of time in the communal spaces or do you mainly stay in your room?
It really does vary. I feel welcome in the communal spaces but the best thing about the house is that no one is on top of each other. My room overlooks the balcony, so I have beautiful views of East London.
How would you describe your decorating style? Do you have any favourite brands?
Eclectic! I’ve been fortunate to work with multiple brands over the years, so I’ve been able to experiment with different pieces of furniture as I’ve figured out my style. Before I’d just pick up random things from IKEA, but now things are a lot more considered.
I like Mid century furniture but I also like the whimsical pastel aesthetic of 2LGstudio. Currently there’s a bit of a clash of the two styles, peppered with independent brands and bits I’ve bought during my travels.
If you’re on a budget, then I’d recommend mixing larger High Street pieces with decorative items from smaller designers. I’ve popped pieces from Parys Gardener Art, Jacqueline Colley, Kaloolah Jay, Hello Marilu and Emily Marlin around the room.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Pinterest & Instagram! At the moment I’m saving images of co-working spaces, such as The Wing.
Name one home accessory you cant live without??
Cushions! Do you think I have enough?!
How do you feel about renting? do you ever see yourself buying a home one day?
Renting allows you the flexibility to figure out where you want to live and what you need in a home. It was the logical step for me back in 2014 and although I’d love to own somewhere, it’s going to be tricky for me as a single woman. I’m hopeful though and looking into things like shared ownership.
Would you decorate differently if you bought a home?
I don’t know how I’d react if I was actually able to paint a wall! There would probably be elements of what I have now, such as the gallery wall and pink furniture. It’d be nice to have rugs for reasons other than hiding the dodgy carpet too.
So what do you think of Kristabels’s flat share? Do you have any thoughts you’d like to add to the discussion of social housing? Leave a comment below. As always your support and shares are always appreciated. You can also share your rented homes on Instagram using #HowIRent.