Last weekend lovely Harry and I went off to Yorkshire to visit a couple of old college friends. Let’s call then Mark and Amanda since that’s what they tend to call themselves anyway. They live in a bright new flat in the middle of Leeds, which has got literally hundreds of new flats all around the city centre now. It’s a bit like Manchester in that respect, although not so spaced out somehow.
Image by Muffet
But the thing is, although their flat is really quite similar to ours and although it’s only a little bit bigger it felt so much more stylish than ours does. Amanda’s always had an eye for that sort of thing – she works in visual design in Marks and Spencer – so you just know that everything she touches will always look amazing.
But the way their flat looked SO chic was just out of this world. I couldn’t work out what the difference was for a while. I mean Amanda’s always had a knack for making her places somehow contemporary and co-ordinated, but this was a step up from anything I’d seen before. I mean, I don’t really do envy, but there was a hint of green in my eyes, I have to admit.
It turns out they were delighted at my reaction because they’d just spent the past month doing the place up and we were like the official opening ceremony. But the thing that got Harry all excited was the doors. I don’t know why – he is a bit mad sometimes – but he absolutely loved the doors. They’d got them online from this place http://www.todd-doors.co.uk/ and I have to admit they did set everything off really convincingly. Amanda’s phenomenal at bargain shopping too – what is it about people who work in retail?
They were oak with a really sharp horizontal panelling that made them look a bit like five slide out drawers. But because the doors looked so harp, everything around them kind of took on a more contemporary feel as well. I suppose if you can accessorize your outfit you can accessorize a flat too. A bit bigger than a pair of earrings maybe, but they certainly caught Harry’s eye.
He wouldn’t stop going on about doors all weekend, which inevitably lead to some really dreadful door-related attempts at humour. Honestly, he became quite unhinged at one point!
Amanda said the key to carrying off any sort of display is to ‘carry it through’. So if you’re going to do shabby chic, everything has to be shabby, and if you’re going to be streamlined and Scandinavian then leaving your slippers lying around isn’t going to cut it. It’s not rocket science, but who am I to argue? I work in IT!
She said her doors were the thing that struck the ‘key note’ for her flat – she is quite arty! She explained that what she meant was that once the fixtures were making a statement, it made keeping the rest of the furniture and stuff ‘on theme’ that much easier.
To be honest, I think Amanda could move into a skip and make it look good, but her doors certainly impressed Harry. And if Harry likes it, well that’s good enough for me… although I could do without all those awful puns.
Written by Laura Miller