We all have a different perception of what makes a ‘home’. Somewhere you can chill out, somewhere to socialise in or use to hibernate from the cold. Mine, as most of my friends say “is very me”.
Back in 2011, come Christmas, I decided to try and get onto the property ladder instead of paying someone else’s mortgage. As most of you know this is no easy feat, especially in London…but after a few months of investigation into first time buyer’s schemes I came across shared ownership.
Shared ownership, or equity sharing, allows a person to purchase a share in their home rather than buying it outright. It is not like renting; legally you own your home and are responsible for it, but a third party owns the share you don’t buy. It allows you to purchase with a small start up fee (i.e. if you buy 30% for £100k you would put down a 5% to 10% deposit on that share, coming to £5k-10k).
So after various viewings, advice from advisors (they do what it says on the tin) and swiftly emptying my purse, I found a flat and took up residency in South West London.
A few days after moving in I found myself staring at bare walls, itching to bring them to life. This is no surprise; interior design has been sewn into my genes by my parents from a young age. They have a modern style and unique personality that resonates from the walls of our family home. This, along with my creative designer’s eye, may be the reason I was literally running out the door to buy paint as soon as I could!
I have a very particular style: calming neutral colours with a hint of New York loft conversion and a dash of Shabby Chic. Grey, Mink and Mauve have descended on the walls of my flat, accented by a lick of turquoise here and there.
Along with splashing colour on the walls I was searching for ways to bring the place to life on a shoestring budget so I created wall art, customised furniture and even turned some old apple crates into a bookshelf. I’m a very organised person so jars and boxes have taken over, taming my excessive cooking and craft collections and keeping my OCD at ease. I also love black and white photography and have surrounded my space with comforting pictures of familiar faces in every room.
In all, a house is what you make of it. Obviously if I had bundles of dollar to play with (that reminds me, I must buy a lottery ticket) I would have done things slightly different, but I’m happy with the home I have created. It matches my personality…and that’s just the way I like it.
Words by – Natalie Jahangiry