The good, the bad and the ugly walls house tour

Renting is like dating. You first have to flirt with the apartments’ friends, the realtors and landlord, convincing them that you are perfect for the apartment – that no one else will love it as much as you do. Now the apartment is like a potential mate. You inspect every inch of it before weighing up the positives and negatives to decide if you could in fact love it long-term knowing all its’ faults.

Before renting my current apartment here was my list:

Relationship deal breakers

  • Pale green walls throughout the living/dining/kitchen space
  • Emergency airplane lighting in bathroom
  • Pale yellow walls in bedroom
  • No dishwasher


  • Subway tiles throughout kitchen
  • One minute walk to the largest supermarket I have ever seen in London
  • Two minute walk to train station
  • Five minute cycle to Shoreditch markets
  • Communal barbecue area

In other words perfect location versus washing dishes and living with ugly walls. Chris was like the pushy best friend of the flat who kept promising me that it had an awesome personality- I just had to wait a while to see it myself.

So, with complete faith in his promise, we waged a two week war over painting the green walls with the realtors before giving in and signing the contract. (The realtor agreed we could paint them but the landlord did not. I’ll be honest – I almost walked away.)

Now that I have given you proper warning please feel free to tour my marsh green East London flat:

The Living Room

We inherited one not so white any more sofa and a black, glass TV stand from the 80s.

The Kitchen

The subway tiles that salvaged my relationship with the flat.


The awkward corner in our walk-in wardrobe that baffles my inner interior designer.


The walk-in wardrobe complete with faulty window.


Hello bedroom sconce’s- this is the 90s, come back!


Yellow lemon dream bedroom complete with timber ceilings.


Emergency lighting to help you find your nearest exit. We also inherited one dirty, old bathmat.

(Sorry- these are all phone photos as my camera was buried in a moving box somewhere!)

Since moving in I have discovered more odd quirks about the place. For example, our white sofa is not white any more nor will it ever be again, the hot water runs out after the third shower and every setting but one is a grill on the oven. Anyone tempted by char-grilled food is welcome here.

I am sure that there is a huge percentage of UK renters out there who have similar stories about their apartment and I would love to know what kind of things you have learned to love in your place.

A beach engagement shoot










Welcome to Wedding Wednesdays!

Symon and Catherine are one athletic and adventurous couple. They met through their passion for snowboarding at University and years later Symon proposed at sunset after the pair went on a bike ride in Chicago.

When it came to their engagement shoot they decided it was a natural fit to be photographed at the beach because, according to Catherine, “it is our version of the perfect day together”, and the location came complete with wetsuits, surfboards and their own natural wind machine.

Photographer Stephanie Swann knows how to capture a couples unique personality by observing their natural habits. From forehead kissers to hand-holders, she makes sure that you interact with one another like you would in private- no matter how harsh the weather conditions are on the day!

During  Catherine and Symons’ engagement shoot all three were battling against fierce winds, “Stephanie was literally being sand blasted straight in the face whilst she took the shots. There were other kiters on the beach actually wearing ski goggles. Stephanie was totally determined and we gave in to the elements before she did. We know that whatever the weather at our wedding we will get fabulous photos!”

(Now that’s a committed photographer I would recommend!)

Looking through this engagement shoot there is not one photo where Symon and Catherine look like they’re posing (or being slapped in the face with sand)- they are simply being their “oh so completely in-love, cannot believe we are getting married” selves. The black and white close-ups in wetsuits are particularly intimate- it’s like the couple were unaware Stephanie was even there.

I truly cannot decide which photograph I love the most and so in my head Symon and Catherine have printed and framed the whole album along one long hallway! (I’m so right, eh?)

Top Tip from Stephanie Swann about engagement shoots:

I don’t know about you but the idea of being photographed turns me into Chandler from Friends with the fake smile. I know I’m not the only one so I asked Stephanie for her top tips about how to get awkward people (like myself) to look as natural as Catherine.

“Firstly when possible, I try to have a coffee and chat before photographing a couple so we all go into the shoot feeling relaxed. Then during the shoot I am conscious of trying to keep my camera away from my face as much as possible, to seem less threatening. Chatting away between shots can be great for relieving any tension towards having photographs taken. I’m also naturally quite goofy and usually end up tripping up over a rabbit hole or similar, which usually makes the couple giggle. Sometimes I’m found clinging onto a tree or poised in a silly position for the best angle which can provide amusement too. I don’t try to pose my clients too much either and observe how they interact with each other e.g. are they hand holders or waist huggers and then build ideas from there reflecting their personalities. There’s always lots of fun and laughter on my shoots which I hope translates to my images.”

It’s clear from Stephanie’s portfolio that her method works because each couple she has photographed inspires me to think about who Chris and I are and how that could be captured in our own unique engagement shoot. Thanks for sharing- I look forward to the wedding photos!


The Lifestyle Directory

Welcome beautiful readers!

My name is Christiana. I am a London based lifestyle blogger who is always traveling. To say I love food is an understatement, I live for it.  This blog was first created as a place to share my original recipes and quickly developed into a life directory to guide people needing fashion inspiration, travel guides, restaurant reviews and a bit of life advice. 

 xox C

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