Ten years ago this month, I took my very first trip to London, the city that would soon capture my heart. I was living in France at the time with an ex-boyfriend, and we decided to venture across the Channel to celebrate my 20th birthday. I had never been to England before and was supremely excited to discover the joys of London culture and the insanity of January sale shopping. My memories of the trip are a bit blurry — having a blog back then to document things would have been handy — but one of the highlights of the weekend was staying with a friend of my sister’s in his enormous, beautifully decorated Hampstead flat. The stunning space didn’t actually belong to Ian; he was doing some long-term house-sitting for wealthy friends, and I was lucky enough to benefit from his connections. A decade later, there are two things I still remember vividly about the flat: 1) How bone-chillingly cold it was in our room every night (hello, wonky British heating), and 2) The owners’ bold use of colour throughout. All the rooms were painted a different jewel tone, from sexy scarlet to regal purple. The effect this created was rather magical, and went a long way toward chasing away the January greys. As if that weren’t inspiring enough, Ian had also added a special touch of his own by placing small bunches of tulips in each room, matching the colour of the flowers to the paint on the walls. It was simple, sweet and breathtakingly lovely; I’ve had a soft spot for winter tulips ever since. Hubs bought me my first bouquet of the year on Sunday, and it’s made me so happy to watch the buds open and blossom, filling our living room with vibrant colour and the promise of spring.
Photo via Drew Gardner