Victoria's coastal-themed apartment

Everyone dreams of one day owning their perfect home, whether it’s a country cottage or a modern townhouse. We recently asked the nation which features and amenities they think are essential for their dream home and found that front and back gardens, a garage, an en-suite and at least three bedrooms are the most desired*. 

Keen to know more about the ‘Forever Homes’ of the nation, we asked four home and lifestyle influencers to open their doors to us and share their stories about how they have achieved their dream homes. Interior design guru Victoria, who runs Apartment Number 4 gives her top tips on how to create your dream home:

“Nestled away in a quiet village on the outskirts of the bustling city lies my perfect home. A two-bedroom apartment filled with natural light and two cats. After moving around the country, for university and dream jobs, living with nightmare flatmates, finding someone had used the last of my milk *again*, and returning home to my parents not once but twice after moving out, I’ve finally found ‘my space’. 

“Throughout the last five years since residing here, my interior style is almost unrecognisable from the day I moved in. Previously a fan of bold colours, clashing prints and vintage furniture, it couldn’t be any further from the bohemian-luxe décor I have now. 

“Drawing inspiration from coastal places such as Bondi Beach and California with light woods, linen, and pampas grass, the only thing missing in my apartment is the view of the sea. 

“As someone who works for themselves from home, I knew I needed a dedicated office space, so a year ago out went the spare bed and in came a desk big enough for ten. I wanted to design a room that was peaceful, inspiring and, of course, stylish enough for Instagram – I know I’m not the only one who takes the ‘gram into consideration when decorating.  

Apt No 4 2

“Living in an open plan apartment, I also knew I had to create zones within the living/kitchen/dining room. I did this by using a round dining table with statement chairs to slot into the corner perfectly (these velvet chairs were an eBay bargain would you believe) and adding artwork to the corner of the room to define the area properly. Can you tell I’m partial to a little blush pink?  

“As an interior designer by day, and interior design blogger by night, I’ve picked up many tips and snippets of advice throughout the years when it comes to creating your dream forever home, so it was perfect timing when The Nottingham reached out to talk about their new Forever Home quiz. Here are three tips on how you can create your dream home, prepped and ready for years of memories to come. 

Take your time 
“When it comes to decorating your forever home, the key is to take your time. Speaking from experience, you don’t have to fill the space immediately. I learnt the expensive way. Live in the space a while and see how you move around and what you use each room for. Yes, you’re obviously going to use the living room to watch TV and relax, but by living in the space for a moment, you’re able to understand the flow and how furniture might be placed. Just don’t make the mistake of buying a premium-priced armchair and not having anywhere to put it like…my friend…did. 

Apt No 4 1

Incorporate your personality into every room
“The beauty of designing your forever home is having space to display your treasures and collectables picked up throughout the years. Add splashes of your personality throughout each room by framing family pictures, artwork from your children, and displaying your accomplishments. My office, for example, is where I’ll frame any newspaper cuttings or magazine features I might have been lucky enough to be in. OK, there’s a chance I’ve created more of a shrine to myself, but you get the idea.

Invest your money wisely
“Spending money on dressing your forever home can be a minefield – what do you invest in and what do you pick up as a for-now piece? There are two things to invest in. Your mattress and your sofa. When comfort is concerned you shouldn’t compromise and as these are your biggest ticket items, they need a decent life-span – hence why you should spend a little more than usual. If you’re struggling to know where to start when it comes to buying a sofa, I actually created a comprehensive guide to purchasing your first couch for your new home over on Apartment Number 4, which covers everything from measuring correctly to fabric consideration to styling the final piece.

“In terms of spending money elsewhere, consider whether something is a fleeting trend or whether you really love it. Cushions, artwork, bedding, artificial flowers and decorative items are all home additions that can be swapped out each season so don’t invest too much money unless it’s a blush pink velvet cushion that is. That’s an investment after all.

“The biggest takeaway for creating your dream home really is to not rush the process. Take your time, choose wisely and understand that your style will develop over time. Enjoy making those decisions and learning more about your own personal interior style.”

Everyone dreams of owning their perfect home, whether it’s a country cottage or a modern townhouse. Take our quiz to find out your Forever Home style.

To read the other blogs in our Forever Home series, visit: 

Jade Lisa Home
Our Church Cottage
Boo and Maddie

*Research of 2,000 UK adults undertaken between 20th - 26th 2019 March by 4media on behalf of The Nottingham.

Interior Blogger Apartment Number 4 Living Room

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