This is my kitchen and dining room in London. Finally, six months after moving in, it looks how I always wanted it. Which is a Very Good Thing, because I am hosting the wonderful people at Gü Puds, their chef Fred Ponnavoy and eight guests for a five course chocolate-themed dinner in that very kitchen & dining room next week.
But I wouldn’t be anywhere near this point if it wasn’t for the organisational genius, clear mind, aesthetic sensibility and systematic approach of Vicky Silverthorn, whose decluttering & organising company You Need a Vicky, whisked into my home in the week after I moved in, turning this:
A living space in which I could actually operate. Quite simply, if You Need a Vicky hadn’t got in touch with me on Twitter to suggest helping me unpack and settle in, I’d still be living out of boxes six months later… and it wasn’t just straight unpacking: it was efficient, sensible, intelligent unpacking that meant I could just step back into my life as if I had never moved house.
I love her.
(And it’s not just me: Lily Allen does too, Vicky used to be her PA Extraordinaire.)
And now that my landlady has finally removed all her bits & pieces, my apartment now looks like the space Vicky envisaged for me. Vicky’s genius isn’t just organisation, it’s her air of unflappable calm. I was unable to unpack into my new home before leaving on a trip because my moving company (SimplyRemovals — simply don’t in my case) were nearly five hours late (& didn’t tell me) starting, but she looked at the horror I was left with (photos here) and just got stuck in. She truly is a miracle worker.
I am going to run a series of posts showing how I’ve arranged & decorated each room, but I thought I would start with the kitchen, as for me that’s the most important room in my home. Vicky had all sorts of clever ideas, but I am most grateful for her clever suggestion with the vintage metal kitchen trolley I had bought for my old flat on eBay.
I’m quite good at picking furniture, finding clever bargains and hunting down lovely stuff for my home, but I have no ability at all in designing a room, or seeing how things fit together. Fortunately, that’s another of Vicky’s many skills.
I was going to get rid of the trolley, as I couldn’t see where it would go in this new kitchen. But when I came back to the flat after leaving Vicky in charge of the unpacking and sorting of my what seemed like hundreds of boxes and bags for a few days, she pointed out that my crockery wouldn’t fit in the narrow kitchen cupboards, & that she was going to pile it all up on the trolley, with my Magimix and stockpots below, to make it a feature of the kitchen.
Because I have matching sets of everything, she was right: it all looks great. And most importantly, it’s perfect for someone who cooks as much as I do to have all my most used crockery right at hand, instead of having to fish about in cupboards.
And what you can’t see was her other clever suggestion. I’m sure I’m not the only person who has amassed boxes of cupcake wrappers, icing tools, pastry cutters & goodness-knows-what and so Vicky scooped it all my cake decorating & baking supplies into one of the many rectangular wicker baskets I had kicking about, and slid it neatly under the trolley, thereby freeing up more drawer space.
Thank you Vicky for the help — words really can’t express my gratitude!