I’m back this month with another ‘In The Kitchen with’ post. I’m in the long process of saving up to purchase my first home and in the interim, I thought it’d be amazing to pad out my currently lacklustre interiors category with a slice of inspiration from my favourite ladies. You can read previous editions here:
- In the Kitchen With: A Story of a Girl
- In the Kitchen With: The Dream Team’s Northern Ireland Getaway
Today, Ghenet opens her doors to her beautiful abode in Crystal Palace, London. The blogger behind Ghenet Actually has fast become one of my closest blogging friends since we met at Kristabel’s You Can Sit With Us event over two years ago.
Ghenet and I hang out constantly, drinking coffee and eating cake around London and I’ve been dying to meet her adorable one-eyed cat, Rex. As Harvey and I are house-sitting for them in late summer, it was the perfect time to spend a cosy Sunday hanging out at hers. Let’s peek inside her kitchen…
Thanks for inviting the Daisybutter clan and I in to your lovely home today Ghenet! Can you share a little about your flat and how you got to where you are today with us?
“Gosh, where to start… We’ve been in this flat for a little over 4 years! It’s definitely been a process because we stripped it back and realized there was some structural stuff that needed fixing. The cement was crumbling and some of the walls needed re-plastering. So for the first two years we just had a cement floor. There have been periods of lots of fixing things and buying things, but then periods of not doing anything. It can be expensive! Especially as we had those structural things to sort out. It’s taken some time but I’m so happy with where we are now with the flat. People always say it’s really welcoming and that makes me so happy! We’ve still got some things to finish but we’re nearly there.”
Tell us about your favourite part of your home. Why do you love it so much?
“At the moment, it’s the lounge. It’s the place we spend the most time together! I wanted to make a space that felt calm but also bright, and it’s kind of the perfect combination of that.”
What is your favourite piece of furniture/décor in your house and why?
“Well, I love our sofa, for sure, but there was a bit of drama there so I’m happy it’s all finished… But I think my favorite thing is our apple crate bookshelf! It’s the first thing I made for the flat and it felt so good to work on a project to make our place feel a bit more homey!”
I LOVE how you upcycled your coffee table recently. What are your key inspirations when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home?
“Well, the people who lived here before had painted all the walls these dark orange shades and I just felt so grim looking at them. So from the beginning, I said, let’s aim for light and airy. We aimed for light colors for the base and then lots of color elsewhere. We don’t get a huge amount of light, for example, in the lounge, and it makes a big difference. When I painted the coffee table, it was upcycling to better fit in with what vibe we were going for… Once we’d got the new couch, the wood of the table didn’t look great so I thought, what can I do? Oh I’ll paint it! Also, lots of inspiration from Pinterest and just looking at how some people style their own little corners!”
How do you strike a balance between having a functional space to live in as well as an aesthetically pleasing space?
“It takes a bit of practice, for sure. We’ve moved things around when we’ve gotten new pieces, and it probably helps that we lived in the space before we really started furnishing it. I knew for example, that a couch was something to invest in and that because space is limited we didn’t want to get anything too bulky. Our bed frame is very bulky but it was given to us (it’s my next big thing to replace) and having to live with that helped me work out what I wanted and what I didn’t want.”
What is your top tip for elevating a space and putting your own stamp on it?
“Gosh! I’d say it’s the little details that elevate a space. So we’ve got a blanket ladder in the lounge, and I thought, oh, I’ll wrap some fairy lights around it. Now I just need to turn the lights on and the space is instantly calm and relaxing. It’s those little elements that elevate and add personality!”
I can’t get enough of how you transform your living room into a cinema room. It’s such a unique yet inherently functional feature! How did you go about it?
“Well, it helps that we have a projector! I think it came from one of us being ill and wanting to watch a movie, and I think it just came from that!! So we move the coffee table out of the way and throw all of our duvets and pillows on the floor. It’s kind of a fun and silly thing we do, to make watching a movie a bit more special! Sometimes we get a takeaway or I’ll make pizza and it’s really fun!”
What are three words that describe your personal interior style and ethos?
“Hygge. Welcoming. Content.”
What are your favourite recipe books at the moment?
“I’m really loving the roasting tin cookbooks because they’re easy and full of flavor. I’m not always the most confident cook, but these recipes are so easy!! I also look at food blog recipes too, which are fun to experiment with!”
Lastly, it’s time to get cooking! What is the signature Ghenet dish that you’ll be sharing with my readers?
“One of my favorite meals to make when friends come for dinner is Jamie Oliver’s Black Daal. It looks complicated but it’s fairly easy, it makes enough to feed four people and have leftovers and because it slow cooks in the oven you get the work out of the way early on. I got up this morning, cooked for half an hour and then it went in the oven for six hours, leaving me free to tidy up and actually socialise with my friends and not be stuck in the kitchen. Plus it has so much flavor and works for most diets (I use coconut milk so it’s vegan) so it’s always a crowd pleaser!”
Harvey and I had such a great time hanging out with Ghenet and Phil. What is your favourite element from Ghenet’s beautiful home? And how delicious does the daal and homemade naan look?!