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How We Live Now / Harry + India

Century General Store

When Future Us look back over this period, I think we'll remember a few things clearly: the surreal, Black Mirror-esque nature of the pandemic's sudden impact on our lives; the way it's opened up space for seismic shifts in behaviour and perspective; and home... so many, many days at home.
A few weeks ago, we asked our followers on Instagram if they'd like to take part in a new series exploring how our idea of "home" has changed during lockdown, and how we've all adapted our living spaces to meet new demands. We're so delighted to share the first in the series of 'How We Live Now'. India and Harry's Edinburgh tenement flat (just down the road from our store) is the perfect home tour for the Summer Solstice, sunny and uplifting. Thanks so much for sharing your words and photos, Harry and India! We hope you all enjoy this peek into their lives as much as we did.
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Can you tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and where do you live? 

We’re Harry and India - we both love photography, coffee and playing about with our home! We live in the Abbeyhill neighbourhood of Edinburgh which we love. We bought our first home here just over a year ago and now share it with our latest addition, Lily the Russian Blue kitten who we got in January. 

When we bought the flat it had been neglected for years. It was livable but there was lots we wanted to change. The boiler broke after 2 months which kick started some big works including brand new plumbing and electrics, ripping out the old 80s kitchen, installing the new kitchen which we did with the help of Harry’s dad, knocking out an 80s stud wall which closed off the kitchen, restoring floorboards that had been hidden away for years and painting the whole place. It was hard work and we were without a kitchen and hot water for going on 4 months but we’ve now got a space we absolutely love!

 

How would you sum up your home in 5 words?

In 5 words we’d say our home was… eclectic, cosy, mid-century, maximalist, us.

 

On a perfect day, how would you like your home to feel?

We both want our space to feel cosy and cocooning, somewhere we can relax and unwind. Traditional Edinburgh tenements like ours can sometimes feel cold and empty with their high-ceilings and floorboards, so we try and add in lots of textures, fabrics, plants and foliage to help it feel like a warming, cosy space.

What does the idea of home mean to you?

For us, home is where we feel safe, relaxed and happy. It’s somewhere that feels distinctly ours and unique to us. That’s one thing we’ve loved about doing up our property - it’s given us a real chance to make our space reflect us and our personalities - even if that has meant tearing down walls and kitchens  with our bare hands and many long nights painting!

 

How have you had to adapt corners of your home, or your whole home, during lockdown? Has anywhere or anything taken on new significance?

Living in a small 1 bed flat means we don’t exactly have tons of space to spare, so when lockdown was enforced we had to adapt the flat to allow us to both work from home effectively. We have an open plan kitchen, dining, living room and had to rework the dining area to become our new office space. 

Another thing that changed was the bathroom - more time around the house finally gave us the push to give the bathroom a much needed makeover. After a lick of paint, new grout, new mirrors, a new shelf and lots of new plant babies the bathroom’s a much nicer space we can finally enjoy being in!

 

What are your tried and tested methods for ‘blowing away the cobwebs’ when you arrive home after a challenging day?

For me (Harry), the best way to relax after a hard day at work is to come home, prepare the evening meal and enjoy being in the kitchen. Before making the space open plan, we had a super narrow kitchen with no windows. It’s made the world of difference and means I can enjoy doing what I love most, cooking, in a beautiful space whilst enjoying the view. 

For India, cosying up in our window seat and enjoying the view is the best way to de-stress. The view is one of our favourite things about the flat and never fails to make me feel relaxed and restored.

 

Has your idea of neighbourhood changed during lockdown?

We’ve found that the great thing about lockdown is that it’s really strengthened our sense of neighbourhood. We’ve tried really hard to support our small, local businesses in Abbeyhill as the importance of shopping small and supporting local has become more apparent than ever.

 

Has your idea of community changed during lockdown?

It’s been really nice getting to know more of our neighbours since lockdown. I guess that’s a silver lining of the whole situation - we’ve been introduced to neighbours in our building and on our road we’ve never even seen! We’ve witnessed a really great, hope-inspiring community spirit over the past few weeks. 

 

What are your favourite wellbeing habits? What makes you feel happy in your space?

We find that our view really helps us feel happy in our space - it’s so relaxing and often feels like we’re not in a city but in a small town looking out to the hills! One of our favourite things to do on a Sunday morning is sit in bed, enjoy a coffee, put the radio on and enjoy the view. 

In the winter we also love putting the fire on, cosying up on the sofa with lots of blankets, having something yummy cooking away in the kitchen and just enjoy being in our own space.

 

Where can we see more of your home? 

We document our home over on our Instagram page @cat.andhouse and our wanderings around Edinburgh on @edinburgh.highlights 

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// Thank you so much, Harry & India, your home just makes us smile. We're looking to feature all kinds of lived-in homes inhabited by people from all walks of life, wherever you are. We want this blog to be a place for community and conversation. If you'd like to be featured, just drop us an email at: shop@centurygeneralstore.com.

Happy Summer Solstice, all. Here's to hope, growth and the brighter times that feel just on the horizon.