© Vincent Poole – London Diva
The best part about London is being there. The worst? Leaving. So why not transform your living room into a tasteful and homely reminder of the city that’s stolen our hearts. Below are our top five ways of making sure you always come home to London.
Build a library
No true Londonphile’s bookcase is complete without a selection dedicated to this remarkable city. Get your London library started with our recommended tactic for literary diversity, the ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’ technique.
- Something old – The Diary of Samuel Pepys is full of fascinating and visceral accounts of everyday London during the 17th Century. Take in epic moments such as the Great Fire and the Great Plague, not to mention more personal elements which document Pepys’ vices, struggles and lust for London life
- Something new – Portobello Road: Lives of a Neighbourhood by Julian Mash. Released in July 2015, this book is a beautifully illustrated tale of human stories from in and around London’s fabled market street
- Something borrowed – Make a promise to yourself to visit the library once a month to get out a London-centric book. Who knows what you might end up reading, and it’s an easy way to ensure your bookshelf stays fresh
- Something ‘blue’ – The London Trilogy by Martin Amis. In each of The Information, Money and London Fields, you’ll find characters and scenes so true to London they’ll make you laugh, cry, visit, and never want to leave. They’re quite racy too.
Sound the part
It’s an unquantifiable beast to pin down, but there is such a thing as the London sound. A raw, unstoppable echo of energy that soundtracks the city from dusk to dawn. You can hear it in the music and voices of London’s most iconic artists too. Rummage through this excellent list by Subculture List and make sure you save your favourite ones for your living room sound system. There’s something for every occasion: Whether you’re hosting family, cutting loose with friends, or winding down for a quiet evening indoors – artists from London know how to set the mood.
Look the part
There’s no need to go over the top in order to give your living room that London edge. Sometimes it’s the more subtle purchases that can catch the eye more than any life-size replica of a big red bus, like a beautiful piece of artwork from the Lumas gallery for example, which has a host of London inspired canvas prints to choose from. Another option is to pick up a delightful set of cushions with charming London transport motifs at the Transport for London Museum gift shop – provided that’s your taste of course. .
Indulge yourself, London style
As delicious as fish and chips are, we don’t think you or your guests will appreciate the aroma. Here’s the next best thing: Make sure your living room is stocked with one or two snack bowls brimming with London’s unmatched candy products. You can get a permanent supply delivered right to your door courtesy of the British Corner Shop.
Learn the lingo
How nice is it, after a hard day’s Kathy Burke (work), to get home, rest the old mince pies (eyes) and put up your plates of meat (feet) to have a butcher’s (look) at the custard and jelly (telly = television)? OK, we might be taking this too far, but illuminating your vocabulary with some choice Cockney Rhyming Slang is a sure-fire way of entertaining your guests and showing off your adoration of London. Brush up on your Cockney chat here.
So there you have it! Five ways to turn your living room into your very own private London. Let us know what you think or if you have any inspired tips of your own in the comments below.