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Happy At Home

Posted on Saturday 1st September 2007 at 00:00
I'm sitting on my sofa with my notebook on my lap, a mug of hot chocolate and two chocolate digestives on a plate resting on the coffee table next to me. The radio is tuned to BBC Radio Bristol and Geoff Barker's Rock and Roll Party. I have just returned from Broadmead, and as I sit here my mind begins to reflect on my first visit to Starbucks since before I moved into The New Place.

Those of you who were paying attention back in July will remember that I was curious to learn why it was that the Starbucks lounge is far cosier than my own lounge at the time. With the move from my old house to this apartment firmly in mind, I wished to discover what I would need to do to my first ever home of my own to make it as comfortable and relaxing as the coffee shop I'm so fond of visiting.

I was going to have to furnish the place myself, so I would be starting from scratch and it seemed important, therefore, to get it right first time. Fast forward a month or so to today and I decide to return to Starbucks for a few hours, with my book, in order to compare the place with my own efforts and see where I can improve things.

Sitting back here now, I don't think I've done a bad job. My sofa & whilst new and therefore in need of a proper breaking in & is probably as comfortable as any of the ones I've tried there. The music is also a pretty close match, if you ignore the random talking between songs that you get on the radio.

I don't have carpet on the floor in here, but the room is warm, so I figure I probably don't need it. The other most striking difference, besides the lack of 20 odd people drinking coffee, is the walls. The walls of my local Starbucks are painted in strong colours: burgundy on one wall; British racing green on another. They are covered in framed pictures of different size, theme and colour, including my favourite: an aerial photo of the Clifton Suspension Bridge with Concorde clearly visible, flying in the background. How very Bristol!

My walls on the other hand are all magnolia, the colour of choice in all rented housing. It's a good backing colour because it's light enough to make the room look big and goes well with almost any other colour you put to it, and what's more: I rather like it's bright cheerfulness. Sadly, magnolia walls, light wood on the floor, light wooden furniture and a white sofa have all combined to give the room a slightly washed out look, and it's desperate need of more colour.

I have a picture hanging on my wall; a black and blue silhouette of a saxophone player in a matching blue frame that I bought from Ikea during my second year of university. It's a nice picture actually and works well where I have it, but I don't think it's enough. I'm planning on going back next time I have money to see what else I can find. All being well, the room will get the injection of colour it so badly needs.

An improvement in the lighting, courtesy of some well positioned lamps will add the finishing touches to a room that, in my view at least, is a rival for the Starbucks lounge any day. Now all I need is an endless supply of delicious caffe lattes to keep me fuelled and I'll never need to trek over to Starbucks again.

.....although I probably still will, because I do love it down there.

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