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Home visit: first apartment of a fashion blogger

When it comes to making your first flat feel like home, what choices would you make? Carolina works from home and planned her space around the things she likes and has to do.

Carolina sitting in her living room on a white sofa.
Carolina sitting in her living room on a white sofa.

Moving out of your parents’ place is a chance to do things your way. Carolina’s first big purchase was the SÖDERHAMN sofa: ‘I chose it because it mixed well with the mid-century pieces I’ve inherited,’ she says. ‘Getting furniture has been a piece-by-piece process when I could afford it. I love to update, but buying new is expensive, so instead I’ll swap rugs from room to room, or change the pictures on the rail. It’s like curating a gallery of art made by the creative people in my circle of friends.’

Not going to work in an office every day? Design a flexible home office. Carolina realised there wasn’t room for a dedicated workspace in her apartment: ‘I would love to have a big desk, but you have to be considerate with space. Instead, as long as my music is playing, I can work on my digital design and collages at the dining table in the living room,’ she says.

I don’t live thinking that everything is forever. I know that my home is not forever, my job is not forever… It’s always changing. I live happily with that thought

Carolina, Lisbon

The layout and design of a rental kitchen may already be set, but there are still ways to make it feel personal – even on a small budget. Carolina had all the cupboard space she needed for storage, so her priority became displays, using the countertops and HYLLIS shelving unit to showcase vintage artwork, plants and more… ‘I’m not a big cook – time spent in the kitchen is mostly social,’ says Carolina.

It’s not just the furniture that makes a home personal, it’s about what you keep inside it. The little details

Carolina, Lisbon

Interiors inspire fashion and vice versa. It wasn’t until Carolina created her Instagram account that she saw a connection between her home style and the clothes she wears. Carolina’s bedroom, which doubles as a dressing room, was once filled with open storage, rails and shelves. Now, her PAX wardrobe helps tame the clothes storage and bring calm to the whole room.

By the time you move out of your childhood bedroom it’ll probably feel like it’s full up with stuff (mostly because it’s the only room in the house that’s truly yours!). Having the whole apartment to herself gave Carolina the space she needed to spread out. ‘My home is a real mix. I have some special hand-me-downs from my grandmother and some pieces that are just “for now” until I can afford my own,’ she says.

How did you end up here?
I made a plan – by the time I was aged 25, I would find a place and move out. I always knew that I wanted to live alone, to try it without my boyfriend or friends. Having my independence was my motivation to make it happen.

Are you enjoying your independence?
Yes! Even the little things, like when I was younger, I used to love my dad’s music (1970s rock) and I used to annoy him by wanting to play it all the time. When I moved out, my dad’s present to me was his entire record collection. Finally, I can listen to his music whenever I want to, and that feels really special.

How long do you see yourself in this apartment?
I’m not investing too much as I know it’s not forever, but I’m happy for now.

Carolina’s third-floor apartment is on a quiet street on the outskirts of Lisbon’s busy city centre. The entryway is in the centre, connecting the bedroom, bathroom, living room and kitchen. The kitchen leads to the balcony, with a view of an 18th-century church and beyond, the river: ‘I grew up next to the water, so being able to see the river makes me feel at home,’ she says.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior stylist: Carl Braganza
Photographer: Dan Duchars
Follow Carolina on Instagram: @carolinaflores
Artwork in hallway: Olle Eksell