Curb Appeal
So this is what normal front entrances look like in London……. Wow is right…

I started visiting London a lot a few years ago when my parents moved to the city. Actually, when they first moved, I really wasn’t the biggest fan. I mean I had been to London a couple of times as a kid, but as an adult it just seemed like an overwhelmingly big city with too many tourists, a super congested and complicated public transportation system, and it’s not like people are the friendliest either. Kinda intimidating.

West ElmToday?! I love this city. Like really love it.

I’ve realized that once London accepts you as one of its own – aka you have a cell phone plan (the pay-as-you-go plans are pretty cheap and have tons of data), an Oyster Card, and the Citymapper app on your phone – you’ve pretty much got unlimited access to the most amazing city in the world. If you’re not a fan of trains or buses, and prefer a cheap car ride, I guess an Uber London account would be a good thing to have as well.

For little ol’ design enthusiasts like me, London has a ridiculous amount of design related activities. I sometimes just end up visiting the same spots over and over again! Like the prettiest West Elm store I’ve ever been to (pictured on the left) 🙂

And ok, I know… It rains non-stop. But once you’re out there, London is incredibly charming, full of life (with fantabulous food), and you can’t help but just want to be a part of the action!

So in an effort to express and share my love for London Town, I’m starting off my new “Travel Inspiration” series by showing you one of my favorite spots in the city – Portobello Road.

I’ll be taking pictures of some of my other fave spots – especially over Instagram @thedesignsouk – but I hope that this series of posts helps inspire you to be more adventurous with decorating and designing!

Portobello Road1If you’re an antiques enthusiast, Portobello Road on Market Day (Saturday), is a MUST.

The antiques are not even close to cheap though, and it is super crowded on Saturday (as you can see), but even if you’re not an antiques shopper, it’s an iconic spot to visit. It’s a historical part of London with a modern day appeal for both tourists and Londoners – quite a rare characteristic for such a touristy city actually…

I wasn’t really in the market for any antiques so I just popped into some of my “other non-antiquey” favorite stores there, including the awesome Jonathan Adler store 🙂

Check out my little photo diary of the trip!

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Cricket Knobs

Remember these cricket ball knobs for my study closet- the one that got a makeover? I got them from this store! They have beautiful pieces. Pricey but worth every penny.


I swear the pictures don’t do these fixtures justice at all! Notice the tiled marble and glass handles on the top portion of the picture on the left? So gorgeous. There were even beautiful brass letters and numbers, in all sizes. This place is definitely worth visiting if you’re building or designing a house and need some unique features.

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Isn’t curb appeal in London on a whole new level? Almost everyone who owns a home in Central London has an entrance infused with so much character! I wish we could play around this much with our front doors in Saudi 😉

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So this is why I wasn’t focused on antiques… I love this store. It’s expensive, but I find Jonathan Adler’s designs to be so inspirational.

I guess it’s the mid-century modern part of me!

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I’m not sure you can actually play with this set… but… it’s still cute enough to own 🙂

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I mean the in-store styling is amazing! So many unexpected textures and colors. They work SO well together.

Definitely taking some notes on styling from here. 

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There is so much that is so perfect about all of these pieces. First off, I need that light fixture and the accessories… Maybe even the bookshelves. And I’m now going to spend the rest of my vacation trying to find a Moroccon pouf just like this one for my home! Though I may have just gotten my hands on a leather Nigerian-made pouf from my mom’s house (eeeek!), but it needs a little repair work. I’ll keep you all posted…

If you’re desperate to see what kinds of antiques you can get, here are some of my purchases from my last visit. Sorry for the crappy pictures – I’m not at home, so I can’t take better photos!

English Bone China

And last but not least… stopped for lunch at a Ramen place called Tonkotsu. For some reason it doesn’t have the best reviews, but I swear the Chili Chicken Ramen was super yummmm!

Photo Source: TimeOut London

Chili Chicken Ramen

Hope you enjoyed the first post from my travel series! 

Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks!