This brand-new apartment was an empty white cube with neutral fixtures and fittings. ‘I bought the flat off-plan from a housing development with my close friend and colleague. When we first came to view the property, there was absolutely nothing here – it was just a concrete shell where the block of flats was going to be.’ However, they loved the east London location, knowing they would be able to walk to work. So before the place was even built, they decided to take the risk and put down a deposit.
The flat was decorated prescriptively with white walls so it was very much a blank canvas. The fittings were simple in style, such as the neutral kitchen units and the limestone bathroom. ‘We paid extra to have the dark wooden flooring, which was already in the main living areas, to continue on into the bedrooms instead of carpet. There was nothing that made a statement, so we wanted to get going straight away and put our stamp on the place.’
Living room (above)
The owner has swapped carpets and wallpaper for plank flooring and wood panelling, thus instilling a retro Scandi feel in this smart living room. Repurposing objects like the suitcases as a coffee table is a fab way to add interest. It also gives you extra storage! You could fix legs to one for an alternative look. Colourful cushions and accessories bring life to all the neutrals.
The living room walls have been clad with reclaimed scaffolding boards for a warm look. The entire space has been furnished top-to-bottom with an eclectic mix of online and vintage finds. 'I love that every piece in my home has a memory attached to it. I purposely have no items that are there just to look pretty - every single piece means something to me.'
A round dining table is the perfect choice for a compact kitchen-diner and is more sociable than a rectangular table. It was the first thing the owner bought for the flat - seven months before moving in. Here, the vintage table fits perfectly with the reproduction Eames-style dining chairs, which in turn tie in with the modern white kitchen units. Suspend a statement pendant light above a dining table to create a focal point and illuminate mealtimes.
'We decided on a warm shade for the hall walls to make it cosy and welcoming.' The not-so-subtle glow of neon signs lights up the darker reccesses of this space, adding warmth and interest. For an extra personal touch, commission bespoke lights from a fairground
signmaker and have them made into any shape or phrase you like.
Similar neon light
Letteroom at Not on the High Street
Strong colour and pattern makes this modern bedroom a striking place to rest your head. The almost black painted feature wall is balanced by white adjascent walls and a glossy white wardrobe. Chevron pattern picks out the charcoal tones while a vibrant orange, wire ceiling light adds an eye-popping industrial touch. Working zigzags into your home decor is the perfect way to add
contemporary flair, and they're great for someone who tends to shy away
from pattern. Lego style storage and more colourful cushions give the room a fun Scandi style.
The bedroom has been given individual style with a large wooden display shelf. Home to a collection of random objects and artefacts, the natural wood background allows the interesting assessories to stand out making a fabulous modern and versatile focal point. A decorative throw enhances the linear theme. Accessories in monochrome shades keep the look minimalist.
A fun 'Circus Font' canvas is the main focal point for this striking charcoal grey bedroom. 'I designed the Pick Me sign in Photoshop and then had it made into a canvas.' The strong block colour lets the artwork and chevron patterned headboard jump out with wow-factor. 'We were so eager to get started that we were actually painting over the white walls as the removal men were carrying furniture into the flat - I was climbing over boxes to touch up the paintwork.' Two orange, wire sidelights add another touch of big top glamour. On the white bed an arrangment of mis-matched cushions echo the chevron pattern and bring the room together with retro style.
'As the bathroom was new, I didn't want to change it. Instead I've added character with bright accessories.' A few well chosen accessories can easily rejuvenate an existing bathroom scheme. As this space is windowless and compact, wall-to-wall mirrors have been hung wherever possible. The sassy towels in this white bathroom create a whole new feel with minimal effort. Where you can, place accent accessories next to reflective surfaces so you double the impact.
'In hindsight, the speed at which we decorated might have been a little bit rushed. I think that because I'd waited so long to move in and this was my first home, I just wanted it all done. But I've come to realise that a home is never finished. We're constantly adding to it and selling stuff that we no longer need to make room for other pieces.'