I want to apologise for being absence for all of… five days (well, four if you count Saturday) but I’m not. I’ve cooked, hosted and scoffed to my heart’s content with five different kinds of meat consumed over the past week. Faced with a glut of leftovers, I’ve been pottering around at home, knocking my head against the wall, seemingly with little to blog about style wise, unless the way I drape streaky bacon over my stuffing mix tickles your fancy.
Then I realised I hadn’t really taken the (admittedly narcissistic) opportunity to blog up the way I’ve done up my hovel and all the bits and bobs that I’ve accumulated to fill up the rooms of my hovel. I’m not going to lie. In fact, I may sound a touch smug. I have fully relished my first opportunity to paint, hang wallpaper, bang holes in walls and buy bits of furniture (that aren’t from the bargain basement in Ikea…) for the house. With twice the amount of space to play with than my old Holloway flat, I no longer live in peril of a random shoebox or coat falling on top of me. After two months of managing the renovation of the bathroom and kitchen in the new house (much thanks to Aspect.co.uk and Kitchens Unlimited – you were tops) and getting my trusty Papa Lau to do most of the donkey decorating work, I moved in last December and have since been slowly building it up decorative layer by layer. It’s finally gotten to the point where I have to resist homeware overload as every interiors/lifestyle store holds temptation. I’ve *just* about weaned myself off my daily visit of Clippings, Decor8 and the ever trusty Houzz.
The dangerous thing about it this whole house malarky is how my attitude towards interiors mirrors that of my clothes. Hurrah you might say. Except that my love of colour, print and ridic cartoonish-ness needs to be tempered because a) you have to work/live with a room interior for longer lengths of time than when you wear a super loud outfit and b) this house belongs to both me and my boyfriend Steve, who favours the subtler and dare I say more tasteful side of things. There’s also all the fashion gubbins to contend with. Bags, shoes, accessories and other paraphernalia aren’t ever going to be seamlessly concealed behind magic white cupboards and nor do I want them to be. In effect, they’ve had to be incorporated into the “schemes” of the rooms (can you tell I’ve been lapping up The Great Interior Design Challenge?)
Challenges aside, as I’ve spent the past few days enjoying holing up in my house, I’m happy to say that I’m now mega house-proud. It’s not exactly #chic-to-the-next-lev or Elle Decoration ready but it was never going to be. I’d liken my house in a similar way to my personal style – it’s basically an overdecorated cake, with far too much icing, too many candles and extra ornaments. It was never going to be that minimal Scandi interior blog thig. Nor was it going to be floor-to-ceiling psychedelic cray. It’s something in between with opportunity to be amped up should I become braver, with my weapon of choice be it paint, wallpaper or washi tape (going to attempt to washi tape the entire staircase soon…).
Living/Dining Room – I’m not sure why I was hell bent on the combination of grey, white and yellow (with a flash of pale blue). It might have been the Miss Print “Mountains” wallpaper that led the way. Or the Knight Mills rug but once I got going it was hard to not go matchy-matchy. It’s a running joke with friends that we’ve stuffed our smallish room silly with no less than six different kinds of chairs with my favourites being the grey moustache chair that I use as a desk chair and the white geometric Charlie Crowther-Smith dining chairs. I’m not the biggest fan of Made.com (late-late deliveries…) but they came good with this Je-Uk Kim Lovebird sofa. Special mention to Shoreditch-based furniture company Unto this Last for the slat and step shelving, which you used to be able to order in a ton of colours (now they only offer three) and Chiaozza in Brooklyn for making all your multi-coloured display shelving dreams come true.
Wearing adidas SLVR hat, Marni shirt, Peter Jensen striped skirt, Christian Dior slippers, checked socks from Tokyo sitting on Charlie Crowther Smith “4” chair with Unto this Last slat bookshelf in the background.
Habitat “Naoko” armchair with Kenzo blanket, Notknot “Good Luck” yellow pillow, Seven Gauge “Lolli” knit cushion, two large grey Swash cushions, Louis Vuitton blanket
Givenchy “Rave” tote, Roksanda carrier bag and Proenza Schouler x Master & Dynamic headphones on Knight Mills “Pilot” rug
Lounging in Ryan Lo jumper and Calla jeans on Made.com Lovebird sofa by Je-Uk Kim and Swash cushions
Chiaozza frames painted with custom colours
Vintage Ercol desk against Miss Print “Mountains” wallpaper
Little Miss Sunshine/Bubble print from Selfridges
A load of “stuff” on Unto this Last step shelves in pale blue and yellow
Ikea Hönefoss hexagon mirrors on wall, Matt Pugh candlestick holders, West Elm honeycomb vase, My Drap napkin roll
Kristina Krogh green galaxy print
“Summoning of Radiations and Wavelengths” painting by Dee Dee Cheriel
Kristina Krogh print
Burberry blanket cape on Moustache chair and vintage hall runner
Marimekko teapot and plate, Loewe brooch, Hermes candle
Assortment of cacti and stone shaped vase on Hairy and Grainy cheeseboard, Delfina Delettrez earrings, YSL mini bag on Restored copper table.
Kitchen – This room is still recovering from the four day cookfest and it’s fairly utilitarian (cream and grey) and not so interesting on the pretty pretty front. I’m oscillating between organic wooden things and garish crockery.
LSA paddle and dip set, assortment of Iris Hantverk utensils, Sebastian Conran cookery bookstand, Muji oven mitts, Polpo book
Hybrid Seletti plates
Hallway – The star of my entrance way is the neon yellow Brose Fogale Camerino valet stand. It’s never going to actually hang all our bags and coats but isolated in one area I can kid myself that I’m the sort of person that might only have one or two bags and a few pairs of shoes.
Lean Man console with Hay trays and Studio Arhoj piggy bank
Landing – I yelped quite a bit when pictures like the Givenchy M/M Paris invitations and the original Julie Verhoeven illustration were finally hung, only because I’ve never ever hung a picture up having lived in rented properties. That was almost as monumental as buying the house itself. The wooden vintage shoe cabinet came from a very friendly eBay furniture seller based in Germany, who called up several times to ensure safe delivery. I also love that the owner is called Axel. I’m going to try and bid on more stuff just so I can converse with Axel.
Shoes from L-R: Comme des Garcons brogues, Chanel trainers, Celine slip-ons and Buffalo platforms on the vintage shoe cabinet with Julie Verhoeven’s illustration peeking in the background.
Converse rubber chucks, Acne x Stephen Jones hat and Bernstock Speirs visor on the dressmaker’s dummy, the rolls of tape that I’m definitely/maybe/maybe not going to use one day and the Nike Air Force 1 Mid
Givenchy M/M Paris invitations
Bathroom – Again, more utilitarian than interesting. White subway tiles, Victorian/Edwardian-esque tub and sink and errr… a lot of white. I basically wanted the Soho/Tribeca Grand bathroom in my house minus the quirky wallpaper. My baby sister Jennifer’s “You got pooped on” “It’s my hat.” comic strip illustration is the smidge of whimsy.
Illustration by my sister Jennifer Lau
Aesop, Suzanne Kaufmann, Chanel, & Other Stories… stuff
Special special love to this pair of spade chairs by Faye Toogood, the standouts from our ridiculously large collection of chairs. They came with a note that simply said “Sit.” Trust Faye and her sister Erica to send something minimal yet salient.
Wearing Somewhere Nowhere furry sweatshirt, The Layers striped skirt, Christian Dior slippers on Faye Toogood spade chairs in black and white.
Guest room formerly known as the out-of-sight, out-of-mind room – This room was a tip for such a long time that I now just love going in every once in a while and sigh. I’m still deliberating whether it needs some paint or yet more wallpaper but I’ll enjoy its clean state for the time being. The decoupaged flamingo chest of drawers upcycled by Lady MucknBrass on Etsy got a lot of love on Instagram and I’m excited that this former fashion nail technician turned furniture upcycler will be opening a shop in Crouch End early next year.
Lady Mucknbrass flamingo chest of drawers, Surprise Surprise light by Stephen Johnson, Marni bag
Kenzo Kalifornia Gommato bag, Little Sunny Bite pouch, Studio Arhoj figurines
Wearing J.W. Anderson x John Allen tapestry top and Toga jeans on top of boucherouite rug from Marrakech
Dior print and books, Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, Acne clutch, Somewhere Nowhere Woo Hoo armbands, Isabel Marant La Montre watch on Made.com Stroller desk
Our bedroom – There was only ever one wallpaper I was interested in for our bedroom. I’d been looking at Kirath Ghundoo‘s work forever, mesmerised by her seemingly random vortex of glitchy geometric patterns doused in pretty pastel shades. My dad was tutting the whole time he was putting up this Mosaic wallpaper, perplexed and confuzzled by the patternation. A year in and I haven’t had a pattern migraine yet. It’s just been augmented by a lovely wall tapestry that my other sister Yonnica Lau made me for Christmas.
Wearing Victoria by Victoria Beckham pink tracksuit and pretending to be Luna P on John Lewis by Ercol bed, Hay bedsheets, Sian Elin cushions
Confetti System garland, UE Boom speakers, Meadham Kirchhoff shoes, Confetti System decoration, Studio Snowpuppe paper light, a doll of me made by Iain R Webb
Wall tapestry by my sister Yonnica Lau
Wearing Katie Jones jumpers and Kit Neale trousers with Marc by Marc Jacobs tote on boucherouite rug from Marrakech