Name: Fay Markopoulou and Max Meyer
Location: Shoreditch, London
Size: 120 square meters (approximately 1290 square feet)
Years lived in: 5 Months; Rented
This is the home of the lovely Fay, and her fiancé Max. I had the honor of meeting this spectacular couple while visiting a friend in London. Soon after, it was brought to my attention that I didn't want to miss seeing their truly special home. Antiques and cozy, lush pieces mix in this pleasing loft layout with striking large windows, exposed brick walls and a posh corner office space for Fay's interior design business.
Trained as an interior designer in Greece, Fay has been working in the trade since 1999. In her search for additional design inspiration she moved to London in 2007, where she worked for a number of high-end retail showrooms. And with years of hard work, her dream of setting up her own interior design practice came to fruition in November 2011.
Her company, Fay Marko Ltd, specializes in full renovations, from spatial planning to the final dressing, applying all the knowledge and experience she gained during her career. A big part of her company's success is her ability to identify and define the client's individuality and sense of style. Fay's home is a perfect showcase of her talent and creativity.
Max also has a flair for design, starting from his childhood, where he grew up in a "case study house" in Germany very similar to the Stahl House (which is the foundation of his style). He developed a love for urban and contemporary design and when he lived in New York during his MBA years, he fell in love with warehouse/loft style apartments. As Fay tells it, when they started looking for a house, Max found this converted warehouse in East London, and they had no choice but to snatch it up. Thanks Fay and Max for opening your doors and showing us your beautiful home!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Transitional, a fusion of old and new. I love antiques and the history behind them, they make me feel so cosy and spark my imagination with stories. I always try and mix them with something new and contemporary so they won't feel too heavy. And that is why I love this house — the core of it is modern, as it was built as a mattress factory, so it contrasts beautifully with my traditional pieces and antiques.
Inspiration: Antique and flea markets (my favourites are the Clinangcourt in Paris and Alfies Market in London), my favourite blog Habitually Chic, Pinterest, travelling, Greece, old family photos.
Favorite Element: 1. The big windows - they allow for the light to flow and make even a grey day feel bright.
2. The fact that was built as a mattress factory rather than a house (and still manages to feel cosy).
Biggest Challenge: 1. To fit our furniture through the narrow staircase.
2. To find a layout that does not emphasize how off the walls are. There is only one 90 degree angle in the whole house, and finding a layout that does not feel too angular, but soft and balanced, was very challenging.
What Friends Say: That it feels very cosy and has a great energy. They usually find it very comfortable.
Biggest Embarrassment: My living room armchair, that is now my proudest DIY. I gave it a nickname — it's called 'The Swan' as it was so ugly before, but I do love it now. I bought it in order to re-upholster it but never got around to it. I was always too busy with other things, which means I had to leave with the original one for months. I finally did change the colour and fabric just before this photo shoot, so I guess I owe it to Apartment Therapy! :-)
Proudest DIY: My living room armchair.
Biggest Indulgence: Our bespoke solid wood dining table, designed by me and manufactured by Spekva, a Danish company specialising in solid wood fabrication. It comes with 30 years' guarantee, and we love the fact that it is made to last for a lifetime and that it is a unique piece. Max picked out the colour and type of wood (and he is so proud of it).
Best Advice: Don't be afraid to experiment in order to find your own personal style. The only person that needs to love it is you, so don't worry about the "design" rules too much and just have some fun!
Dream Sources: Habitually Chic (my favourite blog), Pinterest for inspiration, Stark fabrics, Archilab for the classic pieces.
Resources of Note:
- Artwork from Hormazd Narielwalla, purchased thru Amanda K Lambert
- Sofa Bed from Moroso
- Bucket chairs from Wittman
- Coffee table from Auction House
- Trunk from Fay Marko Ltd (our own trade suppliers)
- TV stand - Drawing Easel
- Table lamp from Fay Marko Ltd (our own trade suplliers)
- Plant from Clifton Nurseries in St John's Wood
- French Louis Armchair from second hand store
- Table - bespoke from Spekva
- Chairs - vintage Danish design
- Copper tray - flee market in East London
- Desk from Habitat
- Office chair designed by Charles Eames
- Floor lamp designed by Nordlux (Vanilla lamp)
- Side chairs from Port de Clignancourt Antique Market in Paris
- Bookcases - Malm from Ikea
- Rug - Fay Marko Ltd (our own trade suppliers)
- Chinese Wedding Cabinet - Criterion Auction House London
- Headboard - bespoke from Gray London Ltd
- Side Table - table design by Alex
- Drawer unit - Malm Ikea
- Bedside table lamps - Ghost from Philipe Starck
Thanks, Fay and Max!
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(Image credits: Breanne Johnsen)