Nina's Lovely North London Flat

House Tour

Name: Nina
Location: Islington — North London, United Kingdom
Size: 485 square feet (45 square meters)
Years lived in: 1 — owned

Nina's one-bedroom Victorian flat and new sense of ownership are a long way (albeit nearby) from living in a tiny shared Brick Lane flat above a curry house back in 2002. While both places certainly had/have their own charms, the biggest shift is from little light and lots of noise to light-filled and sweet serenity.

This self-professed Gallerina works and lives with contemporary European pieces on a daily basis. The gallery has undoubtedly informed her home environment, and white walls and high ceilings offer a perfect backdrop for the amazing collection she is beginning to amass. With the most incredible morning light flowing into Nina's flat — coupled with true restraint and buying only what she loves — this place reads as a perfect end-of-day respite for this busy Londoner.

With a smart mix of old and new, contemporary and rustic, Nina's flat offers guests a feeling of comfort and ease — with plenty of eye candy, too. My favorite elements include the fresh flowers on the floor (no need for extra furniture just to 'put things on'), the limited but careful use of color in an otherwise very neutral space, and how all of her artwork has a story (this piece is a 'thank you' from an artist from her gallery; that piece a gift from someone in her family; this other one purchased on a trip to New York).

I can't wait to go back…

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: 60s inspired, but trying to still keep it contemporary

Inspiration: Bauhaus design, country house airiness, 60s practicality

Favorite Element: my floors

Biggest Challenge: making a tiny place feel bigger

What Friends Say: They usually love the light feel of the place. Every morning the sun is flowing through the large windows and lifts the mood instantly. A real summer flat.

Biggest Embarrassment: My bed is a bit crooked and needed quite a lot of bolts to stay together.

Proudest DIY: I wired the kitchen lamp myself which was a proud moment. Also the shelves above my bed — although they're IKEA.

Biggest Indulgence: Some art on my walls…

Best Advice: Even though IKEA seems the easiest solution at first, it's much nicer to rummage through vintage shops (or eBay) and get a few treasures mixed in with the practical stuff.

Dream Source: Stella Blunt on Broadway Market.

Resources of Note:

LIVING ROOM

    • black lamp: Bauhaus School, Dessau
    • kitchen table and TV stand: Stella Blunt
    • curtains: Nina's mama
    • writing desk: eBay

KITCHEN

    • yellow kitchen table: Stella Blunt
    • kitchen chairs: Mr All Sorts in Islington
    • clamp light is from home in Berlin from my teenage times
    • basket on floor: a Christmas hamper from Fortnum & Masons
    • hanging kitchen lamp: 2&4 Gallery

BEDROOM

    • bed, shelves, dresser: IKEA
    • Mirror on dresser: Stella Blunt

Thanks, Nina!

Images: Heather Blaha

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