Name: Heather Kane
Location: Clerkenwell — London, UK
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year; Rented
When you live above Etsy's London headquarters in one of the capital's best-known design hubs, you might feel some pressure to ensure your flat is up to the high standards of your neighbors. Luckily for Heather, one of her passions is interior design. She took the challenge head-on and decked out her enviably spacious London loft with carefully chosen pieces—this is distinctly not an off-the-shelf design job.
Heather spent all of her spare time in the weeks after moving in getting to know her new city and discovering the challenges of procurement in a foreign country, combing London's vintage markets and interiors stockists for the perfect pieces to complement the flat. With a mix of personal items, vintage finds, and eclectic eBay purchases, Heather has managed to highlight the open plan living space as well as create a sense of security and charm, something that is often sacrificed to ideals of minimalism in such spaces.
We recently got a sneak peek at Heather's Masculine and Funky London Flat, so we just had to swing by for a visit to get the full tour. The central living space makes you feel tall and proud. The room's low pieces (that alluring green sofa, Danish lounge chairs, and paintings and signs that sit on the floor) and layered rugs add so much texture, while the vast windows of the warehouse building fill the room with light and energy from all directions. It's an invigorating space to spend time in, and it's perfectly balanced by the comforts of the downstairs guest bedroom and bathroom and the mezzanine level master bedroom and en suite.
While there is a distinct lack of doors on the upper level, some clever roller blinds have been used to shield from view a wardrobe here, a bathroom there. Every room—every space—has eye-catching features that encourage conversation or raise a cheeky smile: a buffalo by the bath, horns above the bed, a naughty cross stitch, and a never-ending calendar won in a high school bet.
"Having character is much more important than being perfect," says Heather. Words to design (and live) by.
The large windows may present a challenge to the privacy-conscious, but there are blinds that shield the bedroom and frosted panes in the bathroom. Besides, the building is well-located in an area mostly used for office space and isn't overlooked by large numbers of neighboring apartments. This means the apartment has the added bonus of being centrally located but also quiet during nights and weekends—ideal city life. Heather admits that the kitchen, while elegant and functional, is the least-used thing in the whole flat, but when the local neighborhood has such amazing food and drink, that's easy to forgive.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Masculine, eclectic, collected
Inspiration: I do use Pinterest a lot!
Favorite Element: The prized never-ending calendar would probably be at the top of the “if the building were on fire…” list.
Biggest Challenge: Getting things delivered in London is one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve owned my own companies, renovated homes, been on long diets…. But I stand by the statement—deliveries in London brought me to tears several times. Brutal.
What Friends Say: Oh! My friends are always nice, but they love me. Ha! I think most people are just surprised at the sense of space. London flats are usually quite tight, but this place feels so big and airy.
Biggest Embarrassment: Well, the bathrooms don’t have doors. I’m just a renter, but if I bought the flat, that would be the first thing to change. I’m an open girl, but that’s too open for me.
Proudest DIY: I think the naughty pillows that I made from the giant '70s pervy cross-stitch are my fav. The pillows are still kinda pervy, but in a funny way, right?
Biggest Indulgence: The vintage Danish leather chairs in the living area were pretty indulgent. But they’re so classic, so it’s more like an investment… That’s what I told myself anyway.
Best Advice: My advice would be to pick things you love rather than trying to figure out what will look best. If you’re surrounded with your favorite things, your space will always make you happy.
PAINT & COLORS
- I had the place painted plain magnolia everywhere before I moved in. Nothing fancy there.
- Vintage table: Sunbury Antique Market
- Chairs: Rockett St George
- Wall mural: Anewalldecor on Etsy
- Vintage floor lamp: Sunbury Antique Market
- Smoked hurricanes: Frederiek Van Pamel in Bruges, Belgium
- Marble candleholders: Abigail Ahern
- Candy bowls: Columbia Road Flower Market & Shops
- Extra-large old glass jar: Columbia Road Flower Market & Shops
- Old wooden bench: Sunbury Antiques Market
- Wire basket: Sunbury Antiques Market
- Brass pig: Morocco market
- Beni Ouarain rug: eBay
- Hanging shell piece: Phillips Katrina on Portobello Road
- Wallpaper: Timorous Beasties
- Neverending calendar: I’ll never tell. ;)
- Antique Ethiopian crosses: Phillips Katrina, Kokon to Zai, Potts Point Galleries in Australia
- Iron hands holder: Rockett St George
- Vintage landscape: Marche aux Puces in Paris
- Brass Tolix chair: Graham and Green
- Brass pot: Sunbury Antiques Market
- Stripe rug: John Lewis
- Brass mirror: Rockett St George
- Foo dogs: Sunbury Antique Market
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