Name: Isabel Cooke & Claire Walsh
Location: Hackney, London
Size: 2 bedroom apartment
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned
Isabel and Claire's 1950's ex-local authority apartment has been given a new lease of life with their eclectic and global finds, family heirlooms and a huge dose of enthusiasm. Claire, a trends analyst, travels the world searching for great design, while Bel has a great eye for local vintage finds.
Slotted between Victorian terraces and converted factory buildings, the apartment was a great find when Bel bought it in 2010, but it needed a lot of work to become as cozy and welcoming as it is today. Paint was stripped, floors were pulled up and a new kitchen was installed. Slowly filling up with unique textiles and souvenirs, the apartment is now a wonderful place to call home.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Ethnic throw up! Mixed with inherited furniture. And plenty of Ikea trips.
Inspiration: World of Interiors, but you couldn't tell. We did want to try and keep it fairly modern, in keeping with the time it was built — it is a 50s council flat.
Favorite Element: Bel likes the sunlight in the front room. Claire likes how cozy it is.
Biggest Challenge: Sourcing the green tiles for the kitchen. And the fireplace — Bel can't stand the surround and marble. No plant is big enough to mask it. But it is a work in progress.
What Friends Say: It's much bigger than they thought.
Biggest Embarrassment: We found something really embarrassing when we ripped out the cupboards in one of the bedrooms. But it didn't belong to either of us!
Proudest DIY: Chipping all layers of gloss off the woodwork, tiles, walls. It was everywhere. Ripping out the kitchen. Pulling up the floor. Gutting the place, really.
Biggest Indulgence: Hired muscle for the decorating.
Best Advice: Hire muscle for the decorating. And don't rush decisions.
Dream Sources: Local suppliers and Liberty.
Resources of Note: Ebay, Ikea, grandparents, London Plumbers, Abbotts Floors, a local tile shop, vintage fairs, car boots.
PAINT & COLORS
• Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Grey
• Everything else is white
• Mirror from local record shop
• Sideboard: Ebay
• Rugs: Istanbul and Ikea
• Bel's grandparents
• Vintage Sori Yanangi Stool: Vintage Shop
• Pouffes: Marrakesh
• Striped blanket: Market in Argentina
• Cushions: All sorts, some Claire made with fabric she bought in Myanmar
• Print by a friend Gail Bryson
• Shelf: Found in a field at a music festival; Claire sanded in back and re-sprayed it
• Brass top table: Bel's Grandad got it when he was serving in Egypt during the war
• Kitchen: Ikea
• Worktops: Local Timber Suppliers
• Light: Historical Lighting
• Table and Chairs: Claire's Nana
• Tiles: Pavilion Field from Original Style
• Tons of plants: Bel has green fingers
• Claire buys too much tableware from carboots and trips abroad
• Table, Ikea
• Shelves from Kempton race course
• Bed, Ikea
• Bedspread: Welsh tapestry from ebay
• Mirrors: antiques fairs
• Drawers: flea market
• Rail: from a shopfitters in Whitechapel
• Rocking chair: a swap
• Mirror: 2021
• Bed, Muji
• Bedspread: French antique - flea market
• Drawers: ebay
• Wicker Light: Ikea
• Tiles: Johnson's Prismatic in Victorian Blue
• Floor: Forbo Marmoleum
• Woodpecker Door Knocker: Ibizan Hippy Market!
Thanks, Isabel & Claire!
(Images: Rebecca Proctor)
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*Re-edited from a post originally published 11.13.12 - AB