Name: Jose Campos and Oliver Herbert, co-owners of SUPERMERCADO SHOP (plus pet finches Selena and Harry)
Location: Converted Victorian Tram depot, Southeast London
Size: 1200 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years
Jose and Oliver can attest to the fact that finding a flat in London isn't easy. While searching for a home, they found a "very unappealing" advert for a space that looked dark and dingy — but they were intrigued that the place was described as a 'painter's mews', and, as Jose says, "after a while you get worn down and will look at just about anything."
Persistence was rewarded when they saw the space, which turned out to be a spacious loft in a converted Victorian tram works. It had lots of potential, with space for a garden, a studio, and plenty of room left over for entertaining. Now that they've made themselves at home, the apartment feels highly personal, but not cluttered. Quirky artwork, plenty of plants, and souvenirs from the couple's travels enliven the space, but they've also left plenty of room for the architecture to speak for itself.
And if you love the cosmopolitan style of Jose and Oliver's home, check out their shop, SUPERMERCADO, which features a small but growing collection of unusual items from around the world.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic, cluttered, bright and complicated.
Inspiration: Our biggest vice is travel. This year we’re planning Venice, Istanbul, India, Barcelona, and El Salvador, so travel is a major influence to everything we do. We both approach design from different places, Oliver is a sculptor and has a strong sense of composition, whereas I come from a dance background, which makes me really aware of the theatricality of the space.
Another major influence is the city of London. We spend hours trawling the flea markets, junk shops, bargain stores, and the occasional art gallery! We recently purchased an alarm clock shaped like a mosque from a hardware store, something that isn’t possible in many cities.
Favorite Element: We love to sit on the sofa, surrounded by the trees outside the balcony, listening to our pet zebra finches chirping away. It feels like we live in the countryside.
Biggest Challenge: We seem to be addicted to buying houseplants.
What Friends Say: ‘It doesn’t feel like we’re in London!’
Biggest Embarrassment: The messy IKEA shelf in our studio. It serves a purpose!
Proudest DIY: Even though Oliver is a Sculptor, we’re not too keen on DIY. We’d rather find something ‘ready-made’ than put in the manual labour ourselves. We did paint our plant pots though!
Biggest Indulgence: : Our library! We’re easily tempted by a beautiful book. I think we have almost the entire TASCHEN back catalogue.
Best Advice: When looking for an apartment in London, search hard and act quick. It has the power to change your life!
Dream Sources: We wouldn’t mind borrowing a few pieces from Peggy Guggenheim’s Venice home! Or perhaps taking up residence on the set of a Pedro Almodovar movie.
Resources of Note:
• Green Wicker Basket - Ikea
• Abstract painting by Jose’s 3 year old sister
• Berber Rug – sourced from a souq in Marrakech
• 1960’s nightclub armchairs – sourced from a selvedge yard in London
• ’We Even Buy Gold Teeth’ print by Anna Lomax
• Candles from Cire Trudon
• Table from Habitat
• Matisse Jazz/ Cut Outs book TASCHEN
• Blue and White speckled ceramic bowl from Lisbon
• Hand painted terracotta pots inspired by Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech
• Joe Cruz print
• Bird Cage from market in El Salvador
• Leni Riefenstahl’s Africa, Collage by Oliver Herbert
• ‘Versace’ Salt and Pepper shakers from Glasgow Market
• Tom Dixon, Etch, tea light holder
• Wax Head from church in Portual
• Tribal Crystal, Collage, Oliver Herbert
• An Incompleate Dictionary of Showbirds, by Luke Dickson
• Hermes Drawing, Oliver Herbert
• Chanel Hijab Drawing, Oliver Herbert
• Collection of artist prints, collection available from SUPERMERCADO SHOP
•Tracey Emin print
• Adam Herbert print
• 1980’s overhead projector, found at Salvation Army
• Panted Canvas by Jose Campos
• Printed cushions by FORMA
Thanks, Jose & Oliver!
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(Image credits: Nancy Mitchell; Jose Campos and Oliver Herbert)