Name: Lesley Greening Lassoff of Aardvark, and her two lurchers Ernie Spartacus Crabtree and Peggy Pansy Pearl
Location: St Leonards, UK
Years lived in: 5 years
Lesley is one half of the creative force behind Aardvark, the printmakers who came up with the warm and witty Kill Your TV manifesto. She lives in the seaside town of St Leonards on Britain's south coast in a converted Victorian Sunday school with her two lurchers Ernie and Peggy.
From outside, the house looks like any other small terrace on the street, but inside it opens up, tardis-like, into a surprisingly high-ceilinged open plan space. The walls are filled with artwork, much of it created by friends and neighbors, and of course favorite prints by Pea, the other half of Aardvark, and Lesley herself. There is lots of 1960s and 1970s Scandinavian furniture, which Lesley picked up cheaply from local charity shops and Ebay. "I love a good rummage or a forage." She is aghast at the thought of paying dealer's prices in a vintage shop.
The Aardvark manifesto celebrates the homemade, the less than perfect, and living simply but soulfully, and Lesley's home reflects these ideals. It is cheerful and welcoming and doesn't take itself seriously. I can report that there is no TV, lots of cake, and copious amounts of tea. I didn't see a kazoo, but I don't know if I'd recognize one anyway. Enjoy the tour!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: It is ramshackle, a mishmash, a patchwork. I hate the word eclectic, but I suppose it's eclectic.
Inspiration: Cheap stuff! Almost everything, except the IKEA sofa, is secondhand. Most of the furniture is from charity shops. I found the wingback chairs in a skip and had them reupholstered.
Favorite Element: My walk in wardrobe/dressing room nook. I like not having a wardrobe in the bedroom.
Biggest Challenge: When I was furnishing the house I didn't have much money, but it was an enjoyable challenge. I don't like buying new, and I enjoy having a rummage or a forage in charity shops.
What Friends Say: "What a fantastic open space."
Biggest Embarrassment: My scallop-edged bath and sink. They were here when I moved in, and I don't like to replace things if they are still working. I don't really like the brown rug in the living room. I only got it because it is dog-colored.
Proudest DIY: The kitchen mat. The floor was really scabby and I wanted to cover it cheaply, so I started sending off for lino samples. They all arrived as perfect A4 pieces, and I realized I could stick them together and make one big colorful mat. I didn't really plan it in advance, and it turned out a bit too much like Elmer the Elephant.
Biggest Indulgence: I suppose it is the artwork. The painting over the fireplace is by a neighbor. It is probably the most expensive thing I've bought.
Best Advice: Buy what you love and follow your instincts and it will all come together. And if it doesn't, who cares!
Dream Sources: Stockholm for vintage Scandinavian design. In fact, I'd just buy a whole house out there.
Resources of Note:
- Shelving: Ladderax
- Wing back chairs: recused from a skip
- Cushions: homemade
- Ercol coffee table: ebay
- Brown rug: Carpetland "I'd love to have another Rya rug instead."
- Rya rug: vintage
- Sofa: IKEA
- Sewing table: charity shop
- Mongrel and Flim Flam prints: Aardvark
- Giant wall hanging: Emmaus in Stockholm
- Kill Your TV print: Aardvark
- Super king size bed: "I don't remember where it was from, but it was one of the few things that wasn't second hand."
- Bedding: vintage Harrods blanket from a car boot sale
- Bedside tables: charity shop
- Picture above bed: Emmaus
- Rya rug: vintage
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(Image credits: Rebecca Bond)