Ben & Viv’s Organic Mews House

published Sep 22, 2014
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(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Name: Ben and Viv Yapp and their one year old son, Covey
Location: Sydenham; London, United Kingdom
Size: 890 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; owned

Set in an old dairy mews in South London is the eclectic and creative home of the Yapp family. You may remember the cool colored House Call of Viv Yapp from the summer— the wall colors were so striking in the photos that I had to go and see them in person. What you might have missed from the preview are the personal accents that make you wish Viv could curate a gallery wall for your own home.

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

It should come as no surprise that artwork in the Yapp household is a main focus—Viv worked as an art director for an ad agency in London before going out on her own once their baby was born. The home is a labor of love, from the paint colors down to every stick of furniture. Whether it is an IKEA dresser with a hardware modification or the revamped vintage dining chairs, Viv and Ben’s energy is in every corner.

The nursery for their adorable son Covey had a few of my favorite pieces, including a children’s book that Ben wrote and Viv illustrated especially for him called When You Grow Bigger. The alphabet drawing on the wall was created at Viv’s baby shower by having every guest draw one of the letters. At just 890 square feet, there are creative ideas tucked into every corner of this home that are wonderful gems to find.

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Apartment Therapy Survey

My Style: Comfortable, organic, and homey. Inspired by our travels, slightly boho, slightly boutique. Modern mixed with a little vintage.

Inspiration: A bit cliche, but art is probably my biggest inspiration. I love to surround myself with things creative people have done with their hands and to be inspired by them. Most of our pieces are by British artists, we have screenprints by Anthony Burrill and Vic Lee, some young up and coming artists like my friend Hazel Nicholls, and a couple of oil paintings by Ben’s mum Liz. All the colors just brighten my day!

Favorite Element: Our kitchen, the layout wasn’t exactly how we wanted it when we moved in so we completely gutted it and started from scratch. We changed all the cupboards and doors to solid wood, and splurged on our kitchen worktop, which is from a company in Norfolk called Norfolk Oak. They produced the most stunning sustainable piece of solid oak for us, and we saved with simple metro tiles with black grout for the back splash. Our handles for the cupboards are hand made by Made by the Forge, a family run business in Suffolk, who also make the beautiful pan rail for us. All the of the appliances are Smeg (except for the fridge which I totally regret)! It’s a joy to cook in this kitchen, and we love having friends round for dinner.

Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge is probably incorporating baby stuff in the house, without making us feel like we’re living in a nursery, and at the same time knowing that the space is safe for Covey. Getting the balance right is not easy. Our coffee table is baby friendly with rounded edges but it’s also slightly quirky in shape and being made from solid wood makes it really pretty. I also love the Bloom baby bouncer, it’s functional yet doesn’t feel out of place in our lounge.

What Friends Say: Our friends love coming here—they often say it feels like home. Everyone always seems to comment on two things: our wall colors and the vintage mirror in our lounge. People are vain.

Biggest Embarrassment: The bathrooms… we had them painted in Farrow and Ball Manor House Gray, but all of the grand plans to re-tile, change the bath tubs/accessories disappeared when the little one came along.

Proudest DIY: We inherited a lovely solid wood dining table from Ben’s granddad, and had to find some chairs to go with it. We searched high and low for them and one day we drove past a second hand store near where we live. Tucked away in a corner were these mid-century design chairs. Ben didn’t want to buy them at first as they came with the ugliest seat covers, but I managed to convince him to take a leap of faith. I bought some beautiful fabric from Liberty (the fabric cost more than the chairs altogether) to re-upholster them and Ben loves them now!

Biggest Indulgence: Probably our desk from Unto This Last, an East London furniture studio who custom built a gorgeous desk for our study/bedroom.

Best Advice: Having art around the house really makes the place much more alive and interesting. Mix and match pieces you find in your travels with paintings from your local artists. Etsy is also a great place for affordable art.

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Resources of Note

Paint and Colors




  • Cot: Leander
  • Sofa Bed:
  • Chest of Drawers: IKEA
  • Window Shade: Fabric from the Option 10 line at Sanderson
(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Thanks Ben and Viv!

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