A Bold and Graphic London Rental Apartment Was Decorated on a Shoestring Budget
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Name: Julian and his partner
Location: London, UK
Type of home: Apartment
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years, renting
Tell us a little (or a lot) about your home and the people who live there: I moved here with my partner five years ago and instantly fell in love with the place. It looked very different then, all magnolia [beige] walls and the previous tenant had heavy dark brown wooden furniture everywhere and a giant TV in the middle; the terrace was just an empty concrete space. But it had a lot of potential. I was in my mid-twenties, and spent most of my savings on artwork that I loved.
Even though I work a corporate day job, art and design is what really gets me excited. We got the landlord’s permission to repaint the flat and I decorated it on a shoestring budget with pieces I found online, at local auctions, and on eBay or Gumtree. Since then our home has become a favorite hangout spot for many of our friends and family; we’ve hosted big parties with over 100 people and too many dinners and cocktail evenings to count [pre-pandemic].
While this apartment was under my creative direction, my boyfriend had veto rights with most parts so I had to curate carefully. We have very different aesthetics; his is more minimal/Scandi, mine is eclectic and playful. Combining both of our aesthetics, mixing in our art collection, and contrasting antiques, vintage, and modern furniture has been a real joy.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Eclectic art collector’s home
What is your favorite room and why? Our living and dining room. It gets the most wonderful light and has a very warm and cozy feel to it, but it’s also stylish and masculine.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I bought a hand-painted Pre-Raphaelite corner cabinet at auction that was falling apart. It depicts a biblical scene where King Herod gets a lap dance from Salome to demand the head of John the Baptist be delivered to her on a silver platter. This is so beautifully raunchy that I couldn’t help but restore it and turn it into a martini minibar.
Any advice for creating a home you love? You can find an awful lot online — but don’t just buy everything off the same catalogue. I must have looked at least at 4-5000 rugs online before I found the one I couldn’t live without (and could also afford). Dare to be bold and don’t be afraid to mix and match.
This submission’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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