A Scandinavian-Inspired London Home Is an Elegantly Simple and Inspiring Space
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Cate St Hill, her partner Olivier, and miniature dachshund Francis
800 square feet
Welcome to “The World at Home: 31 Real House Tours Around the Globe.” Check out where else we’ve visited this month here.
London-based home interiors writer, stylist, and award-winning blogger Cate St. Hill has an uncomplicated approach to design. From full home makeovers to furniture sourcing, her services center on the idea that we should be “prioritizing simplicity, sustainability, and design built to last.” Started in 2011, her website is not only a portfolio of her interiors work, but also a way to share simple interior design inspiration. “Living simply is about being mindful of the things we put in our home, where they come from, how they’re made and how they make us feel,” she writes on her site.
Cate explains in her bio that she’s a fan of Scandinavian-inspired minimal spaces, where neutral colors reign, and earthy, natural materials add depth and beauty. It’s not just about aesthetics, but rather the environment you can create in a home—and how that space can affect your moods and emotions. “Instead of constantly buying into new trends, I believe we should invest in how a space feels to be in,” she also wrote on her website. “Because for me, an interior is more than just a statement or display, they’re places that should be designed around how we live every day not just how we want it to look—spaces that evolve with us, connect to our senses and give us a little joy each day.”
All of her design philosophies are beautifully on display in her ever-evolving home in London, which she shares with her partner Olivier, and a rather adorable miniature dachshund named Francis. And like Claudia Böttcher’s house tour, Cate’s home was recommended to us as a place to tour by Christina Nydahl, the Brand Collaborations and Social Media Manager at Bemz, a company that specializes in custom design covers and legs for IKEA furniture.
Find loads more inspiration for simple and elegant interior design style on Cate’s website, her Instagram, and even the hashtag she started on Instagram, #thesimpleeveryday.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Describe your home’s decor style in 5 words: Simple, understated, relaxed, minimalist, elegant.
What’s your favorite thing about your home? I love how light, bright, and airy the south-facing living room is. It’s always an uplifting space to spend time in.
What’s your least favorite thing about your home? I hate that the bathroom is on the ground floor, not upstairs with the bedroom—it’s a bit of an awkward layout but very common in old properties. In time we might do an extension to move the bathroom upstairs, so that we can expand the kitchen area and open it up to better connect with the garden. It would be lovely to have a set of huge glass doors that could help bring the outside in.
How does your home and its decor reflect the region? My home is in south London. The house is typical of the area—a Victorian ‘two up, two down’ with a bay window at the front of property. Some of the original period features have been removed by previous owners, but we still have some cornicing details and the original floorboards, which we sanded back and painted white. The neutral colors and grey tones in the house are greatly inspired by the urban landscape in London. I like a home to have context and connect with its surroundings.
What’s your best small space trick? Look up and use all of your wall space—we managed to fit in an extra row of cupboards above the top units in our kitchen. Usually that space would just be wasted and left to gather dust, but we can store the things we don’t use everyday such as vases, cookbooks, and wine bottles.
What’s the most recent thing you’ve bought for your home? The most recent thing was more like a mini project—we’ve just tiled the fireplace with monochrome encaustic tiles. It was something I had been meaning to do for a while but could never find the right tiles I was after. As the original fireplace surround had been removed we decided to create a simple hole and install a wood burning stove to create a contemporary look and a bold focal point for the room.
What’s the one thing that makes your space feel like home? I like having my favorite things around me—it’s definitely all the little objects that make a house a home; unique finds I’ve picked up at antique markets or favorite books I have piled up in corners.