A Minimal, Scandi-Influenced UK Home

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Minimal, Scandi-Influenced UK Home

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Kate and Matt Williams, their children Daisy and Joseph, and their whippets Mimi and Olive
Location: Mistley — Essex, UK
Years lived in: 3 1/2 years

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This Georgian home dates back to 1710 and sits on one side of the scenic High Street of Mistley village on the Stour Estuary in Essex. The air is scented with the salty smell of the river and the malty hops brewing in the large red-brick brewery nearby. It’s home to hairdresser Kate, her husband Matt (a firefighter), their two children and their much-loved family pets, whippets Mimi and Olive. Spread across four levels, the home has stunning views along the river from the back windows and a pretty, walled garden at the rear.

Kate and Matt bought the period property three and a half years ago and, having renovated their previous home, were undaunted by the amount of work that needed doing. They updated the electrical and restored the sash windows and the back door. On the ground level they put up a wall to create a hallway entrance space, which restored the layout to its original form. Downstairs, they relocated the kitchen from the back of the house to the front in order to make the most of the beautiful light that pours in from that side of the property. They did most of the work themselves, and have completely transformed the house from top to bottom, creating an incredibly serene, light-filled, stunning family home.

The couple are ardent supporters of local artists and businesses and have many pieces and products from Suffolk and Essex makers and producers throughout their home. They have kept the budget in check by using lots of vintage pieces, junk shop finds and seconds (such as the bathroom suite) alongside the modern Scandinavian design pieces.

Kate and Matt have used a muted color palette throughout the property, which gives a cohesive feel to the house as a whole and adds to the feeling of calm throughout their home. Kate has added some pops of color with her accessories, such as the blue rug in the lounge. She is also drawn to pastel colors and has used lots of pale pinks and greens. The Fired Earth floor tiles in the downstairs hallway and the family bathroom also add pattern and interest and are always a talking point when people visit.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our style: Minimalist, Scandi-influenced and inspired by nature.

Inspiration: The riverside and historical surroundings, and the changing seasons.

Favourite Element: The sunlight that streams into the living room at the front of the house.

Biggest Challenge: Our decision to reposition the kitchen from its original place at the back of the house to the front of the property.

What Friends Say: They always comment on the calm and welcoming feel of our home.

Biggest Embarrassment: Being river-facing we sometimes get spotted in our bathroom by passing boats!

Proudest DIY: Restoring the old floorboards in the kitchen and hallway and painting them Farrow and Ball’s Downpipe, which was a real labour of love!

Biggest Indulgence: Our pair of Muuto Nerd bar stools in the kitchen.

Best Advice: Look out for bargains — we saved over £3000 buying our bathroom site from Fired Earth in their seconds outlet in Oxfordshire.

Dream Sources: HAY, Loaf, TineK Home, Devol.


Walls — Little Greene Co ‘Limestone’
Woodwork — Little Greene Co ‘Mortar’
Floorboards — Farrow & Ball ‘Downpipe’

Wicker ceiling light — Cox and Cox
Console table — John Lewis
White table lamp — Vanil
Rug by Pappelina — Vanil

Sofa — Sofa.com
The wicker chair was a vintage find.
Metal reading floor light and leather chair — Laura Ashley

Flowers print on the floor — local artist Polly Fern

The artwork over the fireplace was — Cornish artist John Greig
The butterfly picture, fishes and the two paintings of Kate and Matt’s house in different seasons are all by local artist Matt Mackman, a friend of the couple.

Table — IKEA
Chairs — Habitat
Floral print — Vanil
Candlesticks — Mistley Kitchen

Muuto ‘Nerd’ bar stools — Vanil
Overhead lighting over the kitchen island —from Vanil
Pale green tiles — Laura Ashley
Whale sculpture above the fireplace — Mistley Kitchen

Grey armchair — IKEA
String shelving — Vanil
Map print — Vanil
Wallpaper by London-based artist — Abigail Edwards
Leather sofa — IKEA
Velvet cushions and pale throw on the sofa — Sainsburys

Bed — Williams and Griffins in Colchester, now part of the Fenwick group.
Bedding — John Lewis
Pink wicker chair —found in a vintage shop.
Pale chest of drawers — found in a local second hand furniture shop.
Blanket box — another vintage find.

Kate cleverly created the artwork above the bed by framing wrapping paper sheets in IKEA frames.
Bedding — Cath Kidston

Floral wallpaper feature wall — Cath Kidston
Bed, chairs and light — all IKEA

Floor tiles — Fired Earth
Roll top bath — Fired Earth
Side table — Happiness Store
Shower from local company — Albion Bath Co.

Thanks, Kate and Matt!

Styled and written by Kay Prestney

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