Having grown up, studied, and worked in Hong Kong, Isabella and Oscar went on a trip of a lifetime to Iceland, fell in love with Europe and decided to relocate to London together to pursue their dream of traveling around this little continent. Isabella, a graphic designer and Oscar, an art director, both found jobs in the creative hub of East London, but when they were looking for a home, they were immediately taken by this two-bed flat by the canal in Wembley, London.
When the couple bought this new-build flat over a year ago, everything was brand new — including the magnolia (the UK version of builder's beige) wall, which of course, they immediately repainted white the moment they moved in. The standard kitchen was also not their cup of tea (more magnolia!), but they thought surely they would be crazy to do anything to this brand new kitchen? But having decorated everything else in this open plan room, the kitchen became an eyesore to them. They went to IKEA and created a design that was exactly what they were after. They changed everything, from the cupboards, drawers, handles, tiles to countertops. Some might call this overly indulgent, but they got a pretty kitchen they're happy to use every day.
Big fans of the Nordic style, Isabella and Oscar use a cool, neutral color palette, layering it with greenery and mixing natural materials like wood, wicker and cork together. Oscar's used a lot of these materials to create different furniture around the home, as well, despite no training in furniture making. He created a dressing table from a cork bench from IKEA, he built the fence on the balcony to give themselves more privacy, and he even created a side table with some hairpin legs and a wooden serving board he bought from the States! The couple's dream is to create their own line of products or furniture one day, and if their home's style is any indication, whatever they design in the future will be beautiful.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Scandinavian/contemporary
Inspiration: Scandinavian and Nordic living style
Favorite Element: Plants/Natural materials
Biggest Challenge: Bringing in some character to the standardised new-build flat
What Friends Say: Minimal and Scandinavian style
Biggest Embarrassment: Too Scandinavian style driven; we wish to blend in some exotic style.
Proudest DIY: Building a fence on the balcony for plants
Biggest Indulgence: Plants everywhere. We love contemporary furniture and mixing natural materials.
Best Advice: Never compromise with price. Only buy the furniture you are 100% sure of, and think about how it sits with other furniture in your apartment.
Vintage Cupboard – eBay
Bristol Table Light Green Marble – Heals
Kitchen unit and work top – Ikea