Cate St Hill’s Serene & Bright Bloomsbury Apartment

published Jan 11, 2016
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Name: Cate and Olivier
Location: Bloomsbury —London, UK
Size: 725 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years; Owned

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Design writer Cate St Hill’s blog and Instagram feed are filled with beautiful images of effortlessly stylish, minimal-yet-cozy interiors (as well as London recommendations, travel features, and lifestyle pieces). Her London home, which she shares with her French boyfriend, Olivier, is just as you’d expect: a haven of white and palest grey filled with natural light, with a clean, streamlined look that’s softened by a mix of vintage and modern pieces, literary prints, fresh flowers and plants, and inviting stacks of magazines and books.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Cate and Olivier’s apartment is located a stone’s throw from the historic squares of literary Bloomsbury and from the busy hub of King’s Cross station. It’s the best of both worlds, being so central and yet so very tranquil, several floors above a tree-lined street.

When Cate moved in eight years ago, the space was dark, dated, and in need of a total refresh. Over the years, she’s removed the wood-chip wallpaper on the walls and ceilings, painted the walls throughout in either white or French grey, fitted new wooden floors, and replaced the dated kitchen and bathroom.

The open plan living/dining room is now the hub of the home, with a cozy reading corner by the French doors that open onto a balcony; this is Cate’s favorite spot on a sunny morning, with the light streaming in. Next door, there’s a spacious master bedroom and an office which doubles as a guest bedroom; all three rooms are south-facing, so they are filled with light throughout the day. The kitchen and bathroom face onto an internal courtyard and are smaller, with less abundant light, but Cate’s maximized the feeling of space and light with lots of white fittings and well-planned storage.

Cate, who works as an architecture and design journalist by day, in addition to writing her blog, is also now offering interior design advice.

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: A light and relaxed style that’s one part Scandi and one part French, with a blend of old and new

Inspiration: Books and magazines (Elle Decoration, Kinfolk), as well as online sources such as Pinterest

Favorite Element: The corner by the French doors, with its shelving displays—it’s a beautiful place to sit on a sunny day

Biggest Challenge: Making the dark kitchen and bathroom into nice spaces. Also, removing all the wood-chip wallpaper from ceiling and walls!

What Friends Say: Can you come and do my place?

Biggest Embarrassment: There’s a bit of peeling wallpaper in the bedroom …

Proudest DIY: Painting, assembling flatpack furniture, single-handedly removing and fixing then replacing the bathroom door

Biggest Indulgence: The Eames chair (a present from Olivier)

Best Advice: In a small flat, give the illusion of a larger space with light bright walls, discreet blinds not heavy curtains, and floating shelves. Also, invest in key pieces of furniture that will last, but scrimp on artwork, posters, and postcards that can be easily swapped around and changed.

Dream Sources: Skandium, the Conran Shop, Vitra—classic, well-designed pieces that will last.


(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


  • All walls: either Dulux Brilliant White or Little Greene French Grey
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


  • Blinds: John Lewis
  • Tins: vintage
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)


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Cate is an architecture journalist and a design blogger. (Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

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Thanks, Cate & Olivier!