Name: Helga Stentzel, her husband Kirill and their boys Misha (8) and Timmy (3)
Location: West London
Size: 800 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, owned
Helga Stentzel, or @made_by_helga as she's better known on Instagram, lives in London with her husband and their two boys Misha and Timmy. Originally from Russia, Helga came to London to study graphic design at Central Saint Martins a decade ago. Now a visual artist and content creator, her feed is packed with clever visual puns and her home is full of quirky little details, too.
Helga and her husband Kirill bought this Victorian terrace two years ago and completely renovated the whole place. This once typical two-up, two-down house has been flipped upside down, with the upstairs bedrooms transformed into one big open plan lounge/kitchen diner. They also opened up the loft adding in skylights to give it a more airy feel. "You know when the house is small, but you get the height, it doesn't feel as intimidating," Helga tells me. And indeed she's right; the skylight really opens up the space, making the loft the perfect hangout for the whole family.
Helga also came up with an ingenious idea for the staircase — a multicolored carpeted staircase — when they ran out of budget in their renovation. At first, Helga wanted to find off-cut carpet in a lot of different colors, but she could only get these in a few different shades of grey. Thankfully, she fell in love with this subtler color scheme and knew it was actually better than what she originally had in mind.
"It was a creative process from A-Z; it all happened gradually. I had the idea, pictured it a bit differently and when I found the carpets I managed to piece them all together." Helga's home shows us that when you are resourceful and creative, renovating doesn't need to cost a lot money.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Eclectic Scandinavian *if it exists :)
Inspiration: Living Etc magazine and numerous Pinterest boards
Favorite Element: Skylights in the kitchen and multicoloured staircase carpet
Biggest Challenge: Finding a narrow bunk bed for the children's room. It had to go into an alcove only 88 cm wide, and most bed styles required at least 90 cm. Finally, we found this compact bed on Amazon, which was a perfect fit.
What Friends Say: They love our place (they're friends, after all;)!
Biggest Embarrassment: Floor tiles in the lower bathroom. They came off after just two weeks (argh, builders in London!) and we are now living with the floor, which is a bit wobbly.
Proudest DIY: We are DIY enthusiasts, so there are lots of things that my husband and I made ourselves. For him it's the lights in our living room and for me it's the mural in the kids' bedroom.
Biggest Indulgence: The chest in the living room. The moment I spotted it at Feather and Black last spring I knew I had to have it. I love the combination of stainless steel, cherry wood and aged cognac leather; it has so much character!
Best Advice: Our builder recommended we use wipe-able paint (Dulux Durable Matte) instead of the regular one, and I just can't thank him enough. When you have young children in the house, spills and fingerprints on the walls are unavoidable. Now I can wipe them off the wall in a matter of seconds. It's a game changer!
Dream Sources: Pinterest and kitchen studios around London. I just love good kitchen design!
Hallway - Dulux Night jewels
Bedrooms - Dulux Potters Clay
Kitchen and living room - Dulux in Dusted Moss
Mirror - Etsy find
Carpet - remnants from various carpet stores
Pendant light - Easy Lighting with hand-decorated neon cord
Bed - IKEA Brimnes
Headboard - DIY
Mirror - dwell
Wall tiles - The tile place
Cabinets - Linda Barker collection at Wren kitchens
Rustic shelves - Funky Chunky Furniture
Pendant light - vintage, eBay
Table - Trinity Hospice Charity shop
Chairs - Fjord at made.com
Chest - Feather and Black
Ceiling light - assembled from Dowsing and Reynolds bulb fittings
Piano - Yamaha
Rustic shelf - funky Chunky Furniture
Sofa - IKEA
Pillows - Ikea and John Lewis