This Beachy U.K. Home Is a “Queer Seaside Haven” (and Has 3 Fireplaces!)

published 3 days ago

This Beachy U.K. Home Is a “Queer Seaside Haven” (and Has 3 Fireplaces!)

published 3 days ago
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 “There are a lot of naked women in this house,” Hannah, editor, book critic, and photographer, laughs, waving at the artwork around the two-bedroom apartment she shares with her partner, Marion. Living on the Hove side of Brighton and Hove, just moments from the beach, they decorated the home they’ve shared for the past one-and-a-half years with nods to life by the sea, their identities, and interests.

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Credit: Zoë Schulz

 “We’re proud of the space we’ve created and have filled it with references to queer life by the seaside,” Marion, who’s passionate about film and works at BIMM University, explains. 

They both are immigrants — Hannah is German-Canadian, and Marion is from Belgium — so you’ll see books in many languages and photographs of the places they’ve lived alongside Sapphic literature, keepsakes from their travels, and plenty of plants. Their travels likely inspired the pair to create the LGBTQIA+ travel blog, Gay Girls Guide

“We’ve been able to add references to our other homes within this home,” Hannah says. “It helps, in a way, when either of us gets a little homesick.”

Credit: Zoë Schulz

The apartment — that they share with their two cats, Pascal and Margot — is also the location for Movies at Medina, the queer film club they host together. 

Marion studied film and previously volunteered in film programming, and starting Movies at Medina was a great way to share her knowledge and create a community. Both Marion and Hannah are particularly fond of queer classics such as But I’m a Cheerleader and Carol and often have themed events with opportunities for guests to dress up if they want.

Credit: Zoë Schulz

“Even in Brighton and Hove, queer spaces are disappearing, particularly spaces for queer women,” Hannah adds. “So we realized these spaces can also exist within our homes.”

This shows up in their home decor style, where their goal is to create a welcoming and warm environment for all who visit. They explain that small things add to this, like offering guests slippers to pop on when they come through the door. The home feels big for them, so they’re always happy to host friends and family who might want to stay for the weekend and even have spare dry robes to encourage their guests to jump into the sea with them.

When it comes to their home decor approach, Marion laughs: “We pick things up from the bin!” The two love to find secondhand pieces, whether they come across them tossed away or in one of the local vintage shops. Hannah’s advice is to arrange around the plants and books, joking that most home decor pieces simply exist to put more plants and books on. They love to experiment, too, and find themselves with a new mantelpiece every season.

Credit: Zoë Schulz

This is the first time the two have lived together, so there has been the added special element of creating a home that represents their relationship. “It has been really interesting to merge our styles,” Hannah adds. “The most significant thing for me — even more than moving in together — was merging our book collections. Once that was done, I was like, ‘OK, well, we’ve combined our books. It’s official!’”

Reflecting on sharing a home, Marion says it’s been easy. “I noticed as soon as we moved in together that coming home to this space, I come home and I just feel relaxed. I’m just so happy to get to come home to spend time with Hannah.”

Shop This Home

Credit: Zoë Schulz

PAINT & COLORS

  • All Rooms — Landlord Beige
Credit: Zoë Schulz

ENTRY

Credit: Zoë Schulz

LIVING ROOM

  • Sofa — Facebook Marketplace
  • Rug — Facebook Marketplace
  • Wardrobe & Glass Cabinet — YMCA Charity Shop
  • Mustard Egg Chair — Stolen from an Ex (Sorry!)
  • Rocking Chair — Facebook Marketplace
  • Bookshelves — IKEA
  • Piano — Facebook Marketplace, Painted by Hannah
  • Painted Nude Woman — Three Angels
  • Grey Armchair — IKEA
Credit: Zoë Schulz

STUDY

  • Desk — DIY
  • Work Lamp — Handmade by Hannah’s Brother
  • Bookshelves — Facebook Marketplace
Credit: Zoë Schulz

KITCHEN

  • Smeg Fridge — Facebook Marketplace
  • Table — Facebook Marketplace
  • Eames Chairs — Freecycle
  • Other Chairs — Facebook Marketplace
  • LE ST. JACQUES Print — Permild & Rosengreen
Credit: Zoë Schulz

BEDROOM

Thanks, Hannah and Marion!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.