Mike's Decluttered Design Den in London

Mike's Decluttered Design Den in London

Rebecca Proctor
Feb 6, 2013

Name: Mike Reid, Designer
Location: Hackney, London
Size: 490 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Owned

When Mike Reid moved into his garden flat five years ago, the space was poorly proportioned, divided into a living room, a small kitchen with a hatch, a cramped bathroom and a very large bedroom. After living in the apartment for several years, he recently redesigned the layout to better suit his needs. The kitchen and the living room have been opened up, creating a light and spacious entertaining area, the bathroom has been transformed into a sleek shower room, and the bedroom now accommodates a walk-in wardrobe.

Since he's a designer, Mike's eye is naturally drawn to inspiring objects and interesting graphics, but he has balanced this against his instinct for order and organization. It is testament to Mike's design skills that he manages to display large groups of ephemera in a variety of ways without the space ever feeling cluttered. Records and books are housed in grid-like shelving, while clothes are neatly organised in the walk-in closet, and postcards, tickets and mementos are strung on a wire spanning the bedroom wall. The result is a calm and contemporary home with plenty of personal touches.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-century modern and graphic geek verging on OCD.

Inspiration: Bauhaus, Pawson, graphic art and design, Japanese interior design.

Favorite Element: Designing my own built-in shelving and walk-in wardrobe storage — grid systems rule every graphic designer. And then getting to fill it all with great books and vinyl.

Biggest Challenge: It made sense to do all the DIY work I was planning at one time. So everything had to be chosen, designed and bought around the same time. Also trying to get a balance of simple vs homey in a small space is key. Down with clutter.

What Friends Say: 'Wow, neat, so much better.' 'The sofa is more comfortable than my bed!'

Biggest Embarrassment: None now, but maybe that it took so long to get it all planned.

Proudest DIY: I think 'opening up' the kitchen to the living space completely. Basically removing a plasterboard partition that acted as a partial divide.

Biggest Indulgence: Custom made storage and shelving — and paying for a professional to do all 'proper' DIY work. I would just mess it up or get too frustrated — let me do the design, the experts can do the 'doing'.

Best Advice: Buy less stuff. Buy stuff you will be happy with for (most of your) life. Buy wise — eBay still has some good stuff, if you get ahead of the curve or get lucky (I got two Kaiser Dell lamps for a snip). Do all renovations together if possible. It equals the least disruption, not playing 'Rubiks furniture move' or cleaning stuff up all the time.

Dream Sources: Liberty, SCP, Vitra, Muji, Viaduct, eBay, vintage shops.


    • Potters Clay 4 - Dulux


    • Ceiling lampshade - Vintage Danish - The Modern Warehouse
    • Modular sofa - Muji
    • Red side lamp - Kaiser Dell - eBay
    • Vintage skateboard - Alameda flea market, San Francisco
    • Martin Sharp Print - eBay
    • Paolozzi Litho - Flowers East Gallery
    • Hockney etching - eBay
    • Light letter M - Berlin market
    • Natural wool carpet - Oatmeal


    • Dining table - Habitat
    • Insect / Barb wire textiles - Studio job / Wannekes
    • Chairs - Galvanitas - Dutch retro furniture store
    • Vintage map of Fife - Vintage shop


    • Oak kitchen 'Ulriksdal' - Ikea
    • Kitchen sink / built in appliances - Ikea


    • Eames RAR rocker - Liberty London
    • Bed - Muji
    • Bed linen - Muji / Habitat
    • Bedside lamp - Kaiser Dell - eBay
    • Graphic gallery - Various vintage shops / markets from travels
    • Car badge collection - eBay
    • Natural wool carpet - Oatmeal


Thanks, Mike!

(Images: Rebecca Proctor)

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