Phillip & Claire’s Colorful & Bright London Flat

updated Dec 19, 2019
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(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Name: Phillip Stoup and Claire Bock
Location: Clerkenwell; London, UK
Size: 650 square feet
Lived in: Six months; Rented

My husband and I moved to a new flat this past October after our landlord sold our previous flat. I was in love with our old flat and it has taken a while to settle into the new one. Photographing the flat for this house tour proved to be a great exercise for making the house feel like our own. The end result from the photo shoot has shown me how bright and open the flat really is, especially since February is one of the worst times of year for natural light in England.

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Phillip and Claire’s Colorful and Bright London Flat (Image credit: Claire Bock)
(Image credit: Claire Bock)

When we moved to London five years ago, we went to IKEA to kit out our flat. It was the only store we knew to get furniture from. As our time in London lingers on, I have replaced many of the IKEA pieces with higher end furniture that I try and find on sale as ex-display. Some IKEA pieces remain as they are the perfect fit for our flat and lifestyle like the Hemnes shoe cabinet in the entry. The nightstands I love and have been discontinued by IKEA but they have the best storage!

Our furniture also seems to get more colorful over time. My colorful furnishings must a sub-conscious longing to be back in my homeland of sunny California. Phillip prefers neutrals so there is always a bit of a battle when I come home with something outrageous like our lime green velvet sofa! I’m still trying to win him over on that piece.

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mid-Century modern influences from Europe mixed with California color.

Inspiration: Some of my favorite cities that we have traveled to, which include: Paris, Copenhagen, New York, San Francisco, Lisbon, and Marrakech.

Favorite Element: The location and floor to ceiling windows. The windows overlook an old cobblestone square so I love the view, however the large windows have proven to keep the flat chilly in the winter.

Biggest Challenge: Space! We lost about 50 square feet when we moved and every square foot matters when you live in a space under 1,000 square feet.

What Friends Say: They say it is so bright and bigger than I have alluded to.

Biggest Embarrassment: The wallpaper in the living room isn’t really my style and came with the flat, but at least it’s neutral. I’m also not a fan of the window treatments, but they could be worse especially in a rental.

Proudest DIY: The kitchen storage shelf and rack that I installed from IKEA. It added a lot of extra space since most of the square footage that I lost in the move was in the kitchen.

Biggest Indulgence: I have a designer chair obsession. I just acquired the Eames chair in the bedroom at the Vitra Sample Sale in London. The Ant chairs from Fritz Hansen were a Christmas gift and are the biggest indulgence of the furnishings. I have also slowly started collecting pieces from Astier de Villatte.

Best Advice: Even if you know a place is temporary, make it your own. Whether it is just throw pillows and a few fun accessories or investing in pieces of furniture.

Dream Sources: I’m currently obsessed with Gubi for re-manufacturing some great mid-century Scandinavian designs.

(Image credit: Claire Bock)

Resources of Note




(Image credit: Claire Bock)

• HOUSE TOUR ARCHIVE: Check out past house tours here.

• Interested in sharing your home with Apartment Therapy? Contact the editors through our House Tour Submission Form.

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