This will be a polariser I’m sure but for many of you in the industry this will be instantly recognisable as a location house which has provided the setting for many fashion and lifestyle shoots. It is even rumoured to be the house that inspired Abigail Ahern on her own journey to the dark side.
It’s a four bedroom house in Hackney, east London, on the market with Aucoot for £1,850,000 designed by Jo, a fashion stylist, (I couldn’t get her page to link at the time of writing but it’s JoAtkinsHughes.com) and Graham-Atkins Hughes, a photographer and known as Location 78. I suspect it might be one of those houses that sells on the basis of its looks and is then redecorated. We once sold a house, apparently, on the strength of the bathroom decor and the sitting room fireplace we had installed and neighbours told us six months later they were the first things to be ripped out!
So yes it’s dark there’s no getting around that. It’s inky and moody but it’s also spacious and flexible in layout as it’s largely open plan on the ground floor. The classic Victorian layout, which is prone to small rooms, has been opened up and a more modern layout created. The owners have married Victorian character with colours that are earthy and warm and a mid-century influence can be seen especially in the solid hardwood panelling, bespoke teak joinery and the custom built-in storage throughout.
The point of a scheme like this, however, is that you have got to go all in. It’s woodwork and ceilings and floors as well. But look at the tricks used to bounce the light around. The pendant lamp is white and will reflect and catch the light. The fireplace is marble. There is a coffee table with a glass top.
Here’s that panelling that was mentioned earlier and just look at those dining chairs…. Again you can see the light bouncing off the leather bench and the pillar. And by the way, if you are wanting to go dark but worried about sucking light out of the room then try a gloss paint. This works particularly well on ceilings – although it will, of course, show up any lumps and bumps in your plasterwork. But dark matt walls and a matching gloss ceiling can look amazing.
This is also the house of texture too – look at that stone wall, the wooden panelling and the paint not to mention the leather chairs and velvet cushions. If your colour palette tends towards the monochrome (remembering monochrome is single colour of any colour not just referring to black and white) then add in as many different textiles and textures as you can. They are a vital, if often overlooked, part of the interior design scheme.
And then you can always throw in a bit of a disrupter colour like the red glossy kitchen cabinets above or the orange carpet below which looks so lovely against the navy blue.
And I’m very keen on this room below which is all clad in black tongue and groove (more texture) with the long worktop and sisal flooring. Yes it’s dark but you want to touch every surface and that brings so much more to scheme than flat walls and floorboards.
Finally, this open plan bedroom suite with heavy curtains to pull across for privacy (and perhaps noise deadening?). Here the colours are earthier with the pink bedspread which tones with the wooden bedhead and bath panelling but the yellow velvet chair brings the light.
What do you think? I’m guessing it’s a love or a loathe with no middle ground this week?
All images kindly provided courtesy of Aucoot