Cate St Hill's Scandinavian Inspired London Oasis

Good morning! I hope you had an underbart weekend?! Get up to anything fun? We went on a road trip to the Blekinge archipelago to visit friends - if you visit Sweden, these islands are a must, they are so magical! The problem is that it was such a relaxing weekend, monday morning has hit me like a sledgehammer (is anyone else feeling slightly disorientated this morning?!), and I'm in panic mode about a 'scandinavian design' presentation next week (I think there are going to be up to 100 people in the room, gulp!). A central theme will be about how the 'less is more' philosophy of Scandinavian design has influenced so many people around the world, and this lovely home in Herne Hill, South London is a fine example! The house belongs to Cate St Hill, interior writer and stylist extraordinaire (check out her instagram feed here), her partner Olivier and very cute miniature dachsund Francis. I chatted with Cate to find out more about the soothing colour pallette, nordic influence and creating a little oasis in the heart of London.

//affiliate links marked with *//
 IKEA Kitchen cabinets, Hay J104 chair, Muuto platform tray

How did your passion for design begin?
I've always been interested in design and studied architecture at UCL in London before I became a design journalist.

Fired Earth tiles

Your style has a distinctly Scandinavian feel - do you have a long lost Nordic relative somewhere?
I really developed an interest in Scandinavian design when I travelled with a university friend for a month, spending a week in each country. We made little design pilgramages to as many Arne Jacobsen and Alvar Aalto buildings we could find.

Stelton coffee jug*, Teema mugs*

What inspires you about Scandinavian design?
I became inspired by the ways that Scandinavian interiors connect to nature and to people, and the respect for quality and craftsmanship. I like that a lot of Scandinavian design is built to last, they are pieces you can have in your home for a long time, the materials get better with age and the shapes and styles endure.

Have you carried out any extensive renovation work?
When we first found the house it was in need of a bit of work, the living room was painted bright purple for instance! So I wanted to strip things back, open the downstairs living room and kitchen up and transform two dark rooms into a light, open space.

What is important to you when creating a home?
 I want to create a calm, tranquil retreat in which to escape the world. I wanted a space that would grow with us, the neutral walls, becoming a blank canvas for everyday life.

How do you add a cosy feel to your home?
I like to use plants, accessories and books to bring life and texture rather than lots of colour.

This pic of Cate's hallway was taken a while back when the space was a work in progress, even so I thought it was too pretty not to share (I hope you don't mind Cate!). 

Can you tell us about the subtle colour palette?
It's blackened by Farrow & Ball on the walls and plain white on the floor (I used Ronseal floor paint).  

And finally, your garden looks like a lovely oasis, do you sit out there a lot?
Yea! it's really sheltered and not overlooked so you don't really feel like you're in London. We've been using it a lot this summer as it's been so warm. It's north facing, I thought it would be really dark but it's a little sun trap during the day.

Thank you so much for telling us about your home Cate.

What a treat this home tour was on a Monday morning  - do you feel inspired too?! Perhaps we should all head out into the garden with our laptops! I'm thinking I'm going to need Francis in tow too - isn't he wonderful?!

Is there anything that stood out to you?

Just in case you're not quite ready to launch into the working week yet - you might just like to check out the grey and white home archive as well as these lovely London homes (makes me feel slightly home sick!). There's a chance Cate's might crop up first - if so, you know what to do (scroll on passed!)!

Have a fab start to the week!


Photography by Cate St Hill shared with thanks


  1. Totally inspired. Colour palette, materials, original architectural details like stairs and roof moldings.. simple and warm. Love this place, and Francis too! So cute!

    1. I love your description 'simple and warm' it's spot on! Totally agree Eva, it's a beautiful home.

  2. Such a warm and beautiful house. I like the old stairs. And this little dog, so cute!

    1. Isn't he cute?! I love how he pops up here and there!

  3. That garden is lovely, and a perfect little oasis.

    1. I love the garden too, it’s hard to imagine it’s in London!

  4. I love the ease and comfort of this home, simplicity at its best. I have my eye on the grey platform tray (which I've already checked out and also comes in a lovely red) on the kitchen table and the beautiful linens on the bed.

    1. I hadn’t actually seen this tray before and am also thinking about one for my home - love it!

  5. This apartment is perfection!!!
    My favorite piece is the kitchen table, the most amazing combination between form, colors and materials, which brand is it?!

    1. I wish I knew where it was from but sadly I don’t. I’ll keep an eye out for it and if I found out more will definitely let you know!

    2. Ive found the table! Its by Muuto :)

  6. I love this post! Simply awesome! And the dog in the pics, so damn cute! :)

  7. Gorgeous. I particularly love the worn staircase.

  8. Everything is in perfection! I especially like the kitchen table. Were is it from? Would love to by it for my kitchen, too :)

    1. Good news, I’ve just found the table - it’s by Muuto!


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