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A Danish Family Home in a Former Jam Factory In London




You can take a girl out of Denmark, but you can't take Denmark out of the girl. And this incredible apartment in London is proof! Originally from Copenhagen, Christina Thaisen lives in a former jam factory just off Bermondsey Street with her boyfriend and son. Formerly a fairly run-down industrial area, Bermondsey is a vibrant little village in London where a hip crowd mingles in cosy pubs and independent eateries. I chatted with interior designer and shop owner Christina to find out more about life in London, the inspiration behind her beautiful home and online interior shop NABO.


What took you to London?
I moved from Copenhagen to London 5.5 years ago. I moved here to live with my Danish boyfriend, who moved to London for work. I used to think it was only for a short period of time but now we both call London home and we wanted to start a family here.

Above; "Our dining chairs are Ant Chairs by Arne Jacobsen, dating back to the 1970s and my son is now the 4th generation eating dinner on them! The Lamp over our dining table is a PH Limited edition in copper and the bar wagon is designed by Herbert Hirche. Our dining table is designed by Egon Eiermann." 


What do you like most about living in Bermondsey?
I love living in Bermondsey: there are independent shops, great restaurants, cosy coffee shops and lots of different markets - basically, everything you need! Our area has a local feel to it, which makes it really homely.



Your apartment has incredible bones, can you tell us more about the architecture?
The jam factory is known for being one of the most outstanding industrial conversions to be completed in London in recent years. It was converted by Ian Simpson Architects in 2002, but the building originally dates from 1902 when it was constructed as a factory by Sir William Hartley's famous jam company.


Your home is beautiful! Do you work with design?
I have an MA in Art & Visual Culture. I work with interior design through NABO but also on interior projects for private clients. I focus on creating homes where design is not a mere object for display, but a combination of quality, function and aesthetics.




What is the story behind NABO?
When I moved to the UK I was shocked at how much replica furniture I saw in firms, private homes - and even in interior design studios. I found that people focused more on getting a 'certain look' than finding furniture that functions in their daily lives, stands the test of time and reflects who they are. I started helping people by sourcing original Danish vintage furniture (both classics and less known names which are more affordable) and focusing on new designers and brands that weren't already available in the UK. This is how I came to open NABO

Above: Christina inherited the daybed from her grandparents and the pendant is the Circle Lamp by Frama.

I love the sense of contrast in your home, can you tell us more about the colours? 
The grey walls and shelves in our living room and hallway have been painted in Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. Down Pipe complements the industrial building brilliantly! The green tiles in the kitchen create a calm atmosphere for dining. 

You have a beautiful mix of furniture in your home, can you tell us more about it?
The daybed is from the 1960s and is an heirloom from my Grandmother. The piece itself is teak and very minimalist - it's something we'll keep forever, I'm sure - but I've added a blue seat cushion to make it a little more unusual. In fact, I love heirlooms in general. As well as the daybed, we have lamps, dining chairs and a coffee table from our grandparents on both sides, and I love the personality that things which have been in the family for generations give to a space. Whenever I buy something new for our home, I ask myself if it's something I would want to pass on to my children. 
  














5 quick questions!

What do you miss most about Denmark? The snow in winter time. There's something magical about it and it's very rare to see snow in London.

Favourite Danish word? 'Velbekomme' is a good word! It's used when telling someone to enjoy their meal. There isn't a word for it in English, so the English have adopted 'bon appetite' from France, I would say the Danish equivalent is just as good!

Danish open sandwich or British sarnie? Danish open sandwich. No doubt about that one!

Mid-century or modern day? Oh, that's a tough one because I love the mix! If I have to choose, I would say modern day as I think it's important to support new designers instead of putting old designs back in production again (which makes it very hard for new designers to break through).

Secret London design tip? The New Craftsmen is a design gallery showcasing unique objects that are rooted in craftsmanship. Everything in there is made by UK artisans. Definitely worth a visit!

Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home and telling us more about your life as a Dane in London Christina!

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I love the emphasis on items made with care and built to last throughout Christina's home. What a great approach, don't you think?

Is there anything that stood out to you in Christina's lovely home?

If you'd like to see more hop over to her instagram or to pick up something for your home, NABO is a wonderful shop!

There's a ton more Great Dane home tours to be found here.

Only a day left until the weekend - we're nearly there guys!

Niki

PS If you haven't already, I'd be so grateful if you could take a moment to answer my survey about a new project I'm working on, it only takes a minute and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Photography courtesy of Christina Thaisen

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London calling: Could This Be Your Next Home?

You know what they say, you can take a girl out of London, but you can't take London out of the girl. And these Victorian terrace houses get me every time. Except this one has been designed with a twist. A subtle country, oldy woldy yet contemporary twist - and a hint of Scandinavian style too. Be still my beating heart! I wonder who lives here? But more importantly, I wonder who is going to snap it up? You see, this fabulous two bedroom, split level apartment in Stoke Newington has just come on the market, and waiting for a new owner. Complete with quarry tiles, original oak floorboards, and the most fabulous stone fireplace, I'm wondering if it could be me. Bit small for our family though (my very own London a pied รก Terre perhaps?) - hmmm. Maybe you'll just have to snap it up on my behalf and I'll pop over for tea from time to time. Deal?! 

 The owners have fitted the living space with black cast-iron radiators and put in a fabulous kitchen (loving the deep blue cabinets and that Smeg range*!).



An open storage rack on castors provides a perfect place for earthenware and Le Crueset* pans - but the real star of this corner is the Scandinavian leather safari chair (there are a few vintage ones available here*)! I'm starting to wonder if one of the owners of this home is Danish? 

The Frame circle shade lamp* is similar to the pendants over the table and in the corner I spy a Lampe Gras Wall Lamp*



This original stone fireplace though. 

I love how the mantel piece serves as a spot for pottery (the owners clearly collect pottery / ceramics). I feel like I'm playing a game of 'through the keyhole here' where you have to guess the owners. If anyone knows them, I'd love to hear if my guesses have been correct! 

Last night I spent the best part of an hour looking for a round mirror for my hall. I now feel like a bit of a pro! For the best results, choose a mirror that's about a third smaller than the piece beneath it. This one is super nice! 

How dare they have my favourite Flag Halyard chair. The little side table is also Danish.



The downstairs bedroom also serves as a perfect home work space - flooded with light from the double French doors. 

Check out the skirting boards in dark blue. So lovely! 


Such a charming space, don't you think?

I loved playing the detective. I'll eat a tin of fermented herrings if at least owner isn't from Denmark! Did you see any other clues as to who they might be? 

And most importantly, could you imagine snapping up this London home?! 

Other London homes to love:


Starting to feel a little home sick now, I must say! 

Have a wonderful day friends, nearly there - tomorrow's POETS day - hurrah! 

UPDATE! Thank you so much to Charlotte for pointing out the interview with owner Paul West (who happens to have the most beautiful instagem @consideredthings) in the comments! You can read about the renovation here and see if I was right with the Scandi influence....

Niki

Design Paul West. Photography courtesy of The Modern House (found via Planete Deco with thanks).  
Affiliate links marked with *

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This Charming Rustic London Townhouse Could Be Yours!


Many years ago, I visited a freelance graphic designer in her cosy Georgian home tucked just behind Waterloo station in central London. I was mesmerised by the location and the charming interior - so much so that she pretty much had to boot me out by the end of the day - I was seriously ready to move in! This cosy home in Bermondsey, not far from Tower Bridge took me straight back to Tamsin's home. Built in 1729, the Grade II listed townhouse has been renovated by architects Mosley & Mann in collaboration with local artist Robert Mosley - who was responsible for the joinery and extensive restoration work. The team have worked hard to restore many of the stunning 18th century details, while raising the standard to meet modern day demands. The result is a beautiful home in the heart of London, packed with rustic charm. Oh, and it's yours, if you have the funds! 





I miss London so much when I see these pictures! 

If you're lucky the one who snaps this up, can I be the first to come over for a drink on the roof terrace overlooking the shard? At a social distance, of course. 

Side note: love how the wine glasses are hung from a beam, did you spot that too? 

The entire interior has been so beautifully renovated, you wouldn't need to change a thing. 

Could you imagine living here? 

Other London homes to love: 


Have a great start to the week - I've got a feeling this is going to be a good one. 

Niki

Photographs courtesy of The Modern House - found via Desire to Inspire with thanks.

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A Creative London Home Full of Greenery, Art and Sunlight

Today I'm sharing a little slice of home with you. Not my home (sadly), but home in the 'London' sense - the wonderful city I grew up in. This two-bedroom apartment is situated in St John's Grove near Hampstead Heath, North London - where as my childhood home was in the South West suburbs. Even so, the Victorian architecture immediately conjures up memories of a place I love and miss (especially in these times)! The flat is currently for sale - and I'm not sure who the owner is, but if I were to play 'through the keyhole' (in case you haven't seen it, this is a TV program where you guess who lives there based on the evidence) I can tell that they love nature, art, flea markets, travel and potentially Scandinavian design - oh, and have impeccable taste! 

What a wonderful home! Did you notice the parquet floor - beautiful! 

You can see more pictures of this lovely place - and read more about the property over at The Modern House

And if you happen to know who the owners are, I'd be super curious to hear if my predictions were correct!  

Shall we pull up a chair and take a tour of more British properties today? 

A charming rustic London townhouse
Before and After - A Rundown flat Becomes a Stylish London Pad

Tomorrow, I'm off to photograph the smallest property I've ever been in a beach hut! It's so pretty too! I can't wait to share more! 

Niki

Photography courtesy of The Modern House

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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!

Niki

Photography by Cate St Hill shared with thanks

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