The annual LIVING ETC house tours took place last week. A day of six open house tours of design savvy owners. Which will leave you super inspired or depressed in equal measures (or maybe thats just me). It was my first time attending the event and it is definitely going to be an annual pilgrimage. All houses were based in Hackney/Hackney borders. It was a gloriously sunny day and you could walk from venue to venue on foot. Houses full of absolute interiors geeks. Most of whom were not in the interior design industry. Just totally obsessed by interiors and having a snoop around someone else house! Its near impossible to select a favourite but I have listed mine in preference but all were completely stunning. I have also selected a few of my top picks from each house. there were of course a few running themes in the houses that is a reflection of the zeitgeist and the area (taxidermy centre of London!).

Ok here we go...who lives in a house like this....Lisa its over to you.


1.  Urban Cottage by All & Nxthing

Owners Miranda & Stephen founder of Interior Design Studio All & Nxthing home is so incredible origonal and thought through...the place was buzzing with people chatting amongst there friends (and strangers) gasping at all the interiors eye candy and origional design features that collectively make a truly unique house. Its a very accomplished and thought through house which marries an industrial vibe with midcentury softness. Something thats not easy to achive. the build took eight months but no doubt absolutely worth the wait. The building was extended and there has been such clever use of glazing on both the ground floor and first floor bathroom making the modest sized house feel light and bright. In the kitchen there is a rectangle sky light, Oriel window and critical style doors leading to the garden. The flooring throughout is poured concrete. The kitchen/dining area is light and bright and the concrete and aluminium had been off set by lots of wood in the midcentury furnishings, a parquet and stone mix worktop (genius), dark painted units with burnished brass fittings. The snug in contrast is painted a dark shade the perfect area for a stiff drink and listening to a few tunes.

The stair case with its original patina leads to a first floor with a two tone colour blocked wall painted three quarters in Farrow & Balls Setting Plaster and white. The paint effects continues onto the architrave and woodwork. Each room is incredible homely and the theme of blending mid century modern finds, beautiful textiles and greenery continues. The bathroom is stylishly functional mirroring the concrete & burnished brass fitting from down stairs. The light is extraordinary in the room ... which explains why the plants are still alive!

Its a truly beautiful house and a breath of fresh air on so many levels. I can see why social media is buzzing with 'that was my favourite house'.

My favourite bits...

1.  The worktop mixing of concrete and parquet around the sink. Whilst I have seen quite a few parquet tops I have never seen this and it is not only easy on the eye but incredible practical.

2. The glazing, slim oriel window and aluminium frame doors. I had a quick chat with Steven regarding architects and extensions and have totally been inspired to start the design process on my own house. Its a couple of years off but I might need that time to get it right! (some wiggle room to change my mind!). Getting the right balance is a game changer. The light is beautiful in this house particularly in the bathroom.

3. As a self confessed Ercol addict I loved the use of the Mid century vibes with the industrial luxe materials. It really updated the midcentury look that so many of us are fond of.

4. Dark & light paint. In recent years in a contemporary home you are pigeon holed into Scandinavian lights or Abigail Ahern dark side. Both of which are quite dated now. The mix of dark and light is considered in terms of light and mood and completely unique to the couple...dont rule out a paint technique. The colour blocking works fab and I'm personally going to try this look in my sons room.

5.  The bathroom is highly practical and non conventional. The materials are super stylish and very suited to a high traffic area. The details take the edge of the raw material finish. Burnished brass, brown glass, plants, textiles...and did I mention the natural light. Swwoon!

2.  Gorgeous Georgian Town House

A stunning Georgian family Town house over four floors. The house is divided into small spaces each functional and homely making an incredibley desirable family home. Every nook has a function (think study, library, snug, treehouse!). The family are clearly avid art collectors and prints are in every room, as are antiques and curiosities. This was one of the larger properties but it felt homely and full of personality (and an exquisite taste level). 

The first/ground floor is home to a formal living space which looks out onto the regency square with beautiful pieces of art and furniture. Just off this is a TV Library room which is small and perfect for hungering down with blankets and the remote. Painted in Farrow & Balls railings its super cosy and the mass of various textiles and the stuffed rabbit make it super personal.

Downstairs in the basement is an office on the stairwell looking out to the garden with a tree house the size of some London studio flats (and more stylish) with a vertical slim window offering a vista as you walk down the stairs. Th kitchen feels super smart and 'grown up'. The leather banquette and table with three pendant lights brings back the family vibes as does the snug nestled behind the clock wall. Approx five metres of sofa with a large tv, open fire and the most exquisite dark based wallpaper. Perfect for the nights you just want a TV dinner.

On the first floor is a luxurious bathroom with would look at home in a five star hotel with free-standing bath and marble wall. The master bedrrom has all the ingredients that make up the rest of the house. Street art, vintage finds, luxe, practicality (theres shelves behind the bed...cup of chai anyone?) The three kids rooms are dreamy and in keeping with the rest of the house. 

The three childrens room are as you would expect super stylish, non twee and gender neutral. I mean who doesn't want a punch bag in there bedroom. I mean, I do!!! Stunning family home...super stylish...ok onto the next.

My favourite bits...

1. The basement kitchen...all of it. Particularly love the tv snug and use of space.

2. The furniture new and old is beautifully curated and completely individual in every room.

3. The super luxe bathroom which doesn't feel cold or clinical

4. The nook in the master bedroom for books/tea...whatever all discreetly hidden away. Along with the colours, mix of textiles and the show stopping piece of art.

5. The children's rooms. All of them as stylish as the next. All of the kids belongings on show and not hidden away (I'm sure there was a stash somewhere)! Particularly love the cork board with shelving laid ontop and the mural & punch bag in the loft room.

3.  Vintage Luxe

This family home gives you a hint from the outside the home owner is into colour, print and pattern. The abundance of wild flowers in the front garden mirrors the textiles and homewares throughout the house. I love the colour of the external render it’s a breath of fresh air from the grey and magnolias of the neighbours. (Made a mental note ... read already consulted with the Farrow & Ball shade card for my own house!)

This family house is owned by an fashion stylist/interior designer .... so it was always going to be a goodie. There are floral prints in every room wether a Rug, curtains, wallpaper. But it’s by no means twee. Mixed with Hacienda prints, macabre dollies and religious artefacts it’s full of personality.

Highlight for me is the stunning kitchen with Oriel window, emerald tiles, burnished gold base units (yes pls)! The girls bedroom brings back happy memories for me with it’s eighties Sindy House ... (always Sindy never Barbie). The master bedroom is dreamy. The vintage haberdashery display cases are always such a great example of pure craftsmanship that have stood the test of time. I never tire of them. The bathroom is light and fresh and has a romantic vintage feel. I imagined a great place to chill with a glass of something and a bubble bath after a long day. 🖤

It’s a beautiful home which no doubt you have seen in many publications. 

My favourite bits...(in brief)

1. The use of bold florals & pattern clash

2. The modern kitchen which feels super homely with its use of numerous modern materials (burnished gold, concrete, wood, ceramics) styled with vintage finds and prints personal to the family (love the Hacienda print).

3. The modern take on pastels in the bathroom. Cool not sugary.

4.  The external colour, door number and planting.

5. The use of colour throughout in sophisticated neutral shades. 

Are you still with me?  To be continued in part two...