A NEW-BUILD LONDON FLAT WITH AGED CHARM.

This London flat has been almost two decades in the making for Katy Orme. Since she was a little girl, decorating, designing and redesigning rooms has been a passion that has shaped her. From sponge-painting her childhood bedroom at age 11 (and redecorating each year after) to refinishing the family’s living room floors as a teenager, Katy has a love for making spaces come alive and has turned that love into her career. Now as a freelance interior stylist and blogger, she gets to be surrounded by projects, images and spaces that she is inspired by every day.

When Katy was loft-hunting in Bermondsey, a district in south London, she knew that apartments in historic buildings would be out of the question because of the price. She found a new-build in her budget and immediately saw potential to give it an edge. “I knew this flat was the one because of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and bedroom, so the light floods in and it has brilliant views across London, as I’m up on the sixth floor,” Katy says. “My main decorating goal was to add character to what is essentially a white, soulless box. There are no period or quirky architectural features, so I had to try to add as much style as possible. I didn’t want to lose any of the white walls as I love the brightness and flexibility of the space, so I tried to layer up character and color by using furniture, textiles, books, plants and artwork.” Katy’s eye for balancing color with white space and seamlessly incorporating pieces from various eras has been in practice since she was a girl, and her talent for layering a room is unmistakeable.

Katy met her now fiancé, Jules Copeland, just a week after moving in and when he moved in a year later, Katy got to transform the space again to suit both of them. “I consciously decided not to buy anything new until I had lived there for a few weeks and had a better understanding of how I was going to use the space, what the light was like, what I needed,” Katy says. “Very gradually over the next year I bought new pieces of furniture and made it all pretty perfect. Then Jules moved in and everything got turned upside down. I had to rearrange the whole flat to fit it all in.” Her time arranging, rearranging and DIYing over the years has served her well. Katy’s new-build flat is vibrant, beautiful and full of character. —Lauren

Photography by Katharine Peachey

Original post once again from the amazing DESIGN SPONGE.

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"Most of the pieces in my home have a story behind them that makes it feel more special and personal. I have used quite a few antique pieces handed down from my grandparents and parents," says Katy. "I’m also very good at wasting enormous amounts of time searching for vintage stuff on eBay."
“Most of the pieces in my home have a story behind them that makes it feel more special and personal. I have used quite a few antique pieces handed down from my grandparents and parents,” says Katy. “I’m also very good at wasting enormous amounts of time searching for vintage stuff on eBay.”
The furniture in the home is from various styles and eras. Katy's design is really about the complete room, not about the pieces. She has created rooms that can't be identified as traditional, shaker, old-world or mid-century and are that much more lovely by setting labels aside.
The furniture in the home is from various styles and eras. Katy’s design is really about the complete room, not about the pieces. She has created rooms that can’t be identified as traditional, shaker, old-world or mid-century and are that much more lovely by setting labels aside.
Katy's rich style, color and texture combination works so well in this bright, airy space.
Katy’s rich style, color and texture combination works so well in this bright, airy space.
"The terrrarium was in a bush in my parents' garden when my family moved into the house more than 20 years ago," says Katy. "I begged my mum to have it for years until she finally relented. Once I had cleaned it up and planted it she asked for it back - no chance!"
“The terrrarium was in a bush in my parents’ garden when my family moved into the house more than 20 years ago,” says Katy. “I begged my mum to have it for years until she finally relented. Once I had cleaned it up and planted it she asked for it back – no chance!”
Katy at her dining table. The large-scale mirror above the table reflects the gorgeous light from the giant windows on the other side of the space.
Katy at her dining table. The large-scale mirror above the table reflects the gorgeous light from the giant windows on the other side of the space.
" I love to have as many fresh flowers as possible, especially in the hallway as it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door," says Katy. "The hallway table is an old school desk that I found in an antiques market. We use the antique iron as a door stop."
” I love to have as many fresh flowers as possible, especially in the hallway as it’s the first thing you see when you walk in the door,” says Katy. “The hallway table is an old school desk that I found in an antiques market. We use the antique iron as a door stop.”
"I painted all of the internal doors in the flat white because there were eight doors leading off our small hallway and so it felt very oppressive," says Katy. "I painted the bathroom door with chalkboard paint as it is right next to the front door so it’s perfect for reminders and notes."
“I painted all of the internal doors in the flat white because there were eight doors leading off our small hallway and so it felt very oppressive,” says Katy. “I painted the bathroom door with chalkboard paint as it is right next to the front door so it’s perfect for reminders and notes.”
"The bedroom was the last room that I tackled and I loved lightening and brightening it by painting the floors white," says Katy.
“The bedroom was the last room that I tackled and I loved lightening and brightening it by painting the floors white,” says Katy.
The subdued colors in the bedroom play up the casual, carefree feel of the space.
The subdued colors in the bedroom play up the casual, carefree feel of the space.
"The chair used to belong to my grandmother and it was in her guest room. It’s falling to pieces now but I can’t bring myself to reupholster it as it’s covered in beautiful 1950s Sanderson fabric and it will lose all its special memories," says Katy.
“The chair used to belong to my grandmother and it was in her guest room. It’s falling to pieces now but I can’t bring myself to reupholster it as it’s covered in beautiful 1950s Sanderson fabric and it will lose all its special memories,” says Katy.
"I’ve tried really hard to have as little stuff as possible on the surfaces in my bedroom as I find it mentally far more calming to be free of clutter."
“I’ve tried really hard to have as little stuff as possible on the surfaces in my bedroom as I find it mentally far more calming to be free of clutter.”
"When Jules and I started working from home we decided to change the guest room into a home office," says Katy. "We could no longer justify using a whole room for guests who may or may not come to stay once a month or so."
“When Jules and I started working from home we decided to change the guest room into a home office,” says Katy. “We could no longer justify using a whole room for guests who may or may not come to stay once a month or so.”
The 1930s factory pendant was a gift to Katy from her old colleagues when she transitioned to working freelance. It adds a bit of edge to this otherwise bright, airy and new space.
The 1930s factory pendant was a gift to Katy from her old colleagues when she transitioned to working freelance. It adds a bit of edge to this otherwise bright, airy and new space.
"I hung pegboard in my office for all of my crafty bits and pieces. I’m always making or doing DIY for my blog so this is a very practical storage solution," says Katy. "The phone is an original and still works although no one ever uses a land line anymore."
“I hung pegboard in my office for all of my crafty bits and pieces. I’m always making or doing DIY for my blog so this is a very practical storage solution,” says Katy. “The phone is an original and still works although no one ever uses a land line anymore.”
Baskets have found their way into almost every room of Katy and Jules' home as a way to organize anything from fabric to odds-and-ends.
Baskets have found their way into almost every room of Katy and Jules’ home as a way to organize anything from fabric to odds-and-ends.
"I worked so hard on turning our guest room into this home office. I painted the floor, hung the pendant, mounted the pegboard and put up the string shelving as well as making the desk tops," says Katy. "I love how light, bright and motivating this space is."
“I worked so hard on turning our guest room into this home office. I painted the floor, hung the pendant, mounted the pegboard and put up the string shelving as well as making the desk tops,” says Katy. “I love how light, bright and motivating this space is.”
The bright light, white cabinets and wood details make this a clean slate for Katy and Jules, but they'd love to renovate it some day when they can justify the cost of changing a brand new kitchen. "I love blogging about my room makeovers, so my next project is definitely going to be my kitchen," says Katy. "I want to replace the work top and make some DIY leather handles for the kitchen cupboard doors. I’d also like to source some unique tiles that will inject a bit of character."
The bright light, white cabinets and wood details make this a clean slate for Katy and Jules, but they’d love to renovate it some day when they can justify the cost of changing a brand new kitchen. “I love blogging about my room makeovers, so my next project is definitely going to be my kitchen,” says Katy. “I want to replace the work top and make some DIY leather handles for the kitchen cupboard doors. I’d also like to source some unique tiles that will inject a bit of character.”
"I made the hanging planter from a vintage jelly mold," says Katy. "I grow herbs in it, which is perfect for a small kitchen, especially as I have no garden."
“I made the hanging planter from a vintage jelly mold,” says Katy. “I grow herbs in it, which is perfect for a small kitchen, especially as I have no garden.”
"I love this vintage shelf that my sister bought me from an antiques market for my birthday," says Katy. "This color runs into the living area and is picked up in the mirror and armchair."
“I love this vintage shelf that my sister bought me from an antiques market for my birthday,” says Katy. “This color runs into the living area and is picked up in the mirror and armchair.”
Katy repurposed enamelware and vintage kitchen pieces into planters for her balcony by drilling holes in the bottom. Her view of London from the balcony is beautiful.
Katy repurposed enamelware and vintage kitchen pieces into planters for her balcony by drilling holes in the bottom. Her view of London from the balcony is beautiful.

SOURCE LIST

LIVING/DINING ROOM
Striped sofa – Sofa Workshop
Cushions – Abigail Borg
Teal loveseat – Habitat
Kilim rug – Etsy
Trunk coffee table – my mother’s school trunk
Green glass vase – belonged to my grandmother
G-Plan sideboard – eBay
Terrarium – found in my parents’ garden
yellow lamp – John Lewis
Dining table – French brocante
Ercol chairs – my parents’ neighbor gave them to me to take to my university house. I nearly left them there when I came back to London!
Mirror – Antiques shop on Camden passage.
Small antique bureau – present from my parents for my 7th birhday
Letter press drawer mounted on wall – Antique shop

KITCHEN
Blue shelf – antiques market
Stool – came from a science lab at the school I taught in as they were throwing them all out!

HOME OFFICE
Desk – Made MDF tops and used IKEA trestle legs
White desk chair – Out There Interiors
Black desk chair – Herman Miller
Pegboard – Amazon
Sideboard – bought from eBay and I painted it and lined it with Mini Moderns wallpaper
String Shelving – Haus
Pendant light – eBay
Blue table lamp – Loaf
Large anglepoise – Dwell
Do Re Mi print – Double Merrick

BEDROOM
Bed – Coco bed from Loaf
Linen – Loaf
Bedside table – Victorian washstand from eBay
Glazed pink vase – House Doctor
Round mirror above bedside table – belonged to my grandmother
Lamp – Houseology
Gold framed painting – used to hang in my parents’ bedroom
Old pine drawers – eBay
Tall ceramic jug – House Doctor
Nude pink vase – Bloomingville
Mirror on drawers – used to hang in my parents’ wine bar
Wardrobes – eBay and I painted them
Floral chair – belonged to my grandmother and it’s covered in 1950s Sanderson fabric
Curtains – John Lewis
Jute rug – Heal’s
Bloomingville brass hanging planter – Out There Interiors

HALLWAY
Table – an old school desk
Atomic hooks – eBay
Yellow cushion on chair – Orla Kiely

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