Sophie and Thibaud have warmly welcomed us into their cheerful yellow home, happy to share their property story with us. A stone’s throw from Columbia Road and Haggerston Park, their well-proportioned maisonette is perfectly located. First-time buyers in London, they show incredible resilience and determination by taking on a complete renovation of their maisonnette in East London. It has been completely renovated, introducing vibrant colours and textures that reflect their inviting art deco and mid-century style. This beautiful couple’s home is cosy and warm, a true reflection of their personalities!
Where is home? We’re living close by Haggerston Park and Columbia Road, which is a lovely neighbourhood, calm yet lively at the same time.
How long you’ve started your family story in this neighbourhood? We bought the house last July 2022 but only moved last November. We refurbished the whole flat so it took a bit of time!
How did you find your home and where were you living before? We were renting a lovely one bed flat near Victoria Park – Lauriston Village for many years, but after the pandemic and because we’re mainly working from home then, we needed more space and a proper office room.
Property and interior design
What do you love the most about your your home? What seduced us the first time was the tall hedge that is hiding the little private garden that is leading to the entrance of the flat. It creates a very cosy and natural wall that offers privacy and calm from a road that can sometimes be quite busy.
We also really like the balanced size of each room that helps us create even spaces for both work and living areas.
Have you done some renovations and what is your best advice? I guess there are a lot of pros and cons concerning renovations.
It’s quite stressful and there is always unexpected issues popping along the journey, but at the end you’ve got a house that really match what you had in mind and it almost makes you forget about all the troubles you went through during the refurbishment.
What is your best advice when it comes to property work?
Our best advice would be to take as much time as you can when planning the work, and selecting competent and serious constructors, don’t be afraid to ask quotes and compare many providers, always ask for a hard deadline for the work to be finished, and if you can include it in the contract with whoever you hire for the renovation process.
Your favourite room at home and why? The living room is a really cosy place. It’s comfortable and relaxing but we can also invite some friends for dinner or board game’s evening and thanks to the extendable table, we can adjust our space to our needs.
Where do you shop for furniture and deco? It was a mix really. Some of our furniture is vintage, like our dinner table that we’ve found at Chase and Sorensen in Hackney.
We’ve brought some of our things with us from our previous flat, but we’ve bought the majority of them.
The book shelves in the living room for exemple came from Ikea, the sofa is a convertible sofa bed that we brought at Swyft, the bedroom set came from Oliver Bonas, the dining chairs are from Nkuku and most of the office furniture are from Dunelm.
Regarding the decoration, same as the furniture: some are thrifted and some are new.
We’ve got an Anthropologie glass and dinner set, some Westelm decorative objects, most of the lamps came from Made, and Tala.
Sophie also makes a lot of ceramics that you can find all over the place.
And how not to talk about plants, having Columbia road flower market every Sunday close by the house has a really big impact on the deco ! And a hard time to resist temptation. Yes. Our home office is also a tropical forest.
“We also have a tradition where we ask all our guests who are staying over to choose a ceramic item from a charming independent shop nearby. In return, we offer them a special forever space in our living room!”
Any websites for inspiration? Not really, We wanted to give a retro vibe to our flat, between art deco and mid century. We’ve used mostly books as references for the colour choices and deco along with the advice of the very talented interior designer Florence, who helped us to build a coherent scheme. Pinterest is also always helpful to give you some ideas/references.
Neighbourhood and lifestyle
Where do you shop for food? There are a lot of small shops around where we can find really nice products. We love Provisions on Hackney Road, mostly for their french selection. Hackney essentials on Columbia road is also super nice, they’ve also got a lot of gorgeous homeware items. During the week-end, Broadway market is only a few minutes away for some street food, or selections of cheese and other good products.
The hidden gem only locals know about in your area? It’s hard to keep stuff hidden in such a popular and visited area. But you might have never tried Hackney City Farm, on the edge of Haggerston park. It’s great for city kids (and grownups) that like to see some animals living their life in the middle of London. And you can also have a nice breakfast or brunch there with only local products.
Coupette is a pretty hidden cocktail bar as well on Bethnal Green road, with a very nice atmosphere and selection of drinks.
Your favourite restaurant. Campania I guess, always busy, but always great. Handmade pasta, and a very familial yet refined italian kitchen. Only a few steps away from Columbia Road.
Your favourite park. Victoria Park is not that far, and will always be a special place for us. But Haggerston is literally five minutes away now, and has a lot of charm.
The perfect weekend in your neighbourhood
To be fair, what’s great is that you can do a lot by walk. Go east and have a walk by the canal toward Victoria Park Road, and have lunch or drinks in Lauriston Village.
Go west and you’ll end up in Shoreditch, you can visit Brick Lane for vintage and a proper east London experience. A bit further and you arrive at Old Spitalfields, with a lot of fancy shops, Liverpool Street and the entrance to the city of London.
You can also go and have a picnic in London Field on Saturday, and obviously experience the crowded flower market on Columbia Road on Sunday.
What’s your next property move?
(Laughing) For now we will take some rest far away from the stress and excitement and just enjoy the cocoon we’ve created and that we love.
But who knows. Maybe in a few years, we will be ready for another property adventure.
All photos have been taken by the brilliant photographer: SengFlo designs