Real Interior Design

Real interior design is what we all do when the glossy magazines, colour charts and Pinterest have been put away. Very few people can afford professional interior design for every room of their homes and most of us have to compromise a lot on what we would wish for and can actually achieve. The compromises are varied and cost is not always the one that causes the biggest stumbling block to stylish perfection. On this page, we will talk over the compromises and solutions that we’ve experienced and also some of our stylish bloopers. We are pretty opinionated on style, most things in life too, but we are always open to new inspiration and ideas.

Everyone who wants to curate their home to make it stylish and comfortable needs a little help.

These are our go-to places to solve a stylistic problem.

All of the fabulous second-hand shops in Crystal Palace. There are also some fabulous independent interiors stores on ‘The Triangle’. There is also a retro treasure trove that is Aladins Cave in Brockley

Aladins Cave is exactly that, a mix of second hand and salvage. Very reasonably priced it solves retro design problems . We bought an Emeco 1006 Alluminium Navy Chair for £15. We went there searching for a random chair that would pull our mismatched dining area together, this little beauty called to us despite being covered in a vast amount of bird shit, which was not charged for. Two days of scrubbing and buffing revealed this little beauty.


Another treat that we picked up here was a beautiful old picture frame that we used as the photo booth at our wedding and then used it to frame the beautiful concrete wall that we have in the Old Mortuary

IMG_8381We’ve yet to find anything similar in the South-West but Stax Reclamation at Saltash and some second-hand shops in Union Street, Plymouth have potential to be good sources.

The old sofa.

The old sofa was pulled out of a skip 25 years ago, it was already old and had had an unfortunate colour reupholstery in the 80’s.IMG_0838It survived two decades of pets and children and my husbands urge to return it to its skip beginnings. No one in this picture is sitting comfortably and the flap down arm is incapable of being up.

It went off to the upholsterer for a refurb while the mortuary was being rebuilt. Now the arm stays up when required. It’s comfy to sit on once again and the pink and yellow stripes of the eighties have been replaced with crushed velvet.

G Plan 6250 The Worlds Most Comfortable Chair

Designed in 1962 , the GPlan 6250 was the chair of the moment. Used as a backdrop for classic 1960’s photoshoots, it was as iconic as Twiggy. Recently relaunched by GPlan as the 62,it was on our style list for the refurbished mortuary, but not at the relaunch prices.

We stalked them on EBay and eventually found one in Falmouth, it was super shabby and it’s original brown velvet had faded to a bluey purple. We paid about £100. The picture below is not ours but shows a similarly old one.


£100 is about 5% of the relaunched 62.

Ours took a trip to Callington to E. Thorpe and Son, Upholsterers. It was transformed.

IMG_9927The upholsterer said the original version is a much better engineered chair than the relaunched version. After upholstering, we have a beautiful chair at about 20% of the retail price of a new one. Inspired by our efforts our friends took the same route.

Here are the before and after shots.


Their chair went to

Curated Collections


In our home we have to find space for ‘stuff’. The belongings or memorabilia from two sets of parents, now dead, and two previous individual homes. That’s a big ask of a small cottage. The sensible answer to this is that you can’t keep everything : recycling out to charity shops is not only the answer , it is also the right thing to do. If we don’t need it then a much better use is to generate money for a charity while getting it into the hands of someone else who can make use of it.

To achieve a balance and have a home that is organically styled rather than superficially beautiful with no depth of character we have curated some collections.

Casually placed in a couple of rooms are small collections of old vinyl records. Pre dating bespoke covers they have cardboard sleeves advertising the shops that sold them. They take up very little space but give a big warm hug of remembrance every time they catch your eye.