Sisters Ellie and Anna Stathaki grew up in Greece and separately made their way to London for postgrad studies. Nearly 20 years later, they both found themselves happily, if unexpectedly, still in London and working in overlapping fields: Ellie is the architecture editor at Wallpaper* magazine and Anna is an architecture and interiors photographer.
Not surprisingly, they decided to collaborate on a contemporary design book, and the subject they zeroed in on is something they both love about their adopted home: the many inventive ways people from near and far live in the city’s historic brick houses. “London has rows upon rows of them, and, at first glance, they can look quite similar, but they’re not, especially once you step inside,” they say. House London, newly out from Frances Lincoln, presents a series of case studies that are, explains Ellie, “essentially about diversity, versatility, and imagination.”
Here, we’re presenting a notable example from the book: Cottage Noir, online shop owner Kemide Lawson’s Georgian worker’s cottage in north London, a Grade-II listed structure layered with elements that celebrate her family’s Nigerian and Jamaican heritage. Join us for a tour.
Photographs by Anna Stathaki from House London courtesy of Frances Lincoln Publishers, unless noted.
The living room has fireplaces at either end; Kemi tiled the nonworking one in a random black and white pattern to “lend some energy to the space—I love geometric shapes and the symbolism of them is part of the design landscape of my West African heritage.”
Kemi and her husband were both born in London, spent their childhoods in Lagos, Nigeria, and returned to the UK in their early teens to go to school. “My husband is of Nigerian heritage and I have Jamaican (from my mother) and Nigerian (from my father) heritage.” Photograph by Andrew Urwin, courtesy of The Cornrow.
Kemi herself oversaw the design with help from her mother’s partner, Jonathan Farrer, former owner of Interior Supply at Chelsea Design Centre. “Jonathan was an expert sounding board for my ideas,” she says. “He advised on suitable fabrics and colors while literally and metaphorically holding my hand as I made some pretty bold decisions.” For the installation, Kemi hired a contractor who oversaw a team of specialists.
More Required Reading:
- Remodelista: The Low-Impact Home
- Stylist Hilary Robertson’s Nomad At Home
- Remodelista in Maine
- Gesa Hansen’s The French Art of Countryfication
Frequently asked questions
Who is Kemi Lawson-English?
Kemi Lawson-English is a London-based interior designer.
What kind of home did Kemi Lawson-English design?
Kemi Lawson-English designed a cottage in the English countryside.
Where is the cottage located?
The cottage is located in the English countryside.
What is the name of Kemi Lawson-English's book?
The book is called 'House London: Style, Design and Interiors of a London Creative.'
What inspired Kemi Lawson-English's design for the cottage?
Kemi Lawson-English was inspired by her Nigerian heritage and the English countryside.
What are some key features of the cottage's design?
Some key features of the design include vibrant colors, bold patterns, and a mix of traditional and modern elements.
Is the cottage available for rent or purchase?
It is not clear if the cottage is available for rent or purchase.
Where can I buy Kemi Lawson-English's book?
Kemi Lawson-English's book can be purchased on Amazon or at select bookstores.
Does Kemi Lawson-English offer interior design services?
It is likely that Kemi Lawson-English offers interior design services, but this information is not included in the article.