A Rehabbed London Maisonette from a Newly Minted Designer, High/Low Secrets Included

Several years back, a reader submission landed in our inbox from Lisa Jones, a former fashion buyer. The pitch? A dark and dated bungalow on New York’s Shelter Island that she and husband James Hyatt had remodeled, tip to toe, into a midcentury-style lakeside escape (with a laundry room modeled directly after Julie’s). The story—A Fashion Buyer’s Danish-Inspired Getaway on Shelter Island—was a hit. At the time the editorial team pored over the photos and Jones’ knack for sourcing vintage finds. Was I sure she wasn’t a designer?

Fast forward a few months and I got another email from Jones, this time from her native London. Expecting a baby, the couple had moved across the pond to settle into a Georgian-era maisonette in Hackney, which they’d purchased before moving to New York. “We had tenants living in it while we were away,” Jones says. “We didn’t think we’d embark on such an extensive remodel, but after two sets of renters, the house was very tired.” She included a few tantalizing hints: Dinesen floors, expertly sleuthed hardware, an Ikea hack kitchen. Keep us posted, I told her.

Then a while back Jones emailed again. After a “simple redecoration” snowballed into a massive overhaul—all amid the birth of their son, Bo—the couple had fallen for the London way of life, and the maisonette was finished—just in time for them to move house again, in search of more space.

And, the completion of the project spurred Jones to open her own design business, Lisa Jones Design, with a small, curated shop soon to come. (We approve.)

Take a look inside the maisonette, and keep an eye out for this rising design star.

Photography by Richard Round-Turner, courtesy of Lisa Jones.

Above: The outside of the small Georgian terrace house. “It’s located in London Fields, Hackney, very close to London Fields park and Broadway Market,” Jones tells me. The couple bought the two-bedroom maisonette about nine years ago—before their move to New York—and occupy the upper two floors.

When they moved back to London, the couple expected only to make minor updates, to create a light and airy house for their growing family. But, as is so often the case with renovations, they encountered old, sub-par work and problems as they went, and needed to re-wire and re-plaster throughout.

Above: The entryway, with a glass hanging light (“unknown designer from a Danish auction,” Jones says) and a bike rack sourced from Etsy (see their slew of offerings here).
Above: The light-dappled front parlor. As with her Shelter Island project, Jones wanted to create a neutral shell. “It’s a small house, so having the same flooring throughout makes it seem larger, and the palette of predominately white walls and light floors helps light flood the property. I like adding color with furniture and objects and to keep walls more neutral,” she says.

The couple aimed to keep costs low (at the time, they were thinking of moving back to New York) and wanted Dinesen floors, but expected them to be too costly. “Being our dream floor, we thought we’d just find out how out of budget it’d be. What surprised us was not only the reasonable pricing for such beautiful flooring, but also their attentive customer service,” Jones wrote to me, mid-remodel. “We were able to have the product delivered within two weeks and the shipping cost was very reasonable.” The floors throughout are Dinesen wide-plank boards.

The walls throughout are White by Dulux (a budget option); the accent walls in the dining room and living room are painted in a Stone hue by Papers and Paints.

Above: The dining room, with a Vitsoe wall-mounted shelving unit and a vintage Gubi pendant from Denmark.
Above: The couple brought all of their art and ceramics from Shelter Island. (The furniture was sold with the house.) The Jean Arp print in the living room, for example, formerly had a spot in the couple’s Shelter Island bedroom.

Above: On the dining room shelves: a green Flos Snoopy Lamp sourced from The Apartment in Denmark and a pink and green Murano glass vase, found on eBay (and one of our Design Trends for 2018).

Above: The kitchen was remodeled with a high/low mix of materials. The cabinets are Ikea boxes paired with custom cabinet fronts from Naked Doors. “We received quotes from Scandinavian companies—Superfront, Reform, A.S. Helsingo—as there seems to be vastly more choice over there. After a final attempted search to find an equally good company in the UK, we luckily stumbled upon Naked Doors,” Jones says.

(For more sources, see Ikea Kitchen Upgrade: 11 Custom Cabinet Companies for the Ultimate Kitchen Hack.)

The open cupboard at right is lined in spare Dinesen boards, inspired by the Osea kitchen the couple spotted at the Plain English showroom.

Above: For a splurge, the couple opted for a Vola faucet and Carrara marble countertops. (For more on Carrara, see Remodeling 101: The Difference Between Carrara, Calacatta, and Statuary Marble, and 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Marble Countertops.)
Above: The couple resourcefully used leftover Dinesen boards to clad one wall of the kitchen. A slab of marble forms a minimalist backsplash.

The earth tone ceramics on the shelf safely made the trip from Shelter Island; they’re by Joan Platt.

Above: A thin wood shelf stores French presses and cups by K.H. Würtz.
Above: High shelves hold sculptural ceramics (and make use of the space above a wall unit).
Above: Back through to the entryway.

Jones sleuthed a high/low discovery for the door hardware. “We fell for the Gio Ponti lever handles manufactured by Olivari,” she wrote to me in an update. “At £192 they were out of our budget, but we found a great low price alternative for £38 in polished brass by Heritage Brass.” (N.B.: They’re the Round Rose Designer Door Handles, now £41.47.)

Above: At the top of the stairs: a hanging pendant by Atelier Areti and, on the dresser, a pink Murano glass lamp from Etsy.
Above: In the couple’s bedroom, ample built-in storage lines one wall.
Above: A sheepskin is draped on a leather campaign chair. A Noguchi Akari Lamp adds a sense of sculpture, above.
Above: The bedside reading lights are Arne Jacobsen AJ9 Bellevue Wall Lamps by &Tradition.
Above: Bo’s room, with a child-height peg rail, copious baskets, and wall-mounted Ivar cabinets from Ikea for easy toy storage.
Above: The bath was also fully remodeled, with square white tile sourced from Home Depot and a glass divider by the bath. Surprisingly, the clawfoot bath was not original to the house, but the couple “wanted it to feel like it might have been,” Jones says.
Above: A stacked washer-dryer fits behind double doors.
Above: Above the vanity is a slim marble shelf for holding toiletries; the mirror is the Slimline 550 Cabinet in Oak from TwentyTwentyOne.

Stay tuned for more from Jones—a next London remodel, perhaps.

Three more up-and-coming designers to watch:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 8, 2018.

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