Studio Iro is a London-based interior design studio founded in 2017 by Lucy Currell. We discovered Lucy’s work via a feature that appeared in Elle Decoration last autumn. In it, she described a handful of the projects she was currently working on— including a vast piano factory in Kentish Town. But our interest was piqued by the description of her own home in Forest Gate: a former blacksmith’s cottage and workshop dating from the 1800s featuring “a warm, eclectic mix of inspirations from my travels—particularly to Mexico and Japan—with terra cotta flooring in the kitchen and exposed brickwork painted in limewash.
We duly followed @studio_iro, where we found an image of the exterior of her East London home. “During lockdown, we painted our house in a color inspired by the Mexican architect Luis Barragan,” she wrote. “There should be more colored houses in London bringing joy.”
The incongruity of the Mexican-inspired facade prompted us to get in touch. Today, we take a look behind that sunny exterior:
Lucy studied at the New York School of Interior Design and went on to work as a lead designer for a staging company in New York. On her return to London, she set up her own studio and named it “iro”—the Japanese word for color. “I love the natural color palette derived from a wabi sabi mindset of neutral and earth tone colors,” Lucy explains.
Lucy lives with her husband, Ben Randall (director of Cloud & Horse set building company), and their rescue dogs, Reggie and Mali. The couple purchased the property in 2020. “It had been lived in by the same family for 20 years, so was in need of a refresh, but nothing structural,” she explains. “Besides, sometimes things are best left as they are.”
Beside Luis Barragan, Lucy cites Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge—where artwork is hung beneath windows and above doors—as a place of endless inspiration. In the snug, two abstract Thai collageshave been hung at eye level, to be admired from the comfort of the sofa or armchair.
Lucy’s parting advice? “Use natural materials wherever possible, muted colors found in nature, humble aesthetics—nothing flashy. Search for antique, vintage, or second-hand pieces that already have a story to tell. Support rising artists and craftspeople making things to last for generations. And don’t strive for perfection or completeness,” she adds. “My house is a work in progress—there’s always something that needs doing.”