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iyouall store and iya studio design co-founder Fleur on her home renovation and approach to interior design

I was greeted with such energy and warmth when I arrived at Fleur's home, that she shares with her partner Matt and two children. It is an immaculate space, clean and fresh, with a careful selection of beautiful pieces that bring a pop of colour or texture into the design.


When we first viewed our house, it was a horrible dreary day. It hadn’t been lived in for 6 months, and it looked very sad. I was pregnant at the time so I was very sensitive to smells and things not being clean so I really struggled through the viewing. However, it had masses of potential, and my partner Matt thought it was absolutely brilliant. I was less convinced, but very soon after that my interior head got whirring, and within half a day I had planned the whole design on the computer, and we went for it.


What really sold it in the end for us was looking at it as a long term project, and the location of the home - it’s so unusual being so close to the high street but also quiet, and close to allotments. Plus it was built in the 1970’s so it’s got the mid century feel that we love and are so inspired by.

We lived in the house largely how it was for 6 years, so it really was a long term project. We pulled carpets up and were pleasantly surprised that we revealed the beautiful parquet flooring that covered the whole of the hallway and lounge so we kept that, we took down some of the artex ceilings and replaced them with flat ceilings, and painted throughout. We brought it up to liveable standards, but it was only 2 years ago that we started on the main renovation works; building a kitchen extension attached to the dining room.

It wasn’t too challenging living there during the work, because we blocked off each area we were working on. We added a makeshift kitchen in the hallway and used the downstairs toilet for water. We did work when the weather was warmer so we were eating outside a lot. Of course we also encountered the usual financial challenges with all building materials going up in price so much over lockdown, but we were just so happy to have the big open space and a new kitchen which created such a good flow around the house. Seeing it all done was so exciting because I could then really start interior designing, deciding what furniture we need and what art to put up etc.

What I wanted most was the biggest table we could afford. And we wanted to keep it a white space, like a gallery, but have a few pops of colour like our mint green ceiling in the kitchen. We wanted to keep the original style of the house but make it feel modern and clean, so we laid terracotta tiles which reflected this really well. My advice would be that if you’re working with a budget, concentrate on adding fun pops of colour and putting in a really nice floor, and the rest will fall into place. I also love stacking things, one lovely piece on top of another! The space in a room sets you up for furniture - acknowledge the basic shell, keep it in line and honour the original small details. Natural lighting is also very important, with smaller lights if necessary - I hate main lights! It’s important that you create a relaxing space at home, ideally with views to the outside.

My favourite part of the house now if the huge window in the dining room that looks out into the garden. I love sitting there and looking out, but it’s also magical when you’re sat outside on a summers evening looking into the house and the space is lit with a warm light.

When it comes to working from home, I think a little bit of both is healthy. We think it’s super important to have a studio where employees can come together and work and share ideas, but when I work from home it does feel like an extended weekend which is nice. I tend to work one day from home, because you can also catch up on home admin, but I love being at the studio for the rest of the week.

We’ve been in our Deptford studio now for 7 years. It was a new development, with commercial units that in terms of design were concrete shells with no flooring and no lighting, so it was perfect for us as another interior design project. We kept a lot of the shell in a raw state because we actually really liked it. The materials we used for the fit out are raw materials, the ceiling is still in the silver insulation, and the walls are the pink plaster finish which we love.'

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