All interiors photographs: Christopher O’Donnell.
Portrait: Lauren Michelle.
Lisa and I met a few years ago now, when I was hosting my first store event with Fenwick on Bond Street – she was about to start her interiors business edit58 and I remembered how driven she was (and not to mention amazingly polite and lovely!).
Since then, Lisa’s brand has gone from strength to strength – from sourcing unique artisan pieces from across the world, to launching her own candle range, to being stocked in both Liberty and The Conran Shop (the Chelsea, Marylebone and Paris stores) – you could definitely say she is nailing it.
And what has also kept her avid instagram followers coming back for more is her impeccable interiors taste. She kindly let us into her South London home for a snoop around…I’m sure you’ll love it, too.
Lisa, whereabouts are you based and how long have you lived there?
We live in Wandsworth, South West London. We’ve lived here since 2014, although prior to moving overseas in 2007, we also lived in the area.
You started edit58 in July 2015 – was it a big career change for you? How long had the idea been in the pipeline?
My background is in advertising – following graduation I worked in ad agencies in London, Dubai and Singapore (we lived overseas for 8 years). After our twins were born I realised that for the previous 10 years I had spent my entire career climbing the ladder (reaching board level), but I actually didn’t enjoy it anymore, certainly not enough to be away from the children 5 days a week for long hours. Like many mothers, I wanted to find a way to be around for my children more, but still have a career I loved /something for me.
In 2014 we decided to move back to the UK and I was lucky enough to be in a position, with the support of my husband, to think about starting my own business. Interiors have always been my passion (obsession?!) and so in Jan 2015 I started to think about how I could bring all the items I had found and loved, from my travels, to the UK. I decided it was best to start with a small edit of homewares that I know and love (and that I think make a home); Baskets, blankets, cushions and rugs. This was the initial edit and now it’s grown to include wire words, pottery, candles, prints and Papier-mâché animal heads. There will be more new items added this year. It’s my mission to keep the edit really tight though – everything we stock I adore and have in my own home.
How would you describe your interiors style?
I describe my interiors style as traditional with an eclectic twist. My decorating philosophy is to mix high street, vintage and designer pieces, much like I do with my wardrobe. For me, one look head to toe doesn’t work and the same applies in the home. This mix gives a home texture and interest.
I love to surround myself with vintage pieces that tell a story or items that I’ve brought back from our travels. The house is filled with items that remind us of places we’ve been, people we know and experiences we’ve had. As such, I’m certainly no minimalist!
I love homes where the pieces on display give a true sense of the people living there and the things they love. I hope that’s what people get when they visit us.
What are the biggest bargain finds in your home?
The paint sample artwork that makes up a wall in our dining room. Purchased at a flea market for around £40 I think. And then framed in Ikea frames and hung by a good friend!
I also love vintage oil portraits, and these can always be picked up quite cheaply at charity shops/vintage markets. My favourite two cost £15 combined; The nude next to my bed was £5 from Kempton market, whilst the male artist (on the gallery wall in the living room) was £10 from Oxfam.
Surrounding myself with letters/cards/notes from family and friends, along with mementoes from our travels is another really cheap way to add interest to a home. It makes a space feel personal. I frame postcards I love, or prop them up alongside more expensive finds, to create little vignettes around the home. Another tip (picked up from a good friend) is to buy mini easels (from art supply stores or Amazon etc). I then put my children’s doodles, or photographs on these and it just adds a little something!
I also love to put glass cloches over all my candles. It makes more of a feature of them. I pick these up from Zara Home for £11. Once candles are finished I repurpose them too – a cheap way to create beauty storage, bulb vases, pen pots etc…..
Did you have much work to do to the house when you bought it?
We purchased the house from a couple with 4 children, so the house had 6 bedrooms (which they had created by splitting one of the bedrooms into two). So we took that back to its original state (it’s my daughter’s bedroom now). We also made a few other configuration changes, decorated the house throughout, took all the floors back to floorboards (lots needed restoring) and painted white (with the exception of downstairs which are stained) and restored the fireplaces (new tiling etc). We were living overseas when we purchased the house, and whilst the work was completed , so there were lots of Skype calls with our builders!. The work took around 4 months in total.
We still have lots of plans for the house but need to save up!
Do you have rugs in every room of the house? Which is your most treasured?
Yes – every room. 3 in some! As we have no carpets in the house, rugs, for us not only add visual interest but coziness, warmth and texture. Different rooms have different styles depending on the purpose of the room. For example, the kitchen and bathrooms have vintage flatweave runners that we can chuck in the washing machine (on cold).
The living rooms have wool rugs that are soft underfoot, and I use different rugs to ‘zone’ the space.
The children have more playful rugs in their spaces. My daughter has a mini one featuring birds and trees whilst my son has a Sailing boat on his.
My most treasured is the rug my husband and I purchased when we bought our first home together in 2007. It sits in our dining room now. It’s been with us when we moved to the Middle East, Asia and back to London and holds both sentimental value and real value! It cost more than our 1st mortgage payment (I felt a bit sick when we paid for it!) and came from a rug dealer on the Lots Road. This was before I had my own rug business!
Candle: £30, edit58
Do you shop for interiors online or are you more a vintage shopper?
Much more of a vintage shopper. I can’t pass a flea market, brocante, souk or Antique shop without having a peep. I love the ‘hunt’. There is no better feeling than spotting something you love, and bartering with the trader. I also love the history associated with vintage pieces. Imagining where they have come from or who crafted them. I think that’s why I love vintage portraits. I always wonder who the person is, what they’re thinking, and what their story is….
Is your bed from The White Company? We’ve actually bought this for our house but still not opened it yet!
Yes! It’s the Beaumont bed from The White Company. We really love it. We’re lucky that (like you) we have high ceilings that can take the design. We’d wanted a new bed for ages and I’d looked at lots of similar beds, all with a much higher price tag – so we were thrilled to find this one.
I love the use of different greys – what are your favourite paint colours to use?
In fact, the use of grey throughout our home was actually more of a necessity than a design choice! . As we were essentially decorating from overseas and had never lived in the house (so had no experience of how the light affected each room etc), going with various shades of grey felt both safe and sensible. Although, in fact, I’m not someone who plays with paint colour too much, preferring to let art, rugs and decor pieces do the talking and take centre stage.
I love Little Greene paint company. Every paint used in the house is by them. Including our floor paint (slaked lime). It’s the best white floor paint. It doesn’t yellow and has the perfect finish – matt, but still with enough of a sheen to look clean! The greys are all ‘French Grey’ just differing tones (pale, mid etc).
Where do you go for interiors?
As I mentioned, I like to mix vintage, high street (Zara Home, Habitat, Anthropologie) and designer pieces in our home. We have bits from Ikea, charity shops and (shhh!) pieces found on the street – but combined with some more expensive pieces (from Liberty/ The Conran Shop/Antique dealers) and styled in the right way – you’d never know. I also think it’s important to have this mix to ensure your home has some ‘texture’ and interest.
How do you keep the twins’ rooms tidy?
Well….it’s not always like the photos! But I try and have a place for everything so it’s easy to tidy away and they know where things live. This is in the vain hope that one day they will put things back after playing with them!
As in any room I like to have wooden floors in my children’s rooms and then big rugs on top. I find this easier to keep clean, and I have been known to just scoop up all the Lego on a rug and use the rug to pour it away into a basket!
That brings me on to baskets. ESSENTIAL in keeping children’s rooms tidy. We have large ones (Eliza Gran. Ikea, Tiger) in their rooms for all the toys (aka plastic crap) and then smaller edit58 embroidered ones that are labelled ‘dolls’ ‘dino’s’ ‘Lego’ ‘mice’ etc for all their collections of bits (these also help with the self-tidying aspect. Kind of!) We also use these little mini baskets for their clothes; ‘socks’ ‘knickers’ ‘pants’ ‘tights’ ‘etc. It makes putting the washing away that much easier!
Another tip relates to books. Lots of people do it, but I find in their rooms that having books on display (on simple IKEA picture frame shelves) makes them not only accessible to them, but allows you to create almost a constantly changing art gallery from the lovely cover designs. I also stole a tip from my sis-in-law and purchased a vintage toy pram to store all Milla’s books in. It is the perfect height for her, she can flick through the books and also move the books from room to room. – all whilst keeping her room tidy.
Other tips – make even the mundane parts of their room look good by styling them up. I put all Milla’s best shoes on display on a tray underneath her wardrobe. Nice little toys go under plastic cloches (from Tiger!), beautiful vintage toys I’ve picked up along the way (that get played with, don’t worry!) are on display on cabinets. Hair bows and bands go into old Bonne Maman jam jars. Pick up vintage suitcases (or modern tin ones) and hide stuff in those. In George’s room we use a cheap Ikea white cabinet to stash his more unsightly bits. It is possible to make all the kiddy clutter look good (or to hide it away nicely!), if you think about it.
Embroidered baskets: from £22, edit58