Name: Rachel Morgans, Buying Director for Home and Living, Brown Thomas and Arnotts, and her husband, photographer Jay Brooks. Address: North London Home: A two-storey, three-bedroom Victorian house The vibe: Eclectic and quirky
“When we bought our house in London, we were lucky that most of its Victorian features were intact – we just added some cornicing and laid period tiles on the front path. We lived in the house before starting to renovate to get a feel for the space. The property had an odd layout so we took down walls, moved the kitchen and re-installed sash windows. As a buyer, I like a number of different styles so it was important to tie down a look.
“My husband is a wonderful cook so we wanted to have a space to entertain family and friends. We added big sliding doors to the kitchen – to give us as much light as possible from the south-facing garden – and a floating glass box window which has become a nook for reading and relaxing.
“Having previously lived in an all-white apartment, we really wanted to be braver with this house, hence the blue! We used Tadelakt, a polished lime plaster used in Moroccan architecture, to build up texture. The dark interior makes us feel cocooned but we have the bright, airy space in the kitchen too.
“I am living in both Dublin and London at the moment but my Dublin apartment is not strictly home. Home is a place that reflects our journey together. We don’t take decorating too seriously. We collect objects and quirky things. My mother-in-law introduced me to antique furniture markets and our furniture is a mix: the dining table is made from a worn and weathered door, we have painted French armoires and modern pieces like the Kartell and BoConcept dining chairs and my favourite Jamie Hayon Ro chair. If I had my way, I’d add a new Normann Copenhagen modular sofa in a great colour to pop against the blue walls.”
On the dining table, vintage decanters are used as candlesticks; the leaf sculpture is by BoConcept.
Rachel reads in the floating window nook in the kitchen.
The living room features a Music Wall which includes photographs and letters relating to the Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and the Sex Pistols among others. Over the years, for birthdays and at Christmas, Rachel and Jay have added to the wall. The sofa is by Duresta; the cushions by Hay.
In the library room, a Vitra Eames chair; Jay’s guitars, a David Bowie original Ziggy Stardust poster; a cowhide rug. Custom bookshelves house a magazine library, a vinyl collection and lots of books.
The bed is from Heals; the side table and lights from Hay.
Serax artificial cacti are mixed with the real thing. The concrete stool is by Pomax.
The bathroom has a Tadelakt wall finish and blue fittings. “Coloured sanitaryware is in fashion: we found a company that offers old suites and serviced parts.”
Rachel Morgans at home.