Artist, designer, maker and author Hannah Nunn’s home in Hebden Bridge is a lesson in balance and harmony for small-space living.
Sitting at her kitchen table, it is obvious that creating pools of light is something that comes naturally to Hannah Nunn. Her flat in Hebden Bridge is carefully laid out into distinct areas, each illuminated creatively in Hannah’s own inimitable way. Family life brought Hannah and her two children to the Yorkshire Pennines, but her creative homemaking began as far back as her student days in Wales, where she lived in a crumbling Georgian house in the grounds of an abandoned castle. Here she experimented with building a home filled with art and music, which continues into her living space even now.
Hannah’s small flat feels anything but cramped, as its natural flow gives the illusion of space. In the living room Hannah has created distinct zones - a neat cloakroom area sits at the front door and serves to shed the outside world and stresses it may bring. Moving throughout the flat there is an instant feeling of calm, aided by the beautifully diffused light created by the window film Hannah designed herself. A piano is nestled in the corner with an area for kith and kin to create and enjoy music and a huge sofa sits across from the fireplace where the mantle is filled with tiny treasures that Hannah has collected on her travels to draw attention to the open space. These pieces are not only treasured memories- they serve as inspiration, too; a framed piece of wrapping paper that was found in Japan inspired Hannah to create her own range of wallpaper, fabric and window film.
Light and its myriad forms has provided a rich medium for Hannah to explore in her work. Her art has evolved significantly from her original studio space in Hebden Bridge, where she began her business creating paper cuts and cards based her on botanically-inspired sketches. Other artists in the studio building encouraged Hannah to turn her artistic practice into something that could support her and her two children, and in a literal light bulb moment, Hannah started designing and making lighting. As she began selling lamps, Hannah met other independent light makers and a together they recognised the need for a shop that was entirely dedicated to showcasing their work. Radiance has now grown into a lighting concept store with lights, gifts and quirky homeware, now run by Hannah’s daughter, Ffion. Leaving the running of the shop to her means Hannah now focuses her time on her surface pattern designs which can now be found on a wide range of household products.
The opening of Radiance had an impact on their home life, too, as Hannah moved into a large rented home above the store. However, she eventually moved back into the cosy flat and instantly felt at home, “it was where I was always supposed to be. Even the cat was happier,” she adds. Of course, home is where Hannah’s love affair with light began, and her creativity with both natural and electrical light continues in the flat. Having no windows of its own, the kitchen relies upon light flooding in from the bi-fold doors and the huge Victorian window in the bedroom, but in the evenings the open plan kitchen diner is illuminated with pools of light created by the various lamps and light fixtures that Hannah has created herself.
At home, the muted tones she has decorated with provide a calming environment – the perfect space to practice yoga, write songs on the ukulele and people watch. Ultimately, nature’s own radiance continues to bring Hannah inspiration, and a huge window that frames a tree brings her joy every season, and with it a sense of continuity, cohesion and inspiration.