HOME TOURS

Home Tour: Rachael & Alex Otterwell of Object Style

Creative business owners Alex & Rachael Otterwell’s modern Manchester home combines a thoughtfully curated mix of designs by independent makers and crafters with iconic mid-century modern pieces.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Immediately upon viewing the three-storey new-build in Whalley Range - a creative and culturally diverse suburb of Manchester - Rachael and Alex knew they had found their next home. The modern townhouse has open-plan ground floor living, with floor to ceiling views of the back garden - a perfect space for their French bulldog Polly - while a second floor lounge also boasts large expanses of glass providing a light and uncluttered feel. Crucially, the location was close enough to both their lifestyle shop, Object Style and Manchester city centre, a vital factor for the couple who regularly visit the vibrant city. They feel strongly about supporting fellow small businesses and enjoy collaborating when possible, so accessible links to the city makes perfect sense for them.  

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

After previously living in a Victorian period property, the new place, with its clean lines and functionality, better suited their aesthetic, which had been honed during their travels to California. Here, they’ve been inspired by mid 20th century design and iconic homes such as The Eames House. The simple style of the house fits perfectly with their collections of original mid-century furniture, eclectic art work and ceramics.

Most of the walls have been painted a neutral shade to offset the colourful textiles within their home which they also sell through Object Style, such as Eleanor Pritchard blankets and wall hangings by Moss Hound Designs. Where colour has been used, it is in bold, deep hues which perfectly frames their collection of objects on wooden shelving by Hubsch and Ferm Living. The couple travel extensively, sourcing unusual and often exclusive items for their business. Reminders of these trips are evident throughout their home by way of photographs taken by Alex, travel books and art work from galleries around the world.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Rachael and Alex spend a lot of their time in the open plan ground floor area, which is the perfect space for entertaining in the summer months. The adjacent outside space has been transformed since they moved in, with a beautiful ceramic tiled patio and black fencing, which provides a dramatic backdrop to the foliage and potted palms in the garden. Inside, a mint green accent wall offers a cool contrast to a vibrant orange retro film print. Their original Ercol furniture was reupholstered in an Eleanor Pritchard orange, wool fabric by their friend Simion Hawtin-Smith from Reloved Upholstery.

Storage for their collections of table ware, glasses and pottery is a glass-fronted cabinet by Ferm Living, juxtaposed with an original retro piece found in Pear Mill - Stockport’s Antique Emporium. This contrast of modern and retro is a continuing theme throughout the house and is something they are introducing more and more within their store. “Our business is constantly evolving,” says Rachael. “Through our travels we like to source interesting items not readily available in the UK. As our home and business aesthetic closely reflect each other, we’ve recently decided to add a selection of quality original mid-century furniture into our range. These retro pieces are so well made and their form and function fits perfectly with our business model.”

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

Climbing to the third floor of the house, you are greeted by a sea of green, the colour familiar to the customers of Object Style and followers of their Instagram account. The couple’s bedroom and their shop are both painted Smoke Green by Farrow & Ball.

“The name of the colour is one of the most frequently asked questions by our customers!” laughs Rachael. The adjoining en-suite bathroom, where shelves of organic lotions and potions are displayed, also boasts a floor of sea green geometric tiles by Terrazzo, perfectly complimenting the bedroom.

Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style
Home tour with Racheal & Alex of Object Style

For a cosier and more intimate environment to the downstairs space, there is an alternative snug style living room on the second floor. Here the walls have been kept neutral, but cushions, wall hangings and rugs create a bold and dramatic aesthetic. It’s here where Alex’s love of music is evident with an impressive vinyl collection, his guitars and the deck designed by Dieter Rams for Braun in the 1960’s, a gift from Rachael, taking pride of place. One contrasting wall, painted black, displays a metal shelving system from the Punctual Series by Ferm Living and exhibits personal objects, showing a life well lived and giving hints to the many interests and inspirations of Rachael and Alex; a true representation of what led to them becoming owners of one of Manchester’s most stylish lifestyle stores.

We featured Rachael & Alex's gorgeous store in our Feb 2018 e-zine which can be downloaded here. Visit their web shop: www.objectstyle.co.uk

Words by Karen Barlow / Photography by Kathryn Taylor

Home tour - Hannah Nunn

Artist, designer, maker and author Hannah Nunn’s home in Hebden Bridge is a lesson in balance and harmony for small-space living.

home tour with designer Hannah Nunn

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.

home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn

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.

home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn

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.

home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn

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.

home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn
home tour with british designer Hannah Nunn

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.

GET THE LOOK

Green+Pink 'Twig' leaves , Radiance £9.95;  Kitchen chairs , Loaf, £230 per pair

Green+Pink 'Twig' leaves, Radiance £9.95; Kitchen chairs, Loaf, £230 per pair

Cocktail chair , Radiance, £480;  Peg rail , Garden Trading, £38

Cocktail chair, Radiance, £480; Peg rail, Garden Trading, £38

Faux succulent bowl , £24, Sweetpea and Willow;  Mid century armchair , Rose & Grey, £750

Faux succulent bowl, £24, Sweetpea and Willow; Mid century armchair, Rose & Grey, £750

Wooden hand decoration , £25, Maggie Magoo Designs;  Tiny Treasures Wallpaper , £69 per roll, Radiance

Wooden hand decoration, £25, Maggie Magoo Designs; Tiny Treasures Wallpaper, £69 per roll, Radiance

Check out Hannah's range of lighting, window film, fabric and wallpaper on her website and visit her shop Radiance, either in Hebden Bridge or online

Photography: Kathryn Taylor / Words: Nicolette Lafonseca

Houseboat tour - Gareth Butterworth

There's something ever so intriguing about house boats isn't there? How do people end up living on one? What are they like inside? Is there really enough space? Photographer Emma Engkvist and stylist Clare Piper show us around ‘Viola’ - a house boat moored in central London, while Sophie Warren-Smith talks to one of it's residents, graphic designer, Gareth Butterworth who lives there with his partner as part of a house share.

London house boat tour - living room

In 2014, Gareth was living in a shared house in Manor Park, London, when his oldest friend, Joe, bought a boat in Holland and asked him to move in - naturally Gareth jumped at the chance! He loved the idea of a home that was a project as well as a bit of an adventure - plus it would be in zone 1 - a massive bonus when living in London. A few weeks later they were crossing the channel from Rotterdam, heading to London in a fabulous house boat called ‘Viola’. She is 34 metres long, and six metres wide - in other words - massive. In a previous life, Viola carried cargos of building materials or grains around Northern Europe, but by the time Joe bought her, she had been fully converted: insulation and electrics had been added, plus plenty of amenities and home comforts, from wooden floorboards to modern kitchen equipment.

London House boat tour - kitchen
London house boat tour - reclaimed kitchen shelving

The boat has two main sections, a back cabin which traditionally housed the skipper, and the main section, formerly the cargo hold. This space now includes a kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. The entrance is through a wheelhouse, which has 360 degree windows and the vessel’s steering wheel. When Gareth and Joe and the rest of their crew arrived in London, they moored up at the historic Tower Bridge Moorings, where Viola still resides.

wood-burning stove in London house boat
London house boat tour - dining area
London house boat tour - living room

There are five people living on Viola, but there’s plenty of room for everyone - the boat is as spacious as any three bedroom house. In the summer, that space is doubled when the deck becomes an additional ‘room’. There are two bathrooms onboard - when the guys first moved in, there was just the one, so Joe added a second in the summer of 2015. It makes mornings run much more smoothly! The living room is everyone’s favourite space: it’s large and open, and has six skylights, so is light and bright by day, and the wood-burning stove keeps the room cosy throughout the winter. A long table in the living room, which easily seats 12, gets a lot of use. 'The main living area gives us plenty of space to hang out as well as work from home or relax and watch movies.' explains Gareth. ‘We have hot water, central heating and three open fires, so it’s very cosy in the winter months.’ Hidden storage is everywhere - under benches and bulkheads, in the engine room and the boat’s utility closet. That said, after four plus years onboard, the guys have completely run out of space on their bookshelves, and are in serious need of reducing their coffee mug collection!

London house boat tour - bedroom
London house boat tour - bedroom
London house boat tour - bedroom decor

The previous owner had everything fixed up to a high standard, so much of the interior design has been left as it was. Most things on the boat are made to last,’ says Gareth. ‘So any purchases are for function rather than whether they are on trend or not. In terms of furnishings we have got a few bits like the trunk coffee table and some skylights from a marine salvage yard. The shelves and a desk have been made from reclaimed wood but other than that we look on Freecycle and eBay for unique finds.’ Gareth personalises his space with lots of art, some purchased, some made by him and his friends.

London house boat tour

‘It’s nice to live on the river and within walking distance of central London. In the summer the moorings really comes to life and I enjoy being able to chat to the neighbours. There is always a barbecue or party to go to or someone who needs help fixing something up,' says Gareth, ‘I would absolutely consider buying a house boat in future – there’s not a great deal to complain about, we have the odd toilet related explosion and oily engine room moments, but you just have to be willing to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in when something goes wrong.’

GET THE LOOK

Concrete Desk Lamp , Cult Furniture, £69;  Blue dot cushion , £12.50, Wyevale Garden Centres

Concrete Desk Lamp, Cult Furniture, £69; Blue dot cushion, £12.50, Wyevale Garden Centres

Industrial bar stool , £170, PIB Home;  Wool throw in sea blue , £49.99, Black by Design

Industrial bar stool, £170, PIB Home; Wool throw in sea blue, £49.99, Black by Design

50's chair with kantha fabric , £589, Ian Snow;  String of pearls plant , £19, Forest on Trouva

50's chair with kantha fabric, £589, Ian Snow; String of pearls plant, £19, Forest on Trouva

Photography: Emma Engkvist  / Styling: Clare Piper / Words: Sophie Warren-Smith

Home tour - Selina Lauck

As we know how much you love the home tours we feature in the print magazine, we decided it was about time we shared a few more lovely homes on here too! Following on from our recent post about how to create a Scandi Minimal interior on a budget, Louise Parker of Studio Gabrielle gives us a tour around the Berlin apartment of interior stylist and blogger, Selina Lauck.

Selina Lauck home tour - interior stylist
Selina Lauck - home tour - hallway

Two years ago, in October 2016, Selina and her boyfriend (and 5 year old dog, Gordin) renovated their one bedroom apartment in Mitte, Berlin, transforming it into a true blend of modern style furnishings and classic original features. Unbelievably, it only took them three months and they did it all by themselves. Selina's home features a mixture of independent brands including Kai Linke, Mad et Len, DCW Éditions, Gurilla, Cooee Design, alongside well-known favourites Alessi, Knoll, Flos, Hay, Normann Copenhagen, Menu and Hem.

“For me, the theory is always ‘less is more’. I like the idea of designing, building or recreating my own furniture with a mix of designer pieces. There, you have a perfect combination of affordable and expensive investments. I do a lot of searching for second-hand design classics because of their good quality they do not really age and sometimes you can get some pretty good deals.” says Selina. 

Selina Lauck - home tour - minimal living room
Selina Lauck Home Tour
Selina Lauck - Home Tour - minimal interior

In the living room, the parquet flooring, molded cornice and panelled doors are stand out original features, but they took work.  Selina and her boyfriend spent hours sanding down the existing wooden floors to reveal their hidden beauty - time well spent as it brings real warmth and character to the space. The architectural elements are painted in the same colour and finish, which accentuates the architectural language beneath, complimented by Matisse's Nadine print prominently in the room.

Selina Lauck- home tour - bedroom
Selina Lauck home tour - bedroom
Selina Lauck - home tour - bedroom

Singing with comfort and minimalist living, Selina's bedroom allows space to relax and breathe. Linen bedding is an essential item as Selina often switches up the styling in this space to suit their changing requirements - with different bedside tables, table lamps and objects. She believes you can only 'feel' if something works when you try it out for a while, especially in a space as important as the bedroom, where it directly affects your wellbeing.

Selina Lauck- home tour - kitchen
Selina Lauck - home tour - marble and wood kitchen
Selina Lauck - home tour - minimal kitchen style

The kitchen offers warmth to the apartment using tan-based tones in two finishes - both in paint above the shelving and wooden base units. This is offset with black accents with Kai Linke's Blasted KL1 pendant lamp and Iittala's Alvar Aalto vase. In this room, Selina decided to replace the original tiles with a new concrete floor, which flows through to the apartment's bathroom offering a seamless transition. And what kitchen could be complete without Noma's 'Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine' cookbook?

GET THE LOOK

Diamond Chair by Knoll , Utility Design, £1003;  Henri Matisse ‘Nadia Au Menton Pointu’ Poster,  The Conran Shop, £49

Diamond Chair by Knoll, Utility Design, £1003; Henri Matisse ‘Nadia Au Menton Pointu’ Poster, The Conran Shop, £49

Figue Noire Candle by Mad et Len , The Garnered, £75;  Mantis BS3 Table Lamp by DCW Éditions , Made in Design, £452
Portrait N by Gurilla, 580 DKK (approx £69);  Snaregade Table Round by Menu , Finnish Design Shop, £1691

Portrait N by Gurilla, 580 DKK (approx £69); Snaregade Table Round by Menu, Finnish Design Shop, £1691

Check out Selina's work and blog and follow her on Instagram