I have two interior aesthetics that I love. I love dark moody walls and I also love bright, light filled rooms with light walls. The reason being is that I think that when you introduce bold splashes of colour in the furniture, art and books, a room can really come to life and it’s a way to show lots of personality. A few years ago I discovered the interior design work of Abigail Ahern and it was like she had created what I had imagined. So I immediately bought her book A Girl’s Guide to Decorating so that I could have a hard copy of what I had been imaging which I could then reference in future. A few years on and I still love her interior aesthetic.
So all the pictures in this post are from the one-bedroom apartment of Russell Lewis and Gemma Ahern. They transformed their one-bedroom apartment in a fishing village in England, with a meager budget of £6,500 ($10,300) and the help of Ms. Ahern’s sister, Abigail (how lucky to have an interior designer in the family).
With so tight a budget, the couple started making over their apartment by using every designer’s money-saving tool: fresh paint. Choosing a dark, almost funereal color called Down Pipe, they transformed the lifeless walls and the floors into a dramatic, lead-gray backdrop. Bright pockets of color, like the living room’s neon pink lacquered table and a butterscotch-yellow print by the English textile designer Lucienne Day, keep the apartment from looking drab. “Dark paint really cozies up a space, making rooms look far more luxurious and sophisticated than they really are,” said Abigail Ahern, who picked the color and is known for mixing upscale designer pieces with salvaged vintage finds. Wallpaper with a bookshelf print and a deer skull above the fireplace lend an “Old English eccentric kind of vibe,” said Gemma Ahern and Mr. Lewis, a graphic designer, decorated the hallway with prints by British street artists. An old wardrobe was shocked to life with a few coats of lead gray paint and a set of striking pink handles. Gemma Ahern, who works as an assistant at her sister’s London design shop, has the family knack for mixing aesthetics: She hung a designer chandelier made of recycled glass over a window seat built by her father. The fake book shelf wallpaper is by Deborah Bowness. The lovely smokey colour of the walls is Farrow and Ball Downpipe.
Abigail Ahern below (in her own home). In future posts I will be bringing you more interior looks from Abigail Ahern and posting on my love of light colours.