interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: abigail ahern

by anne

i still can’t get over how natural abigail ahern looks in her ahhhh-mazing home. doesn’t she just look like she belongs in the photo above? this british stylist and interior designer (and soon to be author) seriously knows what she’s doing and how to bring her own personal style to her projects. i’m loving her ability to mix eclectic elements while having fun, but not going overboard – very modern, but still so liveable. if what you see here isn’t enough to fill your fancy, click here for more, full-sized images, and of course there’s more great style at atelier abigail ahren. [thanks so much for sharing this incredible home of yours, abigail!] p.s. click here for all the beautiful sneak peeks.  –anne

[Me walking thru my space with a fire burning.  All fireplaces in the house work and in the winter there is always a fire on. . . The house was built in 1860, built over four floors and in a pretty derelict state when I bought it. I had just relocated from the States where I had worked as an interior designer for a young architectural practice in Birmingham, Michigan for 3 years, and they pretty much inspired the structure of how the house looked. They built some pretty amazing spaces (glass houses) over looking the great lakes – and I very much wanted to replicate the  indoor/outdoor feel. So we took the exterior wall out and put in glass over 2 floors, hence a very modern/traditional vibe which very much reflects the furniture and accessories.]

Labeled dining room but really isn’t its another space to sit and work as we generally eat downstairs on the lower ground floor. The ostrich table I love it makes me smile and we sell in the store, the table I sprayed glossy black and the chairs again from antique shops/flea markets.

Basement living room

Front living room – my painting (isn’t a painting at all it’s an old sign which I flipped over and its back a beautiful textural rust looks like a painting. The concrete chair is one of the first things I ever brought for the house – we had no money, no furniture and I brought this chair from one of my favourite stores called Mint in London -its all we had to sit on for a year.

Book wall – one of our biggest sellers is the book case wallpaper and its here on this chair that I catch up on emails in the evening or flick through magazines. I can see the kitchen and the rest of the lower ground floor from this vantage point and often sit with a glass of wine in the evening while things cook away. The chair is covered in pink mohair from George Smith and again heaps of texture from the floor cushion to the cushions on the chair.

Bathroom – being a huge fan of candlelight – the chandelier gets lit a lot. In the winter I light the fire and have the longest bath.

I am pretty crazy on texture which adds interest- so the woolen throw comes from Nicole Farhi in London, all the other textiles from my store. Vintage finds include the lamp and the rusty old chair (which my husband died at when I brought home). I love it, it peels and sheds rust all the time!

Basement – this in my dog Molly snoozing on her favorite chair. The pink coffee table is something I was trying out from the store.  Pieces continually evolve.

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  • This home has such great bones! I love the use of the chandelier and the over-scaled elements, like the blue lamp and the poufs. Great mix of bulky textures, too!

  • i don’t know if its the low light, the deep hues, or combination of certain peices – there’s something so haunting about this space. its beautiful. i could easily spend a winter’s eve in that tub under the lit chandelier with a glass of red wine. even the dog matches this space perfectly. i love the tranquil color of the floor in the bedroom.

  • Just last night I added Abigail’s Elle Decor UK home tour to my scrapbook of gorgeous interiors! Her home has been in the mag twice, but it’s the more recent photographs with those moddy painted walls that I love the most. It’s wonderful to have even more views of the place here on d*s.

  • I am in LOVE with the “dining room” chandelier. Anyone know who makes it and wear to buy? I didn’t see it on Abi’s website.

  • This is one of the most beautiful homes I have EVER seen on this sight. It is like a dream place to live.

  • Love the incredibke lighting in these shots, but I can’t get my head around the scale of the shot with the seemingly enormous blue floor lamp. It’s the basement living room—how tiny are those green chairs or how huge is the lamp? Help me–it’s a real mind-bender!

  • This is such a beautiful home! I love the shot of the dog on the sofa and chandelier! Also, I’m LOVING the large round grey mirror above the fireplace!! Anybody know where I can find one that doesn’t cost a fortune?

  • this sounds crazy – but the chandelier looks photoshopped in…. is it in the bathroom and over the tub?

    the blur floor lamp and the pink table look…almost surreal. does anyone else think that?

  • whoa — i’ll proofread next time. i meant is it in the bathroom over the tub, and over the sofa in the basement?

    and the BLUE floor lamp…

  • Wow. One of the best sneak peeks in ages. A lot of familiar elements, but she’s made them look fresh. So beautiful.

  • Gorgeous, L.O.V.E. her unique style and mix of beautiful and unique pieces….almost fantasy yet still so cozy…

  • I love the grays throughout the home. I have gray in my home and it is one of the loveliest colors in my opinion. I like the use of mirrors too, where is the mirror from in the first image? Is it painted? I feel like I ‘ve seen it before.

  • hello!
    i’ve been a reader for a loooong time, since this blog began! i can’t believe it! it’s one of the things that got me through some draining days of work! i adore the fill of delicious design you serve up. :)

    i left the link for my newer blog.. i’m a designer in indianapolis, a cute community called irvington is where i’ve recently moved. i ADORE my apartment (canvas!!) it has a funny little basement room as well that i’ve been painting and i plan to have it turned into a guest bedroom for our halloween party the 31st. i’d love to send some photos when i finish. ;)

  • love the mixture of strong design items and that chandlier is so surreal, looks like its straight out of a drawing!

  • Love love love this. The dark grey and pops of colour, the trad tables with modern pieces, the subtle contrasts of texture.

    /goes off to paint bedside table fluoro pink

  • I posted this home in my blog before and still dream of the giant blue lamp.
    I am so happy you have different photos and angles, I never get tired of this home!

  • Goodness what a great space. I love the bathroom very much, and the huge wood block table peeking out in front of the bookshelf wallpaper. Lovely simplicity without being cold.

  • so unique and everything is thought out so thoughtfully in terms of layout and comfortableliving. I am in love with this space.

  • Cody- You can find directions to make these chairs online. My grandpa used to make these chairs to take camping so I always find it funny to see them inside peoples’ homes.

    i suwanee- As beautiful as this home appears to be, I agree with you that these images seem skewed in a such a way that they almost appear unrealistic.

  • I usually love the sneak peaks – they are the highlight of my week – but this one for some reason doesn’t sit right with me. I think because it feels more like an advertisement for her store than for a glimpse into a lived space.

  • Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to leave a quick comment- I understand that picture-perfect homes like this aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I wanted to assure you that this is indeed Abigail’s home, and not a styled advertisement or a space she doesn’t actually live in.

    I don’t think it’s unusual for designers to have their own work in their home- and I can assure you nothing has been photo-shopped in (especially not for the sake of promoting more of Abigail’s work).

    Some of you emailed to ask if these were real pictures so I just wanted to step in and say yes, they are very real.


  • Oh, I have to know where that first chandelier is from and where I can find it in the states. It is amazing!

  • AWESOME. Incredible.
    I have immersed myself in interior design for a few years now, and although many many images have excited and inspired me, nothing has had quite the effect of this series of images. I feel like standing up and doing SOMETHING, going SOMEWHERE, because of this, but just don’t know what/where! Galvanising.

  • Sorry the 2nd chandelier, the one in the “dining room”. It looks like it is made out of fabric.

  • I have to agree with Grace in that just because Abigail has a lot of items from her store, it doesn’t mean that her house is one big advertisement for it. I think a lot of artists/photogs decorate with their own work, so this isn’t much different.

    p.s. LOVE the “dining room” chandelier.

  • Sneak peeks are my favorite posts of the week. Thanks for running this feature.

    PS I appreciate the conversation about authenticity and self-advertising, but 1) I imagine most visitors to D*S are self-professed consumers and gawkers… if we like it does it really matter if it’s stylized or staged or an exercise in self-promotion? 2) It only makes sense for designers to live with their own “stuff” — it’s personal, it’s bound to be an authentic expression of what they love and what inspires them cuz they make it, and it’s at cost.

  • Oh. My. God. This is the most beautiful home! I absolutely love it – thank you so much for this amazing sneak peek – I think it is my favorite yet!

    And now I’m coveting the white wire chandelier…but at $3K I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make one myself…woo hoo! :/

  • I am GOBSMACKED! What an incredible space to live. I love the oversized pieces and texture and well, everything!

  • this is a seriously beautiful home. i absolutely love that hot pink coffee table, it looks so incredible with the other pieces in the living room (including that adorable dog!!)

  • Good to know I’m not the only one with empty bedroom walls… Somehow hers looks way better than mine

  • What would one search for to find information about the wooden chair in the fourth picture?

  • Wow. I find this home a little bit intimidating because it is just so cool. Most impressive is how it’s TOTALLY over the top and yet utterly restrained at the same time.

  • I LOVE muted neutrals with bursts of color, so her design is right up my alley. It’s perfect… I’m ready to move in.

  • Oh wow! I could just pack a suitcase and move straight in! I see myself in fabulous floor lenght vintage gowns, lounging on the sofas, warming up by the fire… ah dream…

  • This is absolutely amazing! This is my dream home! Her eye for detail and ability to match and miss-match to create her own unique style blows me away.

  • Mind if I move in? You won’t even notice me….I’ve had this color on the corridors in my home and have been tempted to paint an entire room…but always pause with …” but when we go to sell it…the buyers will hate this…This way of thinking can be so limiting. Why is it that potential buyers have no imagination!

  • WOW! i mean, wow. as a designer myself i am not too easily impressed but this interior sends me over the moon. i am loving it!!!

  • although i can’t imagine living here, i could look at this space for hours. and grace, you’re right….as much as it is important to see real ,’livable’ spaces…as design lovers, having this form of inspiration is crucial.

    she is a master with color…best i have seen in a long, long time.

  • absolutely stunning.

    can anyone tell me what the figure sculpture is on the wall in the right of the first picture and the left of the third picture? it’s beautiful. i LOVE it.

  • the basement living room looks like a perfect candidate for the colors contest over at apartmenttherapy.com. that’s what using color should look like, not all white/neutral with a red pillow… I absolutely love Abigail’s work.

  • Le Sigh! Totally how I would do my own house if I didn’t have a boy to “compromise” our tastes with…

    Boys! Can’t live with them…

  • I wonder what her kitchen looks lik? Love the colors and chandeliers/lighting.

  • Actually, I just went to Abigail’s website and found out where to get the shaggy rug poufs! And a lot of the other things depicted. Playing with scale that way is very brave, what a fun place to live.

  • Wow I’m so glad you posted this, as I discovered her when living in London through her store. Just love her!!..and now I’m back in Sydney where her store is no more :(

  • i LOVE the textures. love love love love love. and i’m completely inspired now to make a chandelier like the one over the dining room table for my entryway!

  • The paint color looks really similar to what we have in our living room (I love it by the way). Ours is Benjamin Moore “wolf”.

  • This home breathе with thoughtful and spontaneous freedom! I simply like it… a lot!

  • Where can I find a chandelier like the one in the bathroom. I just love it!

    simple, stylish ,classic ,fun inviting ,relax do come in and un wind ……..soooooooooooo comfortable .Arhhhhhhhh

  • I have seen her home in a Swedish magazine before. Absolutely one of my all time favourites. But just to dream about, not inspiration for an ordinary flat. Exept for the use of colour – such rich colours, in great mix.

  • This is one of the most AMAZING design peeks ever. This woman has got it!! So inspirational I have to get her book. A couple people asked about the round mirror over the fireplace and to my eye it looks like Abigail painted it the same matte grey as the wall. I have a big chunky mirror like this that I picked up for about $60. at a large national discount housewares store so I think this can be achieved on a small budget. Thank you for sharing this, it is total brain candy.

  • Well, I apologize. I just went to Abigail’s site and the mirror is now there and it looks like she didn’t paint it to match the wall shade and it’s a convex which my cheapy isn’t. Sorry, was just trying to help.


    i am in complete AWE.

  • Love the bookshelf wallpaper.
    Who makes the paper, I have not seen it in Australia.
    Would like to use it