interior designInteriorssneak peeks

sneak peek: trina dalziel

by anne

earlier this fall i was lucky enough to meet talented uk-based illustrator trina dalziel over a fresh croissant and chocolat chaud at a local parisian cafe. it was so fun talking design with her and seeing some of her new work. as soon as she sent over her sneak peek, i thought to myself, i could totally picture her living here. it’s an early victorian home in the north of london, with wide steps up, four floors, and floor to ceiling windows on the upper ground floor. as with many cities, the home was originally meant for one family, but this home was clumsily (as trina describes it) carved into seven flats. trina and her boyfriend were on the top floor, which would have originally served as the maids quarters. in denial that she would call this flat home for 9 years, trina ignored the flaws and cracks by training her eye to focus on “pops” of color. i also love how so many pieces in her home hold such wonderful memories and stories, as you’ll read below. click here to check out more images, and don’t miss more of trina’s work here, here, and her latest work here! {thanks, trina!}anne

{photos by uk interiors photographer jon day}

[above: The screen print is by a Scottish artist Evelyn Pottie. The summer I left college I did a screen printing course in a church hall in the Highlands of Scotland that she taught. Also the location of this print is near where I’m from in Scotland so it’s lovely to have for those two connections. The 1940s cabinet I bought in 1996 with some of the money from the first book I illustrated. It was from a shop called Gibson Castle in Upper Street in Islington – the shop has closed down now but they sell online. The lamp base I found in a junk shop in Hastings, on the Sussex coast and after a good clean I took it in a carrier bag to John Lewis (big London department store) where with in a minute the man serving me had found me a shade!]

The telephone I got for a photo shoot I was styling for Jon last year.  I paid a deposit to the shop and was to return it after the shoot – but couldn’t quite make myself so ended up buying it. It is exactly like the one we had in our hall when I was small. I can remember standing holding on to my Mum’s skirt whilst she would call the grocer to give her order over the phone. It can be very calming – the slow dialling – waiting for the dial to roll back after each number – however it has no touch tone and makes calling lots of numbers impossible so we had to get a modern one as a back up! The cushion was a Skandium splurge – unfortunately my ingrained Calvinist heritage has so far stopped me from fully appreciating it in a guilt free way!

The big bowl with the yellow rim came from my great aunt’s whose house was a time capsule – so much so, she was still using cocoa powder in the 1980s she’d bought with ration coupons after the war!

CLICK HERE for the rest of Trina’s sneak peek after the jump!



The poster is a Czech film poster from the 60s and on the white book case is a picture I bought at the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt in 1990 when I was an au pair in Paris. It’s a strange mix of paint on glass and photo collage and to me has an other worldliness about it as I can’t categorize it or date it.


In the frames above the bed are two copies of “Pippin” magazine which was the comic I used to get weekly as a little girl. The character Barnaby the Bear was on the cover as well as being on an after lunch tv show. I adored him. There is a hilarious spoof of  the puppet show here. The painted stool on the right was a really special present to me from the three children I was a part time nanny to for over twelve years – so they were all in their teens when they gave it to me. On the legs they painted words and little vignettes of memories from our days together.


My Finnish Arabia butterfly jug my Dad bought for me when I’d not long been in London – it’s been regularly popping up in my work since I’ve been an illustrator.


The strawberry teapot is part of a set that came from a shop my grandparents owned in the late 50s in Scotland. Danish and Dutch tins and a maple syrup tin I like to use as a vase for twigs sometimes and an Ikea drink carton I thought too pretty to throw away.


A corner of my desk in the 6ft by 11 ft  work room that my animator boyfriend  and I shared and spend most of our awake time in for two years – amazingly we still get along – but we have our own work spaces in our new flat!


The origami horse was made by a man in the audience when I was working one winter as an usherette for Cirque du Soleil.  I saw him make it, sitting alone in the interval – I watched him offer it to one of the other usherettes but she refused it!  He must have cast it away because when we were gathering the rubbish from under the seats at the end of the show I found it. I love it but always feel sad the man who made it doesn’t know I have it and love it. The painting of stones is one I did for a book on Spiritual Retreats. The hare is actually the front cover of a 1930s children’s book (the whole book is in the frame!) illustrated  by Feodor Rojankovsky and the little water colour of a small dog running behind a horse and sleigh is by a Czech artist which I bought last autumn in a Prague art gallery. Running back to our hotel, to head for the airport, down the steps by the castle at dusk, clasping my watercolour I was filled with joy at having bought a painting – no Calvinist guilt –like when you treat yourself as a teenager!

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  • the cabinet is very cute. i love the structure of it.. it would look more amazing if you could do a graphic pattern on the glass doors~(glass etching or something?)

  • The origami horse story is so compelling. I was initially attracted to the photo because I have an orange horse and a grey armadillo that once were props for a music video. Now they are at home on my bookshelf. It’s nice to save something, especially when there is a story attached.

  • But you know what? Those phones sound the best. I long for those old phones when I am dealing with the static of a cordless, or the in/out of my cell. I almost moved into a house for the phone it had hanging on the kitchen wall…it was a lovely old big rectangular turquoise one with a loooooooooong curly cord. I wouldn’t mind chatting with my sis on one of those for hours. Sigh.

  • It’s so wonderful when a home is filled with precious memories no amount of money can buy! I appreciate the stories you so lovingly shared Trina.

  • This is so to my taste, it’s lovely. I especially love the origami horse, the finnish butterfly jug and the blue cabinet with all the lovely stuff in it.

  • Is wanting a phone like that reason to get a home number? I only have a cell and I never feel like talking more than 10 minutes…. I grew up with phones like that and back then I could talk for hours :)

  • I just love this place. I know this is strange, but I love they way the carpet looks. Everyone is always so adamently against wall-to-wall carpeting, but this is a perfect example of how it makes a home feel very comfortable and warm. The perfectly organized cabinet in the first picture is so, so lovely.

  • I think it would be quite nice to sit upon that cozy blanket of blues and greens in the chair by the antique sewing machine and read a book with some green tea.

  • loveliness in every corner of your home.

    lemme ask.. the doors of that wood cabinet in the first photo…DIY etched? or came that way? it almost looks like wax paper.

  • hello – and thank you for all the lovely comments.

    Mr Trampoline – yes the doors were already sandblasted when I got the cabinet – but wax paper lined sounds much nicer and less industrial!

    thanks again.

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