Nic Guymer and Dave Turner met back in 1999 when the pair were at college and he was a skateboarder studying photography, and she was a fashion student. Today, their home is is a culmination of all their years together and the time that they’ve spent traveling and collecting. (They even run an online store together filled with the treasures they’ve found on their travels.) They’ve lived in this small Victorian railway cottage built in 1890 in North West London for seven years. It was the first home they owned together so the couple took it as an opportunity to show off everything they love. Nic is an interior stylist (and owner of the candle company Seventy Seven Society) and is wild about color. Her general philosophy is to create a white canvas and then use the furniture and accessories to layer color. Luckily, Dave, a senior retoucher for a top fashion photographer, is open to pretty much anything – even a a bright pink corduroy armchair in the living room. Their home is filled with pieces that they’ve collected over time. When she was 16, Nic had a Saturday job at Habitat and she still has pieces that she purchased with her employee discount. Thanks, Nic and Dave! And a big thank you to Elsa Young for the lovely photographs! –Amy
Image above: This is our spare room. The day bed was an eBay find when eBay was still cheap. I bought it as a student whilst living in a house share so I had to store it in my mum’s garage for 2 years before I had enough room to use it. It’s where I lie to gaze at that wooden wall! I made the cushions and the curtains from a vast collection of fabrics I’ve found when on holiday. The rug is from Marrakech.
Image above: I’m a bit retro in my love of petunias and lobelia!
Image above: Our kitchen is tiny and we don’t have room for all our plates and dishes so we have an old German medicine cabinet just outside the kitchen which does the job perfectly – the top has glass doors to display my vintage and Japanese china, the bottom has metal doors to hide away what we use on a daily basis. The carvings on top of the cabinet are from Timor. The wooden wall plaque is from Cameroon (I had to turn on the waterworks to be allowed to take it as hand luggage on the plane home!).
Image above: The table was stolen from my mum, the Tulip chairs were salvaged from a skip, so we sanded them down and had them repainted by a car painter. The other chairs were Dave’s parents’. We reupholstered them and added cushions.
Image above: The barbershop sign is from South Africa, as is the urn.
Image above: The cupboard was my mum’s. I’m planning on painting it and lining the panels with wallpaper.. I got the red Penny record player when I was 10 (and found the pink one in a junk shop 20 years later!). I used to play my mum and dad’s seven inches in it (and Dad would go mad as you have to drop the record in from the top so there was no way of avoiding leaving fingerprints on his beloved vinyl).
Image above: A new kitchen is next on the agenda, mainly driven by the fact that we’re dying for a dishwasher! The dream is a freestanding, entirely mismatched kitchen with old dressers adapted for modern use, concrete work surfaces, and a Moroccan tiled back splash – but that will all have to wait until we get a bigger ‘pile’. Until then I will rise above my phobia of built-in and just get the kitchen working for the space.
Image above: The totem is from Bali. The stool was made for me by a friend for my 16th birthday.
Image above: The ‘bon’ sign is from Paris. The painting is one of my own – a present to Dave during a bout of unemployment. I had been on the hunt for a coffee table for 2 years when we found this one. It’s a barn table from Belgium which we found in a shop on Golborne Road in London (we chopped down its legs to make it a more usable height).
Image above: The chair is an old Parker Knoll that Dave was nursed in as a baby. We had it reupholstered. The cushions were made from an old sari bought in Delhi. The bookcase is an Ikea special. The candlestick was nabbed from a friends wedding (with permission!). The Amish stars were bought at Green Flea Market in New York. I dry hydrangea heads from our garden every year and put them anywhere where there’s an empty vessel!
Image above: The mirror frame was bought in Bali and glazed in the UK. It rests on a bamboo console from Habitat. I got tired of it being natural so painted it flamingo coral. Above the mirror are old belts once worn by a Maharajah’s staff, bought in a street market in India. The Art Deco cabinet was bought from a junk shop on Harrow Road, west London and painted and distressed by us. The wicker chest is from my days as a Habitat Saturday girl.
Image above: I have piles and piles of fabric just waiting to be turned into something!
Image above: The wall light is ‘Cherry Blossom’ by Tsé Tsé for Habitat. The Sanna Annukka print was a 30th birthday present from Dave. The bone inlay bedside tables were brought back from a work trip to India. The cushion was made by me from an old Suzani. The yellow cushions were from Etsy. I never follow a color palette, I find it way too restrictive. The colors I love just always seem to go together.
Image above: The antlers are from Papa Stour. The glass baubles are one of my most treasured possessions. I bought them in Cape Town and they contain South African flora and fauna. We’ve collected the frames over a number of years and they contain happy memories. The wardrobe was picked up from a London junk shop. The console table was rescued from a nursing home. The legs were sawed down as it was too high and we painted it grey mixed from lots of left-over paint before adding the antique knobs. The chair was £10 when eBay was still full of bargains! The cushion was made by me from an antique sari bought in Jan Path Market, Delhi, India. The bedspread was found in Essaouira, Morocco and turns the whole room pink on a sunny day.
Image above: The panelled wooden wall between the guest room and my office. It is stunning and was probably the main push to buy the house. It was covered in 13 layers of paint – which I counted as I spent 2 weeks dousing it with paint stripper and peeling off what can only be described as chewing gum paint. It now has a lovely limed quality. I often lay looking at it thinking if we ever sold the house I’d take it with me! But that doesn’t seem very true to the integrity of the house – it would be wrench to leave it though! And the ladder to boy-dom… Dave is the king of ‘other interests': skateboarding, photography and music. So the loft room is his domain.
Image above: Dave’s loft room.
Image above: The yellow trunk houses all our recycling crates.
Image above: The bovine heads are from Mali. The bench is from Bali. We have quite a lot from Bali as it’s the only place where we’ve indulged in shipping. These pieces are really special because quite frankly we will never be succumbing to shipping again…it was far too expensive!
Image above: We built the planter on the foundations left by an outdoor toilet! I’d been looking for a Lyon’s Maid ice-cream sign for years. I finally found one on eBay in Delaware! It was nice to ‘bring it home’.
Image above: In summer we snooze under our acer tree.