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On the UK’s Southern Coast, a Potter’s Colorful Modern Flat

by Garrett Fleming

On a cold day earlier this year, I decided to pass the time by wandering around some of my favorite stores. With coffee in one hand and my boyfriend’s hand in the other, I ended up in West Elm where I was struck by the work of  potter Stella Baggott. I’m telling you, to know her latest collection is to love it. Full of brilliantly-colored decanters in mod shapes, the pieces are cheerful and memorable. Come to think of it, her home in Brighton, UK isn’t much different.

Located only an hour’s train ride from London, Brighton is a relaxed and creative coastal town. It’s the perfect spot for an artist looking for inspiration and a place to work and play. At the time of her move, Stella had been priced-out of London, and she was a bit worried about where she would end up. Luckily, she was able to snag a flat in the East Sussex spot with an almost identical floor plan to the one she had in the big city. Built in 1812, its 800 square feet were, unfortunately, not decorated how Stella would have liked, but you’d never know now that it’s been given a mid-century makeover.

The first thing Stella did when she moved in was paint everything. Decked out in taupe, the dingy walls were neither her style nor did they do anything to brighten the parts of the home that received minimal light. A simple coat of white and a few dollops of color have since done the trick though, and Stella couldn’t be happier with the results. Each little decor move she’s made has helped her achieve the “homey and inviting” vibe she was looking for.

While Stella’s vibrant yellow door, bold black walls and vintage finds are absolutely inviting and eye-catching, my favorite part of the home has to be how it’s styled with Stella’s own work. She proudly displays pots, decorative planters and one-off designs in almost every room of the home. How lucky she is to have a set of one-of-a-kind decorations at the ready! Their turquoise green and blue hues add even more color to the flat, and I’m all for that. Click through to see them sprinkled throughout this marvelous space, and atop one of the prettiest fireplaces I’ve ever seen. It’s a stunner. Enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Stella Baggott

On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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Stella's bedroom basks in afternoon light, so she chose a "soft, calming color" for the walls. You'd never guess this hue looked off-white before it hit the walls. To give the soothing room a bit more character, Stella turned to artist Kitty McCall. She loves how her bold prints "clash" with the soft bedroom.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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Only an hour's train ride from London, Brighton has proven to be the perfect spot for Stella to live and work. Her ceramics studio is conveniently located a mile from her flat.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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Stella made her debut at London's Renegade Craft Fair four years ago. She bought these adorable bike prints by UK artist Sean Mort at the same fest. They serve as a great reminder of how far she's come and her company's humble beginnings.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The tiling at the entrance to the early-1800s flat is original.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The flat's main hall is fairly dark and uninviting. To make it more vibrant, Stella painted the door this sunshiny color. Once inside the home, the hue she chose was a bit too zippy, so she added a touch of black to give it more of a "muted, dirty-gold color." Stella also tore up the home's old carpet and installed these wooden floors -- a surface that's much easier to clean (and much more grand).
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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When Stella moved in, she immediately painted all of the walls white so she could slowly pop in any color she wanted. One of the most vibrant accents she's added is the painting above the IKEA sofa. Unhappy with the wall art options she was finding, Stella took matters into her own hands and painted this one herself. The accompanying brass coffee table is from Habitat, and the rug is by La Redoute.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The living room's black accent wall was a snap decision. Stella simply felt this room was lacking that special something that would pull it together, so she took the plunge with the help of Farrow & Ball "Off-Black No. 57." She made the decision to paint, bought supplies and had it done all within 24 hours.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The fireplace -- a newer addition to the home -- offers the perfect focal point for the living room and plays host to some of Stella's favorite greenery, ceramics and a vintage mirror. The mirror -- similar to the brass coffee table -- helps fill the room with light all day.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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A shelf from Habitat holds some of Stella's prototype ceramics and treasures she's collected on her travels.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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This kitchen is an eyesore for Stella. She's currently looking into exactly how to renovate it, but the process is proving to be quite involved since the home is protected due to its age.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The bathroom holds all of the home's plant overflow. Stella has so many she even ran out of surfaces for them to live on in here! To combat this, she installed a wooden rod so they can hang in the window and soak up the sun.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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About a mile from her flat is where all the magic happens -- the studio. Here Stella creates all manner of ceramics from planters to decanters. "I have many pieces in the studio which were experimental, as in the early days I would change the glaze colors quite often and was still refining my style. Now I pretty much stick to white and relaxing turquoise greens and blues," Stella explains.
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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"What I love most about my home is the light & space... so I can fill it with plants!" -- Stella Baggott
On the UK's Southern Coast, a Potter's Colorful Modern Flat, Design*Sponge
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The early-1800s house that Stella lives in is divided into four flats. Stella's is on the raised ground floor.

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