Interiorssneak peeks

A London Home filled with Travel Finds

by Amy Azzarito

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.


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  • Wow! Possibly my favorite tour. I love everything about this space, including that she admits to unfinished projects. Welcome to my world! But seriously, the furnishings, the art and objects, the colors — it all just works in this wonderfully calm, but totally cool and interesting way. Well done!

  • Absolutely lovely! I was wondering about the silver squares in the bedroom – where are they from?

  • I love how every space is colorful and interesting without being overpowering and cluttered or too bright and preppy, which I think are the two big pitfalls of using lots of color. Something about her use of pink has me mesmerized. So much pink in the house but it never feels like it’s too pink or bright. I’m just impressed all around.

  • Wonderful use of the space. I have always wondered what that fine line would look like between keepsakes and clutter. The garden and outside space are just lovely :)

  • I loved this, very inspirational for my own little pile in London. Adore the garden and how eclectic it is, and every story each item holds.

  • i absolutely love this! the colours are fantastic, i love all the pink–without being too ‘pinky’! where is the pink /cream fabric from that is used in both the indoor and outdoor dining areas! i LOVE it!

  • So gorgeous!! I love that it is in constant transition, but everything looks so planned. I would be ecstatic to see an update when the kitchen is done… (hint hint)!!!

  • love your home! especially the pinks..and your painted floors. would you mind sharing how your like them/clean up?

  • its all perfect. every single photo. i am going to save every pic to study. the garden is my fave. thanks for sharing.

  • It’s official: I’m in love with this house. Every house that you show on this blog is stunning, but this one has something special in it. Don’t know how to explain, but you see it and say: “ok, I’d like to live there”
    Thanks for your work.
    Donatella (Italy)

  • Ohhh!!! I am almost weeping in envy. One of my favourite home tours ever – every photo is perfect – warm, inviting, quirky, gorgeous textures, personal, little touches of warm pinks. I found myself nodding along in agreement and smiling at so many things Nic said – she sounds like she would be funny in person! I can’t stop looking at these photos. Such a gorgeous home.

  • I saw they’re place before, in a magazine. A lot has changed since then, so it seems. But there’s still the most awesome art deco cabinet in the bedroom. What a shape! Also, you’re place tells me I should travel more.

  • What a nice house and a lovely garden.

    I wonder what the pretty wallpaper is on the staircase ?

  • This is one of the best homes I’ve seen a long time.. so much thought seems to have gone into all the small details of each and every room’s area. I love it! Truly inspirational. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Just wonderful, i loved everything the touch of white , mixture of furniture and finally the entrance with a garden.

  • uff super gorgeous and interesting, and I like the fact he can have his own space dedicated to his things, essential for a good home sharing.

  • Oh! I love this house… I can see me in there :-) Thank you so much for sharing. It is so inspiring to see the design rules broken in favor of organic and well loved design.

  • I am in love. This place is perfect. One thing I especially loved here was the yellow box garden bench with the red accent pillows, the asian lamp, and the beautiful glass door cabinet in the bedroom. well that is more than one. really I am in love with this whole house.

  • I loved this place the first three times I looked at it from my tablet. I am home now and on my computer. It is even more wonderful on large size screen. I found so much inspiration here. I was putting off a trip to the 5 thrift shops I passed recently, all on one street, but now I am so inspired I have to go and see what I can find. Thanks so much for sharing this home.

  • I agree with all the comments above. There is so much innately great taste and sense of design displayed here. It just goes to show it’s not what you got but how you use it. Makes me want to dig through my clutter to rediscover my own treasures. Love it. Thank you for sharing such a great tour.

  • This is probably one of the loveliest houses I have seen on Sneak Peaks for a very long time. It is so personal, eclectic and interesting while remaining stylish and I love the way the inside spills outside into the garden, with the owners use of furniture and artefacts.Beautiful!

  • Absolutely wonderful home. Please don’t paint your mother’s little cupboard. It’s gorgeous as it is. You have a very special eye for color!

  • Your home is beauuuutiful! Wow! I am in love with the colors you’ve used and the arrangement of all your pretty / cool things. The bedrooms are my favorite and I adored the photo of your sweet linens collection. Very fun to see, definitely inspired! :)

  • Wow, I love everything in this home! Our home is also filled with treasures we have collected on our travels and each one makes me smile daily.

    And, I can totally relate to this couple! My husband and I frequently sit down over a glass of wine and dream about where our next destination will be. We just returned from Vietnam and are planning a trip to Brazil. While we feared that traveling with a toddler would be so difficult that we would put off long-distance travel until our daughter was a bit older; we have found the opposite to be true. Introducing our little one to wonders of the world – different people, places and cultures – has been one of the great pleasures of parenthood!

  • I’ve poured over every single image of your beautiful home, enjoying all the details and the colour. The coral paint on the console is a stand out and the pink in the dining area superb! I would live there in a heart beat! (or even half a beat if the kitchen was bigger) Thank you for sharing your home with me.

  • Please please please post the kitchen when you’ve redone it. I am so interested in freestanding mismatched dressers and how you’ll put that together. Even if it takes five years to send in new pictures, please do it.

  • Hello everyone, I just wanted to post to thank you so much for your lovely comments. We are really quite overwhelmed. As a reader of D*S for many years, it was always a dream to have something (anything!) on here. We were in total shock when we were told we would feature. You never feel that your place is worthy in the first place, let alone that people will actually take the time to comment on it! You’ve made a (slightly unconfident) girl in north west London very happy. Replies to some of the questions/comments:

    LISA: The metal squares are from, surprise, surprise…Bali. Gosh we’re sounding like right Bali-bores! From a shop called Panonpoe in Ubud.
    GINA: I hope to get some on Wooster soon!
    ESTEFANIA: It is from a discount fabric warehouse in north London. I think it’s old Designers Guild.
    MAYA FROM HOUSE NERD: Hahaha, funny weird most probably. If you’re ever in London, let’s go for a beer!
    MELISSA: Sorry, not super clear on your question but hope this answers it. They’re painted in Stony Ground by Farrow and Ball. We use E-cloth mops to clean them.
    MRS WOO: It is from Cole & Son. We think the decorators hung it upside down and had a huge argument with them. It has stayed as it is as the stairwell is double-storied and it’d be a right ballache to rectify it! So we’re stoked that you still think it looks good.

    Thanks again to everyone. We’d be happy to come back (for the kitchen and anything else that’s changed – as it constantly does!).

  • I have a very similar inlay table from India that I picked up off of Craigslist – I haven’t been able to find out any information about it but was curious as to where you got it and if they are a typical find. Mine has a rounded top and only three legs, but has the same elephant motif on the legs and top.

  • what an adorable, cozy place. loved reading all the stories of their “findings” & how they were acquired (travel, good ole eBay, junk stores, family hand-offs, handmade)! WOW!

  • Hi Nic and Dave, I love love love your home! My husband and I live in Camden, and are looking to sell our (top floor) flat and buy a home with a garden. We would love to know what area in North West London you found your beautiful railway cottage: Muswell Hill? Crouch End? West Hampstead?
    Thank you! :-)

    • @Rose, looks like it might be East Finchley or thereabouts, West Hampstead doesn’t have this kind of terraced housing and Crouch End is not really NW London. I have a couple of friends with very similar houses in East Finchley at least.

  • especially I like this bed:)) almost the same was in our summer house, it’s from my childhood really… maybe the interior has a some russian mood…

  • My favorite sneek peek in a long time. I appreciate that special items have been gathered over time and its not just a West Elm showroom. Everything is lovely and intentional. I really love the kitchen table and chairs. There are so many details to pour over!

    Love it.

  • This is by far the most amazing home I have seen on this site. So comfortable, homey, eclectic and stylish! I aspire to have a home like this one day :)

  • Es una casa preciosa,tengo que mirar propuestas para mi nuevo hogar,y de momento es lo que mas me ha gustado.Suerte en todo lo que emprendas.

  • we are a few months away from completing on our railway cottage near Willesden Junction so have been inspired!

  • Hello, just come across this post – what a fabulous home. It really does tell a story in every room and the styling is gorgeous. I love the use of glass fronted cabinets to show off treasures rather than hide them away and I like how the rooms are mostly neutral with fabulous pops of colour with key items of furniture, which drawers you in creating a ‘happy space’ and frames all the unique treasure they have displayed. The garden is just a sanctuary. This home is inviting and homely :O)

  • Hello,
    Wondering where your sofa is from? Looks lovely as well as comfortable.

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  • This is SUCH a gorgeous home. I am new to the site and a bit obsessed with it! Utterly beautiful.