Interiorssneak peeks

A Furnished London Flat Pops with Lots of Colorful Art

by Erin Austen Abbott

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

I tend to be drawn to muted hues in furniture, such as grey, blue, white, and greens. This gives me a chance to bring in lots of colors from all the art and books that line my walls. As much as I love prints in fabric, I tend to lean towards solids. Not much is different from today’s home tour with London-based freelance creative producer and multidisciplinary artist, Tiffanie Delune, who mixes in art and color from her travels any chance she gets. “I always buy one or two souvenirs for my home when I travel, so you can see baskets from Bali or Nigeria, a hat from Turkey, drawings from Brighton and a Grace Jones vinyl from NYC,” Tiffanie shares.

Starting with a neutral slate and adding in color from her collected art and her own work was Tiffanie’s goal when she moved into the modest, two-bedroom, partly furnished flat with her young son, Samory. “My work is influenced by my travels as much as 50s and 70s interiors vibes,” she begins. “I look at Picasso, Magritte, Matisse and Niki de Saint Phalle as much as I am into the contemporary art scene of Africa, Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and South Africa, in particular. I also have a deep love for fashion and Yves Saint Laurent or Jean Charles de Castelbajac’s colors are often in my mind. The mix of all of this is probably shown in my work, as I am trying to create beauty, stillness, contentment and happiness with my colors and shapes. In the current world of sadness, war and bad buzz, I find it comforting to be as optimistic and naive as a child.”

Originally from Paris, Tiffanie went on to study Art History in Canada when she was 18, then moved to Switzerland, and back to Paris, before moving to London. “I find beauty, comfort and peace in the unknown and I’ve always wanted to live in London because of its energy, creativity and uniqueness. I feel so free to be myself and however I want it to be here, which has always been the case, but London added new notes to my free-spirited mind,” Tiffanie shares. Embracing her new neighborhood of South London, from her sixth-floor apartment, she now can look out over the city and the spectacular view that came with the space. Surrounded by other artists in her building has led to feeling more creative as well. “First, I became very [good friends] with my neighbors, a couple of artists who paint, write poetry, sing, take photographs and so on. It’s very inspiring and engaging to be around them. They introduced me to other artists and cafes in the neighborhood, so it truly feels like a community. I also recently had a one-to-one class learning about sculpture, thanks to Airbnb experiences, which has inspired me to do more.”

Enjoy taking a peek at the map of Tiffanie’s travels by way of art and the found objects that surround her and her son. —Erin

Photography by Tiffanie Delune / @tiffanie.delune

Image above: A self portrait of Tiffanie, in her living room.

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Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“The blue side table comes from Crystal Palace Antiques. This was my purchase of my recent trip to their [shop]. I love its vintage feel, carrying a new plant. It makes me happy and cheerful looking at this couple dancing in their “sapologue” outfits,” Tiffanie shares.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“On the left is the big Samory Touré’s painting from Adebayo Bolaji . In the background, my son’s dad bought the painting with the men [wearing hats]. An artist walked through his shop to sell his art and he bought it for nothing, without taking his name. Such a shame because it’s a powerful piece. The blanket on the black sofa comes from Istanbul and the little baskets next to each other [are] from Bali. The candle looks exotic, but only comes from Zara Home. My son usually lays down on his elephant to have his night milk, so I tend to leave it there all the time. The rug is Berber,” Tiffanie says.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“The Picasso poster comes from the Picasso Museum in Malaga, where we were in November for Samory’s first flight and trip. The piece was so beautiful in real [life] and this is really only a poor rendition of it, but I couldn’t go home without it. Next to it is The Splash’s poster of David Hockney. I love his use of shapes and colors and the Californian feel of it. The Amour Tous Les Jours pillow is a prototype of one of my designs — I wanted to do more, but got disappointed by the quality. Wait and see! Finally, I just bought the Oliver Bonas rug with the crocodile design — they’re an independent British shop, creating their own designs and it’s absolutely stunning.”

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“My bookshelves, mixing French and English languages books. I read in both languages and tend to read one in French, followed by one in English. This is how I self-taught myself English, reading the complete autobiographies of Maya Angelou, the autobiography of Malcolm X and Do You! by Russell Simmons. The top bottles come from Lisbon, Portugal where I was for my 26th birthday, the vases and candles either come from Zara Home or Habitat and the Basquiat box comes from an edition of Le Book — a yearly fashion book in Paris. I like the mix of shapes here and would like to dramatize it more,” Tiffanie explains.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“My tiny studio in the corner by the window with the view,” Tiffanie notes. “It’s small but it’s enough and I’m lucky! If I paint on a canvas, I might paint standing or sitting, when I paint [a] bigger piece from a rolling canvas, I might put it on the wall or on the floor. I usually paint at night or early in the morning, on weekends. My latest pieces here are Love’s Circus on the right, Balance in Chaos on the floor and The Art of Camouflage: Free the Butterflies in the back.”

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

The space in between the studio and dining area.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“On the table, the accessories come from Anthropologie and Zara Home. I like their shapes — they’re unique and dramatic. The Bob Marley painting comes from Indonesia and the graphic poster from Les Graphiquants – a Parisian-based studio of friends of friends. The table and chairs are furnished Ikea but I like how raw they’re starting to look, as if time is having an effect on them,” Tiffanie shares.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“My side table collection [next to my bed] perfectly reflects who I am. I am currently reading Swing Time by Zadie Smith, an author whom I discovered too late, but can’t stop obsessing about. I fill daily a journal, where I have to answer the A Question A Day, for 5 years. It’s a very interesting reflective exercise to write a short, 4-line answer daily and also accept the good and the bad when you read your last year’s answer. My brother offered it to me and I love it! There’s always a pair of earrings in my Anthropologie gold palm and the Indonesian baskets have my underwear. [With my bedding,] I usually go for black and white sheets with a touch of color, currently orange, which is so energizing, yet not aggressive.”

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

Another look at the pop of orange that Tiffanie likes so much.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“My desk, with a chair that I just found in the trash! It’s raw, classic and royal at the same time. I love it and start thinking about covering it with some Nigerian fabrics I bought in Lagos. I made the desk myself. The hat comes from a trip in Istanbul in June, the YES print is done by another artist friend from Brussels — Neals Niat. Above is an artwork by the Danish artist Kristina Krogh and a Lion photograph from Yellow Korner. My brother offered it to me saying that it describes me perfectly, a lioness with her chin always up :) I drew the woman in the frame, I am not sure who she is but I like how fierce and special she feels. The dried flowers come from a shoot and I love how chic and romantic they feel,” Tiffanie shares.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“Here is a piece that was furnished and that I tried to make mine as much as possible. On the top, a Grace Jones cover from the Williamsburg Flea Market, a giraffe drawing bought to a local artist in Brighton, a hand drawing done by Adebayo one night here, two masks from Gabon offered by a friend, two bowls handmade by my dad in Martinique and my jewelry spread in all of this.”

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“I love the mix of colors and animals in his little space,” Tiffanie says of her son’s room. “There’s no color palette, just the right mix of bright colors and faces so it feels engaging, warm and playful. It fits well with Samory’s energetic personality.”

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

Another peek at her young son’s room.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“I bought the vintage Ford car at the Crystal Palace antiques, which I love going to once a month to check their new stuff. It was a love at first sight and we didn’t care about the price because it’s so unique. On top of being an amazing toy, it’s a timeless piece of decoration that can be passed on to future generations,” Tiffanie explains.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

“I like that the light has a moon shape because my last name, Delune, means From the Moon in French. I made the birds mobile when I was pregnant from some supplies I bought and found. I find birds dreamy but I wanted them special and unique, which explains their bright yellow color and shapes. The little S has been offered by my best friend and her godmother,” Tiffanie shares.

Tiffanie Delune on Design*Sponge

The layout of Tiffanie’s flat.

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