We are excited to welcome Stephanie Zak to the blog today to share her home with us!I absolutely love my home. It's in an attractive red brick 1930's block in central Brixton in South London. When I bought it 3 and a half years ago it was literally just a shell –bare concrete floors and badly plastered walls. The only room in any way liveable was the bathroom which was so hideously decorated with swirly floral pearlescent tiles that I had no choice but to rip it all out and really start again from scratch. The wonderful thing about getting your hands on a place that needs everything doing to it, is that you don't end up having to compromise and you don't have to put up with something which you think is just ok. I put in central heating, new flooring throughout, knocked through the small galley kitchen into the living room so it's now open plan and built in lots of additional storage. I say, I did this – that's not technically true –a very close friend of the family who owns a building firm brought in his team of wonderfully skilled builders, carpenters and decorators and completely transformed the place, following my designs and ideas and I'm forever grateful! The space itself is fairly small; one cosy bedroom, a small bathroom and a little hallway which leads into the open plan living room and kitchen. Although the flat is centrally located, just minutes away from the crazy hustle and bustle of Brixton high street, it's strangely peaceful –almost like living in the countryside! My windows overlook pretty Victorian almshouses and a large forested ground which is just beautiful in the spring and summer!It was a bit of an unorthodox choice, but I opted not to have kitchen units above my kitchen counter and instead have everything on display on shelves. And I'm glad of my choice, despite the extra cleaning needed! It makes the kitchen space look bigger and I love always being able to see my pretty crockery and glass kilner jars filled with rice, pasta and colourful pulses! And the builders cleverly put in lighting below all the shelves so it all looks really twinkly and atmospheric at night. I bought the flat as a first time buyer just before my 30th birthday. To celebrate my 3 decades I went to Marrakech with 9 close friends and whilst I was there the majority of the building work and decorating took place. I returned to find a brand new sparkly flat with a suitcase full of Moroccan wares to fill the space! Notably my cream sequinned hand made bed throw which I adore and which is always on my bed, no matter the season. It was such an exciting time and ever since I've always embraced long moments spent at home.
For me, home is a place to either really chill out and relax after work or on weekends –or to entertain! There is always a lot going on in my area so friends often descend on my flat for pre-drinks before heading out which I absolutely love –the more the merrier –all are welcome! And Ben is an expert cocktail maker, much to the delight of all our thirsty guests! He is a music producer and often works from home on his laptop so lucky, him –gets to spend more time at home than I do. As well as myself, Ben and my friends enjoying the space, we've started renting it out for weekends and short stays on air B&B. We've had a whole host of lovely travellers from far and wide, from all corners of the world. It means we have to temporarily move out but we don't mind at all. It means we get to stay with different family members which is great and it funds our own trips. We make a bit of money by people having a lovely time in our home and then we spend that money having a lovely time elsewhere. It's a win-win situation!Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us, Stephanie! You can see more of Stephanie's home right here! xo. photography by Alex Curtis