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January 2022 / Homes & Interiors / by Ali Howard

At Home With: Cath Beckett

As one half of interior design studio Yellow London, Cath is no stranger to daring décor. Her own Notting Hill home, a Victorian conversion flat, is a celebration of colour, pattern and print.

Photography by Matt Clayton

What do you usually look for in a property? I think you get a feeling from a property, it’s nice to avoid too many corridors, that’s why I liked this flat as it had a small central square hall, rather than lots of rooms off a corridor. I don’t have many non-negotiables as it depends on the situation, I think it’s important to look at the pros and cons of the specific property and weigh them up. Something that may be a negative in one, could be a positive in another, for example ceiling height.

Did you do anything structurally when you moved in? I didn’t need to do anything structural, but I did pretty much everything else. Every surface was painted or papered or tiled! It was very tired before and very much less colourful. And it needed a bit of love.

How important is character to you? Very important! I would always try and keep anything original in the house, or re-install features where necessary. It’s a great part of a project to find things which have been hidden, a fireplace for example, or even seeing old layers of wallpaper as they get revealed.

How would you describe your personal interiors style? Somewhere between maximalism, traditional and contemporary – with comfort being key.

Tell me about your furniture choices The furniture in my flat is mostly from antiques markets or sales, and then a few bespoke pieces, for example the red bedside tables and the ottoman. This is similar to how we work with our clients, too. We love using antiques where possible, but it depends slightly on the projects.

Can you talk me through a few of your favourite pieces? One of my favourite pieces would have to be my tulip headboard, I’m still obsessed by that fabric which is by Josef Frank (available from Svenskt Tenn). And then the cloud ottoman, which I designed – our amazing upholsters produced something which was better than I could have imagined.

Any thrifty finds or beloved heirlooms? My best thrifty find has to be the orange table and chairs in the dining room, which are old beer festival tables from Newark Antiques. The table and two benches were £80. And in terms of beloved heirlooms, my grandmother’s horse lamps: my mum had them before me and I had been eyeing them up for years, so she very kindly parted with them.

What’s next for Yellow London? Any exciting projects coming up? We have lots of lovely projects we are working on at the moment, a new build house on the coast in Cornwall, and a grade II listed house in Hertfordshire to name a few, and then some others in the pipeline, too.