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May 2022 / Homes & Interiors / by Ali Howard

At Home With: Lizzie Crocker

From vintage finds to modern curiosities, this interior consultant and brand owner’s home has been curated with love.

Photography by Hermione McCosh

With a background in set design, Lizzie’s approach to interiors sees her forever arranging and rearranging corners of the room, constantly evolving the look. “I don’t follow trends,” she says. “I buy what I love and somehow it all fits together in an eclectic way. I like lots of art, objects and textiles, layering up to create a soft washed-out colour palette.” Anyone familiar with artful homeware brand Polkra, of which Lizzie is creative director, will appreciate her eye for great design. From tableware to soft furnishings, artwork to decorative accessories, the offering is all highly covetable. And with dreamy artist and illustrator collaborations including Anna Glover and Katie Scott, Lizzie’s love of pattern and print spills over into the thoughtfully put-together corners of her home, too. 

Having lived in Rio de Janeiro for five years, Lizzie and husband Charlie moved back into their London flat only to fall pregnant with their first child. In 2018, they exchanged on a four-bed Georgian townhouse, awarding them the space that would eventually accommodate their young family. The pair now have three children under four. “We moved in when Cassius was just four weeks old,” Lizzie tells me. “The previous owner had lived here for 42 years and rented out every room, so it was in a bit of a state!” Tackling the ground floor first, they knocked down walls to create one large reception and living space. “It transformed the dynamic of the house completely,” says Lizzie. “It was a pretty big job, but totally worth it!” 

The first thing that strikes you here is the raw plaster walls that offer a sense of faded glamour, not to mention a warm Mediterranean feel. “I can’t take credit for the walls,” Lizzie confesses, “as this was inspiration from my mum, who left raw plaster on the walls of the extension in the house I grew up in. I just love the warmth it lends and the depth of patina in the plaster. It’s a soft, romantic, serene vibe that really channelled all other decisions.” The textured pink walls in the living room are met with glamorous finds sourced from Lizzie’s travels, such as a huge vintage vanity mirror that takes pride of place on the period mantelpiece, and a deco-inspired fan-like fire guard. You’d be forgiven for thinking these pieces were bought specially to fit the room, but no. “The mirror was £175 from an antique shop in Brighton, which, at the time we had no place for but bought because it was a good price,” Lizzie explains. “And the phoenix fire guard was from Golborne Road when I lived there. I just loved it, so I had to have it. I didn’t even have a fireplace in that flat, I just had objects I adored!” A lesson keenly observed: buy the pieces you love and you’ll manifest the house to go with them. 

The decor is, of course, peppered with beautiful products from Polkra, such as the ceramic Polkra x Katie Scott candles, whether new or repurposed as decorative plant pots or make-up brush containers, and these sit alongside Lizzie’s rich collection of curiosities. She tells me she’s a big believer in trusting your gut and “buying the things you really like, even if you don’t know why! If it speaks to you then that’s a good sign.” There’s no doubt that serendipity plays a part, too. Like most of Lizzie’s furniture finds, the large sideboard in the living room comes with a backstory. “I was told it came from a school in Norfolk,” she says. “I bought it off eBay and it had another set of cupboards originally. Although when I bought it, I not only forgot to tell my husband about the purchase, but I didn’t consider the skirting board measurements, so when it arrived, Charlie, my builder and I really struggled to get it in! You can’t fit a match either side of it, but it just fits and it feels like it was made for the space, which is really satisfying.”

Lizzie goes on to describe some of her proud thrifty finds, such as the huge freestanding sepia gold mirror in the family bathroom. “It was £50 from Golborne Road and I just couldn’t say no!” And a brass shell lid box, which she got from a car boot sale for 50p. “I keep my jewellery in it beside my bed, and it gives me so much pleasure when I take my jewellery pieces off at night and hear them clink into the box. Plus, I like knowing they are all safely together in one place and away from tiny fingers!” The interior is nothing if not calming, but far from being minimalist – there are interesting details at every turn. I wonder how Lizzie achieves this balance. “Colour palette helps a lot,” she says. “It’s like when everything is singing from the same hymn sheet. My living room is soft hues of pinks, dusty reds and greys, with the odd pop of blue. It sets the tone to accommodate a brighter textile or painting. Try to pinpoint what colours are working in the space so you know when shopping if the piece will feel at home in that room,” she advises. 

Lizzie is currently on maternity leave but confesses that she never stops working. “I’m currently finishing an interior in north London, starting a new development with Charlie, and launching a lifestyle brand called Fable later this year,” she reveals. Luckily, her serene family home offers plenty of space in which to relax. “My favourite space has to be the living room,” she says. “I really get a sense of calm here. I’m not distracted by washing up or kids’ mess. It’s where I unwind and catch up with Charlie. It’s also where, as a family, we all pile onto the sofa to watch a movie: really happy times!” 

polkra.com; Instagram: @lizzie_crocker_creates