Bold and eclectic, treasured vintage finds sit comfortably with contemporary furniture pieces in this show-stopping Queen’s Park home.
Sacha started The Vintage Chandelier Company, selling reworked and restored vintage lighting, at the same time as buying her Queen’s Park property. It was a no-brainer that the beautiful four-bed Victorian home, with its grand proportions and daylight-loving aspect, would become the perfect outlet in which to display those dazzling chandeliers. But the house wasn’t always the stunning show home it is today, rather a labour of love, which began in a moment of serendipity:
“It was a very popular time to buy in Queen’s Park with lots of outbidding going on, so we put letters in people’s doors and were delighted when the owner of our house contacted us back,” Sacha recalls. “It was like a Tardis, much larger once we went inside, and we also loved the prettiness and feel of the road. But it was going to be a big project. We did the side return and loft extension all at once, which took six months.”
The house is filled with colourful eye-candy, mixing primary brights with sumptuous textiles; treasured vintage finds with contemporary pieces. Yes, it served as a magnificent lighting showroom, but beyond that, the property showcased Sacha’s obvious flair for interiors. Another opportune moment came when a client, there to view the lighting, asked Sacha to help design and decorate their three-bed flat, setting her on a career path in interior styling and design – a natural next step.
“After a couple of projects were featured in magazines I decided I’d love to do it more full-time and that’s when I started Honey Bee Interiors,” she says. “I felt there was a niche in the market for more affordable and accessible design and I was fortunate to be popular on the interiors website Houzz. The clientele just built up and since then I’ve done whole-house projects as well as smaller individual room makeovers.”
Like all the most intriguingly lived-in and loved houses, Sacha’s continues to evolve as pieces are added, wall coverings are updated, and new-found artworks are hung. “If I love something, I normally just buy it and then find a home for it,” she states, proving that heart-over-head is demonstrably the best way to shop when it comes to dressing your most precious asset. In fact, so much of what Sacha does works on instinct – that elusive “eye” for putting a room together. “When we moved here we brought with us a bright pink armchair from Tann Rokka from our old flat, and it felt like the living room had to be based around it, hence the bright colours and mix of fabrics and patterns,” she says.
Describing her interiors style as “a mix of contemporary and modern vintage,” Sacha’s abode emanates personality, from her daughter’s unapologetically cute bedroom with its ballet pink toile de Jouy wallpaper, to the chic, retro-styled kitchen with its neon sign and edgy letter lights. It’s a bold eclecticism that works harmoniously throughout the house: a place for everything and everything in its place.
But with every square foot carefully considered, designed and optimised to the max, does Sacha secretly harbour a favourite spot? “My favourite room seems to change at different times of the year,” she explains. “In the summer, when the sun’s out, I love my kitchen space with the doors wide open. It’s the lightest room in the house and feels so much larger when incorporated with the garden.
In winter I like to indulge in an early night watching trash TV in bed with the fire on. The dark walls feel really intimate and sumptuous.” But cosy open fire or not, the real warmth com es from the fact this is a family home, first and foremost, evidenced by the informal portraits of the children sitting alongside contemporary artworks – that, and the odd characterful grubby mark: “Avoid a non-washable yellow velvet for your ottoman,” Sacha advises. “Lesson learnt!”