This three bedroom house on Gibraltar Walk, one of a row of converted furniture-restoration workshops, was a dream to stage. Situated a stones throw away from Brick Lane, on a quiet side street between Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, it was originally built in 1905 and arranged over four generous floors with a modern staircase floating between each floor.
Modern details had been added by the furniture designer owner including a shelving divider, wood panelling and hanging mobile.We wanted to pay homage to all these details mixing industrial with midcentury and modern while treating each room like the scene from an art film.
The owner asked if he could leave a heavy dining table in the property and one of his mobiles.
He also requested plants for outside to decorate a rather forlorn looking set of steps in a dark area but otherwise we were given free rein.
Our plan for the ground floor was to make it seem instantly cosy with its wood burning stove. We added the iconic Eames house bird, an antique wooden coal bucket with hand collected twigs, a Danish hall table, Swedish milking stool, Yvnge Eckstrom (also Swedish) Lamino chair. The carpet beater found a stray nail above the fireplace and Chinese door the perfect sized nook.
We wanted this place to look properly used but not overstated. The kitchen was very raw so we decorated it to make it look like a working kitchen with touches of colour and plants to enhance and old tins to accompany the tin of keys the owner had left out for us.
When we first saw the house we loved that all the “bones were showing”, the exposed brick walls, metal columns, cast-iron radiators and favourite of all, the raw-timber beams.
Because of its proximity to Shoreditch awe felt it important to create a study style space in one of the rooms. Seen here a Dutch desk with Ettore Sottsass Valentine typewriter, Le Corbusier for Thonet chair and Bauhaus style lamp with a stunning circle print by artist Carol Robertson . We wanted to soften the stripped-industrial wood flooring with a Berber rug but not completely hide it to keep it as a feature.
We were pretty gobsmacked by the huge wood sliding doors in the basement bought from our favourite reclaim company Retrouvius The basement with its concrete floor needed a Berber carpet and we brought in colour and plants to make it a fun creative space.
Unlike many of properties in the terrace which are combined live/work units, this house has full residential status in this exciting area with Shoreditch House, Lyle’s, Sager & Wilde and Morito all just a few minutes’ walk away as well as a host of creative and foodie shops catering to all your needs.
All too often showhome stagings can look cold and unloved as the furniture comes in squeaky clean and lacking in patina with no interesting story to tell. With our own archive, thousands of dealers and designers at our fingertips and a great reputation built up over 15 years we have access to early pieces from the likes of Eames, Cherner, Bertoia and Nelson as well as top contemporary at a huge discount and fun pieces gleaned from antique markets and directly from our Midcnetury Modern® events like the giant abacus we put in a children’s room below with its stunning reclaimed parquet floor and factory room divider.
As the photographer needed to shoot from outside the door we made the fireplace in one bedroom a feature and put a plant in it. The perfect way to get your much needed oxygen at night.
All images are c Petra Curtis, Lucy Ryder Richardson and also The Modern House so please obtain permission before using
Contact petra@modernshows .com and email@example.com
Speed up the process of selling with a mix of midcentury & modern styled by our founders former stylist and journalist Lucy Ryder Richardson and graphic designer Petra Curtis. A big leap away from the showhome look, the dynamic duo mix iconic midcentury pieces that have built up a warm patina over time with cool contemporary from the latest designers to make your home stand out but still look loved and lived-in. The service is not super-expensive. While most clients go for the mid-range packages £10,000 up to £25,000, smaller one bedroom flats and houses start from as little as £5000 plus VAT with books, sheets, towels, soaps, smalls, quirky objects and paintings all included. Because we can get good deals and already have a selection of high-end early production designer furniture and smalls in-house Modern Shows’ staging service is cheaper than hiring the furniture directly from dealers and companies that will hire you all modern. In America where staging is more established you pay much more for this service. Americans understand that the quicker the property sells the better for their budget and you can often achieve a hike in sale from the spend as a queue of interested buyers build up. By adding emotion to the setting you will see your property tug at the heartstrings. Lucy and Petra work with architects new builds regularly for The Modern House estate agency. Other jobs include an office and dining room for Saatchi and Saatchi, office meeting room, reception and snug for Danish company Adform and dining and deli decor for Brindisa restaurants.