This is the home of influencer Catherine Ashton. I stumbled across her a few weeks ago on Instagram and was immediately transfixed. I’m now stalking her. Fact. Her beautiful home is darkly mysterious, full of stunning art (seriously, sometimes right down to the skirting boards), potted plants, colourful rugs and enough cosy cushions to literally dive into. I want to move in. I want to kick off my shoes, curl up on her sofa, and luxuriate in the warmth. Forever. BUT, since I can’t actually move in, she kindly agreed to share some pics of her stunning home here, and answer a few of my nosy questions.
Q and A’s
Q. Your home is beautiful. Tell us a bit about the four walls. What kind of house/apartment is it? What made you fall in love with it, or did you choose it for practical considerations first and foremost?
A. I first fell in love with the area. It’s in North London near Hampstead Heath so it’s very green surrounded by lots of mature trees. From being very young I have always loved nature. If I could I would live in the middle of forest. This block of apartments is low rise and spread out over acres of beautiful land. Then I liked the layout of the apartment. The 2 bedrooms are the same size which is unusual and also it has large windows with views of trees.
Q. What work have you done to the place to make it your own? Are you a serial decorator or have you finished?
A. For me it’s an ongoing project and I don’t think I will ever stop decorating. I am always switching things around, rugs, tables, art etc. Also I get quite bored easily with paint colour and adore painting which I always do myself so I like to re-paint a room at least once a year.
Q. How would you describe your own interior design aesthetic and where do you find the inspiration for the things you decide to do?
A. I have owned my apartment for 15 years but I only started decorating it dark about 3 years ago when I stumbled across interior designer Abigail Ahern and was in awe of her dark cosy way of decorating. Since then I have found my own style which is inky hued, cosy, and cool. I love the feeling of being cocooned where I never want to leave home and it makes me smile every day. I love collecting art so you will find a few gallery walls dotted around. I am constantly collecting art and have a cupboard full of art so I can switch things around when I get bored. I also love collecting antique chandeliers which I have in every room. I even managed to fit one in my laundry room.
Q. What tips do you have for anyone starting from scratch? How do they create a home that is uniquely their own.
A. If you’re starting from scratch I would first identify what you like. Go online as there’s loads of inspiration on all social media sites. See what you like, question how it makes you feel, and then adapt it to your taste, what’s practical for you, and your budget. Also take your time and don’t rush into anything. I rushed into a few projects which I regretted, so now I take my time and ponder over it for a while to make sure am doing the right thing. Also just try one room out first and experiment, then if you love it you can move on to the next room. I was going from light to dark and it was scary at first so I started with the hallway, and slowly moved on to other rooms one room at a time. You will make mistakes but don’t worry as you can learn from them and then you will end up with something you love.
Q. I know how long it takes to collect all the layers that go towards making a house a home. Where do you find all of your lovely things? Are there any go-to sources/shops that you can share?
A. I always spend hours googling for things I want and I have been known to have things made if I can’t find them. I have a few places I find myself going back to which I have done great collaborations with.
Here’s a list of my favourites.
Abigail Ahern – has the coolest things on the planet and where all my faux plants come from.
Art.co.uk – another great place for finding a huge selection of prints.
Selency – if you love vintage furniture like me and don’t want to look round antique fairs then this is the place for you.
Folk Interiors – owned by Katy. Love everything on her shop.
Rockett St George – cool, quirky and glamorous.
Piglet in Bed – all my linen is from them. The softest linen you can find.
Q. If you had a day at home with no work to do, and no social media to catch up on, how would you spend it?
A. When I am at home all day I will usually find myself taking photos of my apartment. I love photography and creating beautiful photos for my Instagram account and also creating content for brands as I am an influencer. I love to experiment with different angles and lighting, so for me this is a perfect day.
Q. What’s next? Do you have any decorating projects brewing?
A. I always have projects brewing in my mind, but a couple I hopefully will do next year is repaint my hallway as it’s the first space I painted dark 3 years ago. I am wanting to make it darker. And the other is, I changed the cream carpet I used to have in my living room and 2 bedrooms to black flooring which was one of the best decisions I have made, but I have limestone tiles in the rest of the apartment which to me does not look right. It will be very messy to change and I hate mess so I am going to paint it. I have never painted a floor before so it’s going to be quite challenging. I did paint the same tiles on the bathroom wall though, which was a great success so it should turn out pretty good.
You can follow Catherine’s Instagram account on bo_decor.