Sunday, 20 May 2012

behind closed doors - Jack & Lakisha

One of things I love most about my favourite magazines and  blogs, is seeing real houses. I'm interested to see what other people have done with their homes, what furniture they've chosen, how they've styled their things and what colours they've used. Lets face it, we're all a bit nosy, who doesn't enjoy a virtual snoop around other peoples houses? I've wanted to run a series on real-life rented homes since I started this blog and this week I'm pleased to present the very first one!

Jack & Lakisha live in a basement flat in South London and ever since I first visited their home at the start of this year and they agreed to be my first real-homes feature I've been dying to write this post. I knew their home would be stylish, I photographed their wedding last year and the attention to detail was incredible. The thing that struck me most about Jack & Lakishas home, is how warm and inviting it was and how they'd managed to make it entirely their own. From the moment you walk down the steps from the street you can see how much care is lavished on this place...

The couple have lived here for just over two years and they readily admit that it's Lakisha who makes most of the design decisions... "except that Bob Dylan cut-out, that's definitely Jacks". Lakisha has a great eye for styling, which is what really makes their home stand out. Even though the flat is small, it never feels that way and is surprisingly light and airy given that the flat is below street level. Lakisha has mixed handmade and personal items (mementos from their wedding are in almost every room) with new furniture, old pieces and things she has rescued and restored, like the white painted bookcase and DVD cabinet in living room. Having neutral walls is a great advantage and luckily they both like the wallpaper in the living room alcoves that the landlord put up.

Living Room:

Jacks mum made the 'Love' cushion, it has their 
wedding date embroidered underneath.

The vertical radiator saves on space, but Jack laments
its impracticality as a clothes dryer.

 Jack's sister made the shoe painting,
the desk is from a second hand furniture shop in New Cross.

Lakisha rescued the shelving unit & painted it white
and it's beautifully styled!

The wallpaper & wooden floor were already in when they arrived.

The ampersand was part of Jack & Lakishas wedding decoration,
the photograph is from one of their first dates.

The table can be pulled out & the chairs unstacked when guests 
come for dinner. The glass top stops the table feeling too large 
for the space, tricking the eye.

Lakisha's doll house sits next to the dining table.


The kitchen & living room are open plan, so simple
styling is essential.

The  metal egg holder was hand cast by a friend
of Jacks dad.


Natural bamboo accessories make the bathroom
feel warm and inviting.

Short on cabinet space, Lakisha makes the most of a narrow shelf by keeping
essentials in these gorgeous jars.

Decorative elements in the bathroom liven up plain tiles.


 'This is London' poster from Gosh Comics in Soho

 Jack's SLHC Vans

 Jacks mum made the Mr & Mrs cushions and Lakisha has
mixed florals & checks to great effect

 Lakisha has her favourite jewellery pieces out on
display, much prettier than hiding them away!

 Lakisha wallpapered their bedroom with Monsoon paper and
the cut metal letters are decorations from their wedding

 The mix of wood and painted finishes in the bedroom stops the furniture
from being to 'matchy' and adds to the richly layered style of the room.

A pile of spare bedding makes an interesting display

What they did:
Jack & Lakisha were lucky to move into a flat with good bones, the wood flooring, neutral walls and kitchen were all here when they moved in, plus there's that great recess in the living room that adds architectural interest. Lakisha redecorated their bedroom in a floral wallpaper from Graham & Brown, using a pattern from Monsoon's archive, but the real strength of this flat is the placement of furniture and they styling. The sofa, for example, crates a delineation between the kitchen and the living room spaces, without making the room feel closed off. In the hallway, a narrow space is put to great use as a storage space fro the couples CD's and DVD's as well as displaying treasured photos and London related images in a kind of gallery.

What they said:
How long have you lived here?
-2 years 4 months
Who makes the design decisions?
-Lakisha, except that Bob Dylan cut out... that's Jacks!
What influences your choice of decor?
-Home magazines, shopping, I just pick things up as I go along
What do you love most about your home?
-That I made it 'ours' even though it's rented
Most treasured possession?
L-My Prada handbag & our wedding cushion
J-My hard drive & a box of family photos
What's your dream home?
L-A converted warehouse in Shad Thames with original features like the industrial cranes
J-The old lift factory off the Queens Road
Where to next?
Camberwell, in a couple of weeks!

Get The Look:
If you like Jack & Lakisha's style, here's some shopping inspiration for you:

1. 'Home Sweet Home' sign £14 from Velvet Store
2. Houndstooth throw, £49 from Sterling Furniture
3. Karlsfors sofa £545 from Ikea
4. Traditional kitchen scale, £30 from John Lewis
5. Deer & Stag Heads £89-£135 from Graham & Green
6. Newgate 'Barbican' oversize wall clock, £95 from John Lewis
7. Ceramic egg holder, £14.50 from Pedlars
8. Mr & Mrs cushion by Jane Hornsby, £40 from Not On The Highstreet
9. Liatorp bookcase £239 from Ikea
10. Hot Bath tin sign £5.99 from South West Pine
11. Red Rose reversible bedlinen starting at £10 for a pillowcase from Next
12. Hurricane Lantern, £45 from John Lewis

Huge thanks to Jack & Lakisha for being my first featured home, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do in their next place!

Jack, along with best man Steve, broadcast the South London Hard Core podcast every week, a topical and historical look at all things transpontine, often with special guests. Visit the website here and the Twitter page here. I sat in on the recording of the show last week and spoke to the guys about housing, it's episode 22, download it here! If you have a gorgeous rented home, be it a flat, a whole house or just one room and you'd like to be featured on the blog, give me a shout!


  1. That was really weird! A sort of 'Who would live in a house like this?' for 'ordinary people'!

    1. Weird in a good way I hope? It's not unusual... interior blogs do it all the time, real peoples houses are MUCH more interesting than famous peoples...

  2. Really enjoyed the blog, it really is a lovely home. If you ever want to do a blog on the home of a horder and a quilter just lets me know... jacks mum

    1. Thank you for the comment! I'd love to feature some of your handiwork... do you have a site or sell your tings?

  3. lovely things! could you please tell me if you know where the cut metal letters are from!? I have exactly the same letters but I am short of a few! I have been looking everywhere....

    1. Hi! Lakisha says they were from Urban Outfitters a couple of years ago... they have similar on their US site here (that you could spray paint):

      But it looks like they're discontinued in the UK & I can't find any similar over here! There are plenty of plain options on Not on The High Street:

      Anni x