Abigail Ahern is a very in demand UK interior designer who recently created a range of home accessories as part of a collaboration with Debenhams. When Abigail is not busy designing she is also teaching masterclasses at her design school, which are full of insider secrets and styling tips. The design school is hosted in Abigail’s house, which is featured in the pictures below. Buying furniture or home accessories from Abigail Ahern, her store is on Upper Street in Islington, is about carefully choosing investment pieces, which you know will elevate a room and start a conversation. I am particularly in-love with this bulldog lamp; rose gold against grey with a frilly lampshade on his head- I’ll take two!
Questions about renting with Abigail
1. How can you make a rental feel like home?
It’s a mind set thing. Just because you are living in a rental doesn’t mean that you need to furnish it like one. We lived in a rental in the States for 3 years and decorated it like we owned it. By that, I mean we furnished it with things we loved: accessories, rugs over bland carpets, plants and flowers and lots of art from flea markets and auction houses. The landlord wouldn’t let us bang in nails so we propped artwork everywhere!
2. What design tip would you give to renters?
To make it as personal as you possibly can. Soft furnishings are a decorator’s best friend – they transform rooms from drab to fab. Cushions wake up a sofa, as do throws. Vases, candles, trays – all the small stuff that you put on mantles, consoles and tables – make the hugest difference. The biggest tip I can give is to create layers – the more layers you have in a room, the more intriguing it will look!
3. How can you make the biggest impact to your flat/home without changing the structure?
Colour is the biggest, cheapest, most transformative thing you can do. If you can’t paint the walls, do what I did and paint huge great canvases in fabulous hues and prop throughout the pad. Plump for accessories in some high voltage jolts of colour – you need hues that tantalise the eye. After that, re-arrange the furniture and think out of the box when doing so. Move pieces into the centre of the room or angle them to make for a more cohesive stylish look. The best piece advice I can give is experiment. Unless you try it, you won’t know if it works or not!
Thanks for sharing pictures of your house- true inspiration for those who like a dark colour scheme and original artwork as a pop of colour. I see how Abigail has used her own advice to decorate her space so this is a designer who practices what she preaches!