I’ve often walked past the imposing historic townhouses of Spitalfields in east London, snapping the exteriors for Instagram and wandering what they were like inside. Last week I got a chance to see for myself, joining a bloggers tour with the lovely ladies of Function + Form and home design website Houzz. Function + Form, set up by bloggers Tiff of Curate + Display and Annie of Stylejuicer, is a new unique gathering of like minds, combining relaxed, informal dining with handcrafted design (just what I like), as they explain:
‘As so much of our lives today are spent online, we seek to bring the enjoyment of interior and lifestyle design into a tangible being whilst enjoying the company of like-minded friends. A chance to make new connections, a chance for real conversation. Each gathering focuses on the work of a designer who we admire for their ethos, their aesthetic, sharing with us their inspiration and inviting us to delve deeper into their process.’
For their latest gathering, we nosed our way into architect Chris Dyson’s home on Princelet Street, originally built in 1719 and now Grade II-listed. The family bought the four-storey townhouse in 2005, painstakingly restoring it back to its former glory, repairing utilitarian, mismatched mid-20th century additions and introducing panelling into the rooms where it had been lost. Transforming the building, they added a timber-clad kitchen space onto the roof – mimicking the Huguenot weavers’ lofts that once perched on the rooftops high above the city – and converted the ground floor into an office and gallery for Chris’ architecture practice. Come take a sneak peek around…
Inside, the rooms are beautifully proportioned and flooded with the most fantastic light. Lime wash floorboards and Farrow and Ball-esque walls create a calm oasis, away from the hustle and bustle of nearby Brick Lane. I loved how they have mixed contemporary furniture with vintage pieces and treasured curios; in every nook and cranny there was something intriguing to be found – an old pipe here, a skull there, a tortoise shell. Not to mention the art that lined the walls and unusual sculptures (a stuffed chick in a light bulb?) on various surfaces.
The rooftop terrace was the icing on the cake – a beautiful, calm retreat high up above the world, concealed from view by a trellis and vintage boxes used as planters. Isn’t it a treat? How I would love something like this of my own, to hide away and sip my morning coffee with the bees buzzing around me, that would be nice…
I hope you enjoyed this little tour behind the scenes. If you would like to find out more about future Function + Form events, check out their page here and maybe see you on the next one!
All images my own, except where otherwise mentioned.