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In London, a Color-Clashing Punk’s Bright & Vivacious Flat

by Kelli Kehler

Tucked into a circa-1880 Victorian terrace flat in Hackney, London you’ll find the home of , a self-proclaimed professional color and pattern clasher. She deeply believes that “if you like colors together, they go together — regardless of color ‘rules’.” This school of thought has greatly informed the narrative of her ever-evolving and ever-brightening flat, a color saturated feast for the eyes that has only become more effervescent over the past 16 years.

Ms. Pink shares the color-pop wonderland with her partner, her two sons aged 10 and 16 (her oldest son, 21, is away at university), and her three cats, Caspar, Tommy and Coco. In 2011, she and her partner founded , a design studio that specializes in the same signature style found throughout their flat: bold colors blended with flat graphics. Before the 1,350-square-foot flat began its color journey, Ms. Pink began her own in London. “I’ve lived in London since I was 18,” she begins. “I’m originally from a small village called Roslin which is about eight miles from Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. No one had ever heard of Roslin but it is firmly on the map and tourist trail as it features in Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code! I moved to London in 1985 as it was a very exciting city for a young punk. I loved going to the famous King’s Road and going to see many live gigs.”

While Ms. Pink’s 3-story, 2-bedroom home is packed with bright hues and eye-catching design moments at every turn, the placement of each color and pattern is not random, but precisely calculated. Though she never sets out with a decorating plan when it comes to her own home, Ms. Pink is the first to admit that she’s a perfectionist — albeit, an impatient one. This struggle of traits within herself often results in projects that have to be done and then redone so they’re just right, like the striped floor in the living room and the meticulously organized stairwell of vibrant vintage trays.

“I’ve been a huge color lover from a young age. None of the boys have seen my natural hair color — I’ve been every color in the last 35, years and have stuck with pink for the last 10,” she tells us. “I think it’s fair to say I have an addiction to bright color and pattern, everything about the trays [in the stairwell], which are mostly from the 50s, 60s and 70s represents this. In the last few years I’ve introduced neon colors into the house which fill me with joy as they are so pure and bright!” Scroll down to take a spin through this truly unforgettable and utterly unique home. —

Photography by /
Portrait by /

Image above: “This is the view when you walk in the living room door,” Ms. Pink says. “This is such a happy room with all the color and greenery. The striped living room floor took four days. The boys were on holiday so I just had to keep the cats outside whilst it was drying.”

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“The fireplace was orange for many years until last year I painted it purple. I’m not a huge fan of purple, but it was the only color not represented in the room so I introduced it for balance. Purple was subsequently named the Pantone color of the year, so for the first time in my life I’m ‘on trend’,” Ms. Pink jokes.

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To the left of the fireplace, a cool grey paint color on the walls uplifts bolts of bright red orange. “The orange ‘bowl’ is actually a cheap light shade which I sprayed neon,” Ms. Pink notes.

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Pale pink walls are the perfect backdrop for lush green plants. More DIY touches from Ms. Pink round out the lively corner. “The pink and orange leaves are from IKEA and sprayed neon. The large umbrella plant is 14 years old and was tiny when I got it.”

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Patterns at play, harmoniously — a signature skill of Ms. Pink’s.

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The brains behind the design brand , Ms. Pink believes there are no rules when it comes to mi colors, and her bold London flat is a fantastic testament to that.

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Wallpaper of  makes a subtle graphic statement on the living room wall opposite the room’s bay window.

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Looking from the living room into the hallway, it’s clear that the patterns and colors continue on throughout the Victorian terrace flat.

If you like colors together, they go together — regardless of color ‘rules.’

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A bold and balanced gallery wall of both new and vintage prints sets the tone for the home’s hallway.

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On the door of a tiny office/spare room, a mirror reflects the flat’s upper stairs to the bedroom and bathroom.

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Ms. Pink’s pride and joy, her . All over 50 years old, she hangs trays in her growing collection with small squares of velcro to avoid drilling (over 89!) holes into the walls. We’re hoping she finds more wall space soon, because she tells us she just doesn’t have the heart to pass one up if she finds a new one! “I’ve never really had a decorating plan as such,” she shares. “The flat has evolved over the years with things being added and taken away on a regular basis. There used to be a ‘gallery wall’ on the stairway but as my initially small collection of trays grew and grew I took all the pictures down and replaced them with trays.”

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The other side of the hallway, with the vintage tray collection leading downstairs. “The blank wall is going to be taken down, hence why it’s the only blank wall in the house!” Ms. Pink assures.

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Ms. Pink uses even this horizontal sliver of a wall space on the landing outside the bathroom and a bedroom to create another graphic and colorful design moment.

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Looking down from the flat’s uppermost floor to the middle floor, and the painstaking paint project Ms. Pink completed on the stairs and flooring.

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Perhaps the least color saturated room in the flat, the bathroom still packs pattern and interest through the geometric floor tiles, leopard print shower curtain, neon window paint and lush green plants.

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In the main bedroom, a striking combination of matte black wall paint and hot pink and neon furnishings is unequivocally .

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The matte black wall color in the main bedroom creates a cocooning effect; neon details provide a pop of interest but are subtle enough for a place of rest.

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Ms. Pink and her partner’s creative business is right at home in Hackney. “I have lived in the Hackney area of London (it’s often compared with Brooklyn, NY) for nearly 30 years and this flat for 16,” Ms. Pink says. “Hackney is a hugely creative area with many independent businesses and start-ups.”

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Ms. Pink, a living embodiment of color-clashing at its finest.

SOURCE LIST

Living room
Vintage mirrors and all glass — eBay and Etsy
Pink diamond wallpaper —
Punk table and green fabric on sofa — Quirk & Rescue
Pink lampshades — , purchased on eBay
Jugs either side of fireplace —  (They’ve been sprayed white and will soon have some stripes on them)
Camera prints on yellow background —
Large pink and orange print —
Plant pots — painted by Ms. Pink
Leopard print cushions — made by Ms. Pink
Neon details painted using
Art is Try print (Artistry) — Quirk & Rescue

Hallway

Vintage string art — eBay
Oh My Days print —
Killer print —
Blah Blah Blah print —
Skeleton prints — vintage, local vintage market
Pop print —
Vintage Psychology books — eBay and secondhand bookstores

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Comments

  • Wow! It’s bright, bold, and fearless! While not my personal style, I love it! This is one of those homes that makes me want to meet the people who live there.

  • One of the most incredible homes I have ever seen! It gives me a slight buzz after all the quiet, white homes that have become the norm. I adore it! (And her!)

  • Shut the f*ing door!!! Wow!!! On second thought, leave the door open pretty please so I can bask in the beauty of this visual masterpiece 💗 Glorious!!!!!!!

  • So many delicious and well-thought out details! I think my favorite is that the painted grey and white stripes on the floor are at a diagonal from the focal point of the fireplace. That is such a good twist on a classic look. MORE PUNK ROCK IN HOME SPACES, PLEASE!!! I adore it all, and feel invigorated!

    • Thank you Rochelle, the stripes were slightly tricky, the masking tape kept curving for some reason, I think because I was trying to pull it so straight. Anyway, it all worked out, it’s inportant at the beginning of long tedious jobs to have the end vision in sight 🌈

    • Hi Penmeister,
      Thanks for the Punk table adoration! It was handpainted by me a few years ago as it represents a younger me.

  • wow! It is the first time I feel like being friends of the house owner, just to be invited to her house. And it is weird because I am more of an introvert, I hardly go visit people in their homes. Congratulations for both: Design Droits-Humains and Ms. Pink.

    • Thank you Fabio, that’s a lovely thing to say. If you’re ever in London I will invite you for a cup of tea! 😊 🌈

  • I’m having a visceral reaction to seeing this space. The tray wall in particular made my heart flutter, like it has wings! In all my years of seeing fabulous homes on DS, I’ve never had such a reaction. I second (and third!) the desire to friend you, Ms. Pink! You’re amazing! (I can’t help wondering what your children’s design aesthetic will be once they settle in their own places down the road!) How can anyone be anything but HAPPY in your home!

    • Hi Kitt, thank you for you’re lovely comment, I feel so happy that people love my home as it’s my heart and soul. I never tire of looking at the trays. I often wonder whether the boys will have colourful homes, the youngest said to me recently ‘Mum, our house is quite colourful isn’t it?’ Like he’s only just noticed 😆

  • Just stunning. We are lucky enough to be friends with the wonderful Ms Pink and her partner… two of the nicest people we have ever met. A whole lot of heart and soul has gone into creating that colourful home. Ms Pink follows her own path. Truly inspirational.

    • Ah, thanks Andrea and Jamie, right back at ya. We will DEFINITELY get together for drinks this year. It’s been way too long xx

  • This is fantastic. When I was house-hunting I saw a number of houses with a whole lot of color mayhem going on- but not in the good way of Mrs. Pink (the houses I saw were very slap dash and sloppy in their painting), Everything is so neat and precise in it’s application- which makes me want to experiment outside the boundaries of my normal neutrals. To that effect, I am making a dining room table out of a large piece of birch wood and … FUSCHIA hairpin legs! Huge for me. All due to the inspiration of Mrs. Pink.

    • Hi Pip, birch and fuschia pink sounds like a great match, would love to see it. A flash of colour can really change the mood and if it turns out after living with it that you don’t like it it’s as much as you thought then it’s easy to change!

      • Thank you! I will try to send you a pic via designsponge. You are an inspiration- I am no longer afraid of color! (as long as it’s done very neatly and precisely- I’m a stickler for painting tape).

        • Hi Pip,
          I’m in total agreement about being neat and precise. I use a great tape here in the UK called Frog Tape which is formulated especially for painting precise lines and it doesn’t peel away the paint underneath when you take it off (I have had that happen with other tapes, much to my annoyance!)

  • So many homes try to do this sort of aesthetic unsuccessfully.. this one succeeds, and brilliantly! What a wonderful eye for balance and motion and lines and colours!

    • Hi Meredith,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. Everything happened organically, there was no grand plan as such, I’m such a fan of colour that there was never any doubt that I’d include every single one in the decor!

  • This really is fabulous. Not everyone’s taste but so well put together. Thanks for sharing this out of the ordinary Not White House where the true spirit of the homeowner comes through.

  • This is my first time leaving a comment on DS, and I’m thrilled that your home has inspired me to do so. Not gonna lie, I immediately went online to look for vintage trays! Fantastic sense of fun/color/organization. PERFECT, PERFECT, PERFECT. And THOSE lovely plants! They are as lucky as the humans who live there and get to enjoy this eye candy daily. I just remodeled my entire home and can’t wait to be as bold and daring as you. As the others have said before me, you sense of style is a true inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing! Sending smiles and hugs from New Jersey!!

    • Hi Wanda,
      Thank you for your lovely comments. I still look online for trays but there doesn’t seem to be as many about, I think I’ve bought them all!
      Coco our youngest cat is just a year old now and the large plant pots were her own personal playground, I had to stick double sided tape on them till she grew up enough to realise the plants are out of bounds.
      Good luck with your remodelled home and enjoy experimenting with colour.
      Regards from London.

  • Oh my God…this is gorgeous! Feel very inspired now and went immediately to Instagram to follow.
    What pale pink paint did she/you use? Love it…it’s hard to find the right one x

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