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Image / Living / Interiors

Inside this urban London home, where all the rooms open onto a quiet courtyard


By IMAGE
22nd Feb 2024

Paul Riddle

Inside this urban London home, where all the rooms open onto a quiet courtyard

Amanda Cochrane finds out how Irish design duo Foreign Bear Studio came to personify London Hackney cool with their courtyard home.

Interior and spatial designers Genevieve McGill and Phil MacMahon of Foreign Bear Studios like nothing better than taking a completely derelict space and breathing new life into it. An emotionally invested professional experiment for the married couple, this Victorian ground-floor, three-bed flat with a courtyard garden was not their first renovation project.

Their love of interiors was ignited by doing up their first flat in Hackney many years ago. They say they’ve learned everything they know on the job and simply by living in the creative bubble of Hackney in London: “There’s definitely a creative community in Hackney we like to use and feed back into the area,” Genevieve says.

The Blue Tile House, originally a one-bedroom plus garage and an outhouse hovel, is now a glamorous, light-filled and imaginative three-bedroom space that their Zürich-based clients use when in London.

Contemporary, airy and bright, it certainly packs quite a punch. Set on two levels and fluidised by ingenious use of colours and contiguous lines, it’s filled with art prints and striking-looking furniture, as well as decorative objects which would not be out of place in an experimental art exhibition.

The truly individual dwelling still retains a touch of the Victorian atmosphere through a clever reworking of traditional furnishings and accessories and is made unique through imaginative use of geometric patterns, sleek lines and mixing of different materials and colours.

Check out the full house tour, below.

This house originally featured in a 2014 issue of Image Interiors & Living.