Name: Alex Crabtree and her husband Adrian
Size: 900 square feet
Years lived in: 1 1/2 years
A print in the bathroom declares: “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love.” And this exuberant, eclectic London apartment, lavishly filled with collections and curios, beautifully tells the story of property, kitchen and interiors public relations expert Alex Crabtree. With a career spanning work in the music industry, fashion (she worked for Biba in its early years) and more recently interiors, Alex’s interests and tastes are wide-ranging.”I’m always looking, and I draw inspiration from everywhere — but whatever it is, it has to stop me in my tracks,” she smiles.
Art is perhaps Alex’s greatest passion, and works of art take center stage throughout the apartment, handsomely displayed against the deep inky-blue walls. Alex and her husband Adrian both enjoy seeing and collecting art, visiting the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition each year as well as picking up new finds on their travels. In addition to art, Alex has amassed collections of objects of all kinds, from cacti to candles. She’s also introduced an abundance of texture and color through her groupings of cushions and throws.
Alex says she’d love to live in a warehouse with exposed brickwork and double-height ceilings, so it’s no surprise that she cites as her biggest challenge creating character in what was, just a year and a half ago, a white-painted new-build apartment. But even if her apartment lacks the industrial vibe of the warehouse space she dreams of, its high ceilings and large windows give a great feeling of natural light and space. And as Alex demonstrates so perfectly in her home, the character is something that you bring to the space.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Maximalist, eclectic, boho luxe
Inspiration: I’m always looking for inspiration, and find it everywhere — whatever it is, it has to make my heart stop in my tracks. My favourite sources of inspiration are vintage shops, Petersham Nurseries, and Instagram.
Favorite Element: The high ceilings, the large windows, and the light. The high walls give us lots of space for art, which I love.
Biggest Challenge: To take a white box, new-build apartment and give it character.
What Friends Say: Wow! There’s so much to look at!
Proudest DIY: I don’t do DIY but I did paint a vintage picture frame…
Biggest Indulgence: (Laughs) art, sheepskins, vintage shopping, cushions…
Best Advice: Live in a new place for a few months in order to create a feel for how you want to live.
Dream Sources: Vintage shops, Kempton Market; stores such as The Collecterie, Teddington; Rockett St George, Astella Hrela and Abigail Ahern.
PAINT & COLORS
Dark blue wall colour — Plimsoll Paint and Paper Library
Sofa – sofaworkshop.com
Round table – Graham and Green
Tall five-head lamp over sofa – Heals
Sloping shelves – French Connection
Sheepskins by Cowboy Kate
Two large cushions on sofa either end are by Barbeline
Cactus cushion by Sluiz, Palma de Mallorca
Most of the cacti plants and some other decorative pieces are by Astella Hrel
The two portraits (one with a moustache and the other a woman) are by artist Rebecca Leigh @seedofmemoryart
Monkey shelf on the wall – Rockett St George
Darth Vador pic – Donna Maria Kelly
KITCHEN AND DINING AREA
Large metal indian shelf by The Collecterie
Wall bison – Abigail Ahern
Stools – Rockett St George
Neon by Huxley and Hus
Pink Neon sign – Graham And Green
Metal lamp – The Light Keeper, Margate
Chairs – ebay
Dining table – Made.com
Large mirror – 77 The High Street, Teddington
Star and bamboo cushions – decoretc.co.uk
Cream throw – Anthropologie
Head by the bed – Rockett St George
Black lampshade Love Frankie
Lamps – Abigail Ahern
Gold pineapple lamp stand – Moderne
Sheepskin lampshades – The Light Keeper, Margate