Name: Marlene Fao, her partner Keith and two Bengal cats, Leopold and Enso
Location: Wimbledon — London, United Kingdom
Years lived in: 1 year, owned
Originally from France, Marlene has been living in London since 2010, and bought this Edwardian Maisonette home last year with her partner Keith, a civil engineer. Marlene had a career in IT for part of her life, but has recently launched My Mindful Home, an interior design blog where “she helps homeowners or designers with bespoke 3D Room Plans taking the pressure out of planning.”
“It took us two years to find this home with two previous places falling through after a few months. So when we visited this place in January 2017, we wanted to believe again that this would be the one and we quickly put an offer in and kept our fingers crossed. We got the keys on April 29 and we started our renovation work the following week!”
“The maisonette was rented for many years and was in poor condition with old carpet, old vinyl flooring, and painted faded magnolia white throughout. We started with the bedroom so that we could have room to rest, then I redesigned the kitchen and bathroom, the living room, the hallway, the home office/guest room, and finally the garden. We have done all the design ourselves. It has been a lot of fun doing it up.”
Which fictional character would be most at home in your place? Sherlock Holmes. He would enjoy the logical approach we have taken on our renovation journey: Focusing on how we use the rooms and designing around that. For example in the kitchen from a single location, you can use the sink, empty plates, and glasses from the dishwasher and load the dishwasher without taking a step back.
The shower room is also logical as the shower controls can be actioned before stepping into the shower, and only stepping in when the temperature reaches 38 degrees. Elementary, he could say.
What is your favorite room and why? My favorite room is my home office/ guest room. I like having my own workspace, away from other rooms in the house. It is also our cats’ favorite room; they like to sit at the window sill or nap on the daybed. It is always heartwarming to see them sleeping next to each other while I look away from the screen.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I bought this String Shelf System for the office. I love its sleek and simple look and I use it literally as a mood-board by curating little objects and I want the end result to look uplifting and cute. I guess everyone has a different definition to that, mine is small plants, simple candles, and spare office stationery.
Any advice for creating a home you love? Start collecting pictures, ideas, colors that you like and want to be surrounded with and draft a few “Must have”/”Nice to have” lists. We have used extensively lifestyle magazines, online inspiration platforms, and notebooks to redesign our home. To me, creating a home you love is a long process, so no rush!
I do believe that objects you love bring you happiness, so take time in finding what you love, so you get that uplifting feeling whenever you pass in front of them!
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