Principal Place is the newest NHG development and we sat down with Alice Milnes to discuss all things interior design in Shoreditch.
Alice Milnes, Senior Interior Designer from Vesta Interior Design
When you think of Shoreditch you think of fashion, art, an eclectic mix of great food and culture, vintage boutique design shops and of course the young fashionistas and creatives of the area. Hackney used to be my stomping ground and so I took a large amount of influence from my own experiences, and from my friends who still live in the area.
Shoreditch is a hub for the sociable and I wanted to reflect this throughout the apartment. I created a drinks area upon the coffee table; the centre point of the living room where guests would gather around and chat. The setting included crystal cut glasses - perfect for whiskey cocktails or gin-based cocktails - along with a cocktail shaker and paper straws. I also added subtle detailing with books like the ‘Speakeasy: 200 underground cocktails’. Speakeasy bars are popular amongst the Shoreditch crowd and one particular bar that helped inspire me was Calloo Callay Bar - a bar that experiments with creative cocktails, and has a ‘secret’ (but not so secret) area out the back where you walk through a ‘hidden door’.
Books can be a great way to inject personality into any space and can be a clear link to specific interests, hobbies and cultures. I used books to help speak to the mix of cultures, foods, history and array of creative types within Shoreditch. Some of these books included East London Food by Rosie Birkett; An Opinionated Guide to East London by Hoxton Mini Press; Pie and Mash down the Roman Road: 100 years of love and life in one East End market by Melanie McGrath; and Makes of East London by Charlotte Schreiber.
To portray the popular art scene of Shoreditch, I focused on the entrance hall to showcase a mixture of artworks that the owner may have collected over the years; art pieces they have chosen from local galleries and their favourite well-known artists. I featured artists such as Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and Mark Rothko, and hung the artwork in an irregular pattern to represent the idea that the art would have been collected over the years and placed on the wall over time. The entrance hall provides a great opportunity to showcase art and any other cultural or personal references to the person living in the home.
I focused on the mixture of textiles and finishes to speak to the strong creative vibe of the area. A creative person would have style and would easily curate furniture and decorative pieces when building up there home, so this was something I wanted to make sure came through in the finished design. A current trend in interior design is ‘Mid-Century Modern’ and this marries well with the area’s mix of vintage shops, antiques and fashion. I used linens and walnuts to bring this trend through into the design and set these against subtle tones of burnt orange and blues to bring warmth and interest into the space, without making it over the top. Some of the shops in the area that helped inspire this Mid Century styling were Elemental & SCP.