In this weeks 'My Nest' feature, we are chatting to London based fashion designer Gudrun and taking a little peak inside her earthy bohemian home. Full of beautiful natural fibers and ethnic textiles, her home is perfect retreat to the hustle and bustle of London.....
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and where you live?
I live in Muswell Hill, North London with my boyfriend and our 2- year old son. I’m Fashion Designer and my boyfriend is a writer and Managing Editor of a magazine called ‘The Idler’.
How did you find this beautiful home and how long have you lived in it?
We moved in a week before I gave birth. As you can see from the pictures, we’re terrible hoarders, so it was quite a task boxing everything up and shifting it across London. Thankfully we have got some really great friends who rallied round and helped us on moving day.
How would you describe your style/ aesthetic?
I am drawn to natural fibres and textures like wood and ceramics in earthy tones and hues. The flat is full of plants and I love handcrafted one off pieces - I have a real thing for wicker baskets, wooden bowls and ethnic textiles. Nothing is particularly valuable or cost a lot but they are really precious to me. Finding little things in markets in France, Germany and around London means that every piece tells a story and reminds me of where and when we bought it. I am inspired by books from the 70s like 'Woodstock Handmade Homes’, ‘The Craftsman Builder’ and ‘Houseboat’ I could look through them all day long and never get bored. I hate that much overused word ‘boho’ but I suspect that our style does fall into that bracket!
How has your home and style changed since your son was born?
To be honest our style hasn’t really changed since our son was born, but now the flat is full of wooden toys - his favourites are his little tricycle and rocking horse. We haven’t gone mad and baby proofed everything. We are lucky as he is pretty relaxed and loves to flick through records with his daddy and actually prefers to unpack the kitchen cupboards and rearrange them rather than play with his toys!
What are your favourite things about living in this area?
Before we moved here we didn’t know the area at all so it has been a joy to discover it together as a family. It is semi-rural in a way with several woods on our doorstep for lovely walks and lots of great cafes and record shops. We are lucky to have a Steiner school nearby where we go to the Parent & Child group.
Your ceramic collection is really beautiful, where do you buy these pieces and what attracted you to these colour and textures
Thank you! It has become a real obsession of mine to hunt down pieces that are made from natural materials. I find them in all sorts of places from car boots to charity shops and even occasionally online.
Do you have a favourite room in your home?
I suppose the sitting room is the one we spend the most time in. It is light and airy with a little balcony that we sit out on in the summer months. It is big enough for our son to roam around on his bike and cart (for the moment!) and is filled with our books and records.
You have an enviably huge record collection, when did that start? What are you currently listening to?
The records are mainly my boyfriend’s - he has a bad vinyl addiction! He has been collecting since he was a little boy, taken to shops and car boots and initiated into the record collecting world by his dad. At the moment we have been listening to our friend Flo Morrissey’s debut album which is really beautiful - also old favourites like Judee Sill, Jackson Browne, The Incredible String Band and Cass Mccombs - and of course Raffi gets played on a daily basis for the little man, he loves his songs!
What are you currently reading?
Well we don’t get much time to read these days! I currently have a pile of guide books on the go to California as we are heading over there in the spring. If anyone has any tips of things to do when we are over there then let us know!
If you could travel either back in time or to a far off land to grab some interior items where would you go?
Definitely the 1970s! That is the era that I always come back to. Fashion wise and interiors wise it is full of amazing designs and has a timeless style all of its own. Almost every day I post up inspiration images mainly from the 1970s on my instagram account river_of_daisies. It’s been a real joy to connect with like-minded people all around the world.
Do you have any recommendations of places to shop in London?
We love going to Portobello market. We lived just up the road from it for years and even though it is not as good as it used to be, it still has a magical atmosphere and we know most of the traders so it is fun to go and chat to them. Julian (my boyfriend) recently wrote a book about the area called Portobello Road: Lives of a Neighbourhood, looking at the last sixty years telling the story of the street. Nowadays it is more famous as the location for the film Notting Hill but of course in the 60s and 70s it was the counter-cultural capital of London with many fashion and music trends emanating from there. He tracked down most of the important figures connected to the street and interviewed them - it’s a fascinating read even if I do say so myself!
Do you have any wish list items ?
There are always more things that i want to buy for the flat but we are limited by space or lack of it. To be honest I tend to wait and see what I spot out on the markets and car boots rather than having a wish list - and then when I see something I want I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it! Those wicker chairs in the sitting room for example were picked up from a French brocante last summer for a couple of Euros and they are so comfortable I never want to part with them.
A massive thank you to Gudrun and family for letting us into her home xx
If you have a home you think readers would love tag moontomoon on instagram xx