Few homes we’ve peeked inside in our Unboxed Home of the Month series have quite the disciplined decor that Fiona Burrage, Creative Director of Nor-Folk, has created in her family’s Norwich penthouse. The converted factory space she shares with husband Bobby and toddler Stanley, has a distinctly Scandinavian feel, is remarkably clutter free and features a soothing palette of grey shades.
Read on for her tips on how she keeps it zen and clutter free, how to incorporate the Danish trend hygge into your home.
Shop the Arche floor lamp.
What are your key methods for keeping your home so clutter free?
I’d describe myself as an anti-hoarder by nature. For me, if something doesn’t have a place or purpose I just can’t see the benefit of keeping it. I take great satisfaction in going through the post and filing what we need but chucking out what we don’t. I suppose I find it quite therapeutic!
Talk us through the Scandi influence? You seem to have been an early Hygge adopter…
I really have been. Before Bobby and I moved in together our styles were opposite ends of the spectrum, I was more classical minimal Parisian and Bobby was more gloss black and masculine. Neither of us felt like we wanted to retain each other’s furniture when we got our first apartment and naturally gravitated towards the Scandinavian aesthetic (which we both admired). Our first holiday together was Oslo and we were sold on everything Scandinavian when we came home.
The more I read and understood the Danish principles of cherishing good pieces that last well, the more I thought this resonates really loudly with me. In particular I really enjoyed reading The Year of Living Danishly – that had a real impact on my outlook. When we bought the apartment we’re in now, Stanley was just three months old and as we started to furnish considering our new needs as a family. Making it feel homely was paramount.
Shop the Ira lighting collection.
Would we be right in thinking your interiors colour palette matches your fashion one?
Yes it does. My home and clothes are shades of grey. I try to mix different fabrics and textures to add depth and interest. I also like accents of pink and mint too.
Fiona wears Finery the label.
What advice would you give someone decorating a space on how to keep their look minimal and clutter free? Especially if they have kids?
I have two pieces of advice. First, consider the space and how it will be used to accommodate good storage solutions. And I would recommend a neutral colour palette - pastels perhaps - to create as much as a sense of calm as possible. Particularly amongst those brightly coloured toys children love to acquire!
You mentioned before that Bobby was the one who created your clever shelving system. Any advice for other aspiring DIYers looking to kit out their own homes?
I would recommend you don’t just build without a plan, as exciting as that might be. Having to scale drawings allows you to see whether what you’re designing will fit/work. Our whole home is drawn to scale on our mac and when we consider any furniture we check to see whether it would fit scale wise first.
How would you describe your interiors style?
Minimal, Scandinavian, homely but a work in progress.
And how does it complement your fashion style?
The two definitely merge and by having the two complement each other it just makes for a more appealing aesthetic on the eye. Which in turn creates a more calmer, relaxing environment.
Do we spy a special dress hanging on the wall?
Yes you do, that was my Issa wedding dress. I saw it on Net-A-Porter, ordered one size and it fitted. I never tried on any other dress before or afterwards. It was the one.
Tell us about being Creative Director at Nor-Folk and working from home.
When Stanley was around a year old, I ‘found’ Instagram and started to share our photos and life. Over the next year I began to be sent pieces for him to wear (but most importantly the brands wanted me to photograph him wearing the clothes and share on Instagram to my followers). My eyes were opened to the potential and power of social media and working with ‘influencers’ to build a brand.
Find Fiona on Instagram.
I wanted to design pieces that were clean, minimal and functional all with a Nordic reference. The first piece we launched was The Wonder Years, a series of typographic t-shirts which is our most popular collection. Initially I simply set the business up for me to work a couple of days a week. Fast forward to today, I work 5 days a week, most evenings, have 70 + stockists with Japan and Europe being our largest markets. We also have a dedicated warehouse, a wholesale website we’re refining and are in talks with an investor. It’s been an awesome ride and I really do love what I do.
We haven’t nailed the work/life balance yet and we work in the evenings from our desk or sofa! But during the day we have a studio in the city.
What’s the favourite thing you’ve bought for your flat?
I genuinely love everything we’ve bought equally for our apartment but the artificial grass we got fitted this summer has transformed what we originally referred to as a roof terrace to now a roof garden. And Stanley loves it! I’m hoping we get snow this year so we can make a snowman out there.
Do you entertain much at home? Had any especially raucous parties?
With a three year old who is an incredibly light sleeper not as much as we’d like too. Our apartment used to be referred to as the 'party pad' and I now know people who 'lived it up' in our apartment before we bought it! But it’s taken on a new life with us, as a young family. We love to have friends over for dinner, Bobby is a great cook and we’re about to buy a record player so we can listen to vinyls to unwind of an evening.
Fiona, her husband Bobby, and their son Stanley. Shop Nor-Folk.