Every object tells a story in Carmel’s colourful London home

Carmel King's travels and strong bond with her family heritage, plus a love of colour have influenced her fresh, bright Walthamstow home. Every corner tells a story - be it a trip taken in India, her grandmother's textile business or her husband's love of music. The combination of sentimental pieces and playful use of paint colours, make this a warm, eclectic home. We take the tour.

Eclectic tastes

“I love things that are one-offs, which is why I love antique shops and going treasure hunting at car boot sales. Books do furnish a room too, adding pops of colour to a serenely blue corner of the living room.”

Family memories

Carmel’s parents bought the Staffordshire china dogs from a Bristol flea market. “They really remind me of my granny because she had some like that. The candlesticks and glassware are Italian, from a beautiful shop called Momosan in Hackney . The ceramics are made by Ray Win Harrison.”

Music centre

“I’ve always had quite a strong sense of style and Matt and I have got a very similar aesthetic. We just follow our heart and our home is full of things we’ve collected over time and that’s what makes a home a home. Obviously, music was a big factor for him so we built the storage for the vinyl and got the wi-fi speakers done quite early on.”

Colour field

“I’m definitely drawn to colour. I wish I was a bit more minimalist but I’m always drawn to colour so I think it’s just about finding a balance. All the glassware is vintage pieces I’ve found in markets, flea markets and car boot sales. I quite like a bargain!”

Decorate from the floor up

“I love flooring and would start from scratch throughout the house if money were no object.” The wooden floor in the living room has been painted with Farrow & Ball floor paint, to reflect light and create a neutral background for rugs. Carmel found her cherished Persian carpet at Retrouvius.

Your home is the story of you

“It’s a  mistake religiously to follow trends. Your home is a reflection of your life and experiences, it should be filled with things that tell a story.” Above the MADE.COM Orson sofa, Carmel has hung a framed map that belonged to her granny and has photographs of her hanging on the adjacent wall.

Bold and dramatic downstairs

Carmel chose MADE.COM’s Mirto wool rug as a splash of colour to pick up the reds and blues of her chosen living room palette. Designer Petra Borner has blown up the contemporary floral trend to striking effect in this oversized, almost abstract design.

Calm and neutral upstairs

“I love the plan chest in our bedroom. This was made for my great grandfather by Dutch cabinet maker Pieter van der Waals. The walls are painted with Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground. It’s very serene and goes with the antique French bed we bought when we moved in.”

Arts and crafts inspiration

Photographer Carmel King lives with her husband Matt, their daughter and two sons in a Victorian house in Walthamstow. “I’ve always loved interior décor, even aged 15 I'd go into interiors shops and I'd spend the money I earned waitressing. Mum and Dad still live in the family home in Bristol. It’s full of objects they’ve collected and arts and crafts pieces inherited from their parents. My love of the visual arts is influenced by them."

Space saving shelves

“The hall table was made by Scottish furniture designer Robert Lorimer and inherited from my grandparents. It’s one of my favourite pieces of furniture.” Raised shelves save a lot of space. “The ones in the hall were already there, and are perfect for keeping children’s shoes from cluttering the floor.”

Carmel's banana bread recipe

"You need 4oz butter, 4oz caster sugar, 4oz self raising flour, two eggs, one large banana plus a handful of raisins or blueberries. Cream together butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs and add to mixture. Mash the banana and add to mixture. Sift flour into mixture and add a handful of raisins or blueberries. Transfer info a loaf tin and bake for 25 mins.  I like to add lemon juice to icing sugar and drizzle this on top." 

Out and about in Walthamstow

“Walthamstow is a really creative community. It was like the Hollywood of Britain. A lot of the silent movies were made in the huge film studios built here. More recently, there’s been fairly affordable housing and places to work from so that meant a lot of artists being pushed out of Hackney came here. As a creative community so we have each other to lean on.”

Article written by: Josa Young
Photography by: Liz Seabrook

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