As a freelance photographer, Berlin-born Billie Scheepers has an artistic eye but it’s also in her genes: “My parents had an antique furniture business, travelling all over the world hunting for unique pieces. I’ve been fascinated by design ever since.” Last summer, she moved into her four-bedroom home in London’s Kensal Rise with media lawyer husband, David and their baby boy, Fred. Though the property was pristine, the previous owners had been there for over sixty years and the style a little stale.The pair hit refresh on the place while carefully accommodating each others’ aesthetics to create a minimalist (his) meets maximalist (hers) home with a Scandi twist.
Plants supplied by Patch
“The light is the most inspiring element in our house,” says Billie. “It reminds me of Berlin actually. It’s very rare in London to find huge open plan spaces. I adore the generous size of each room.” David agrees: “As we’re outdoorsy people - not the type to gravitate towards dark, cosy corners - we asked our architects to encourage as much light as possible into every room.”
“We love the Scandinavian feel and tones. Our palette is a mixture of greys, whites and light wood plus some colour splashes, like a bright yellow high chair and colourful dining chairs. We have a pastel rose colour kitchen that I love with brass elements and a marble top.”
The couple were keen to open up, both literally and figuratively, so the open space enveloping the living room and dining room on the ground floor was a key feature. “We both like to talk, so being able to move seamlessly between both rooms while carrying on a conversation is a quality that is perhaps more meaningful to us.”
David is a self-confessed chair obsessive, admitting that, while his childhood friends had pictures of famous sports players on their walls, “I had a poster of the Vitra Design Museum chair collection. I thought that the picture of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates on an Eames Lounge Chair was pretty cool at the time, too.”
David recommends keeping things simple when it comes to colour: “Monochrome walls encourage your furniture, lighting, photography and flooring to shine. It also affords you the flexibility to paint a feature wall, or incorporate wallpaper, as your tastes change and your mood allows.”
Billie’s study is a firm favourite for the couple. “From the salvaged and restored 70’s Ercol daybed, to the Pholc green pendant floating from the ceiling, to Billie’s photography on the walls, and the sunlight which streams in from the bay windows, it’s the room where we tend to spend most of our time.”
Billie’s advice on making a house a home? “Live in it and grow into it, before filling your place with books, side tables, lighting, flowers and frames. It will make your home more inviting.” David agrees: “We find ourselves relishing adding pieces incrementally to each room, and MADE is our first port of call when we have budget for lighting and furniture.”
The pair splashed out on a Vitsoe shelving system for the living room. “My father had all sorts of Braun products, and that budded my quasi-obsession for anything Dieter Rams,” says David. “I live by his words: ‘good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.’”
Billie: “I love my study. I feel very fortunate. It’s filled with my favourite art and photography books, it has a huge marble desk looking out to the street, a magazine rack and a beautiful Scandinavian rocking chair. The perfect place to draw inspiration and work on ideas. Our first piece from MADE.COM - the copper, Austin floor light - is in here.”
Billie regularly curls up in her MADE.COM chair to spend QT with Fred. “The big grey Kubrick chair is in our son’s room, where I often read stories to him. It’s so comfy and it can accommodate both of us. The ceiling lighting with its multiple pendants is beautiful too.” Accents of greenery lift the neutral tones with house plants from Patch.
David: “I am minimalist by nature, but Billie almost immediately expressed a desire to add more lighting and furniture. As a couple, decorating is about compromise. It is very easy to stumble across aesthetics you both don’t dislike; the real challenge is finding pieces and designs that you both genuinely love. Be patient.”
With special thanks to Patch.
Article written by: Natalie Wall
Photography by: Lewis Hayward