LIGHT & SHADE

The black and white scheme of Amy Mor­ton’s Lon­don flat has been ex­pertly soft­ened with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, vin­tage fab­rics and care­fully cu­rated finds

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - HOMES - FEA­TURE ALI HEATH PHO­TO­GRAPHS BRENT DARBY

'I'm not quite sure where my love of monochrome came from, but it doesn't seem to be fad­ing,' says Amy Mor­ton of the pal­ette in her Ed­war­dian flat. 'For me, monochro­matic in­te­ri­ors are peace­ful, calm­ing and un­clut­tered. I've al­ways been drawn to well-made, util­i­tar­ian items from the past - pieces that are of­ten very sim­ple and don't re­quire elab­o­rate dec­o­ra­tion or bright colours to en­hance their beauty.' It's rare to see a home with such a reg­i­mented scheme and, on pa­per, you might imag­ine it

‘I’m drawn to neu­trals: nat­u­ral linens, vin­tage tick­ing and pat­terned flo­rals in shades of black and white.’

to be stark or cold. But, thanks to Amy's eye for vin­tage and antique pieces, the look is sooth­ing in the most so­phis­ti­cated way. In the sit­ting room, crisp white­washed floors and walls are soft­ened by vin­tage fab­ric-cov­ered chairs, linen cur­tains (crafted from antique French sheets), wo­ven coir rugs and abun­dant cush­ions de­signed by Amy. There's an in­dus­trial edge, too and antique bus signs, time-worn sci­ence posters, mil­i­tary shells and heir­loom metal stor­age trunks add an edgier vibe that sharp­ens the look - a strik­ing con­trast to the colour­ful in­te­rior that pre­vailed when she and her hus­band, Will, first viewed the flat. 'We had been out­bid on dif­fer­ent Lon­don prop­er­ties ev­ery week­end for nine months. This flat, in Bounds Green, was cos­met­i­cally very run down but had great bones. We rec­ti­fied damp is­sues, ripped out the bath­room, changed non-pe­riod fire­places, doors, floor­boards and skirt­ing with re­claimed Ed­war­dian finds and swapped pink plas­tic chan­de­liers, ►

pur­ple walls and peach car­pets for a much sim­pler look,' she says. Amy's first pas­sion was tex­tiles, fol­lowed by an in­stinc­tive ob­ses­sion with an­tiques. 'I'm drawn to neu­trals: nat­u­ral linens, vin­tage tick­ing and pat­terned flo­rals in shades of black and white - a mix of French brocante meets time­less Scandi,' says Amy. `With a monochrome back­drop, things move around all the time. I like clean lines and state­ment finds, orig­i­nal over high street. The de­sign of each room at home al­ways be­gins with one key piece, like our over­sized antique star light fit­ting or Scan­di­na­vian white antique bench. I fall in love with pieces im­pul­sively and they find their own place.' Grow­ing up, Amy ex­plains, her par­ents in­stilled in her an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of good de­sign from a young age. 'My mum took me to many ex­hi­bi­tions in Lon­don while I was study­ing and nur­tured my in­ter­est in fashion and tex­tiles. I had won­der­ful teach­ers at school and, from 16, my fo­cus was solely on fab­rics: With such a keen eye for de­tail it comes as no sur­prise that Amy carved out a ca­reer head­ing up home­ware and fab­ric de­vel­op­ment for Cab­bages & Roses, trawl­ing an­tiques mar­kets for vin­tage de­signs that would pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion, be­fore mov­ing to John Lewis as Fab­rics Buyer. 'While at Cab­bages & Roses, I had the op­por­tu­nity to reg­u­larly visit an­tiques mar­kets and this is where my pas­sion for sourc­ing re­ally de­vel­oped,' she says. `I now mainly source from Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket and IACF events, but am al­ways hunt­ing out lo­cal an­tiques fairs and shops, wher­ever I travel: The move here in 2015 co­in­cided with the launch of Amy's new busi­ness and on­line shop, Pillo, where ►

she sells antique homewares, soft fur­nish­ings made from beau­ti­ful vin­tage tex­tiles, and new linen de­signs, which take their cue from aged frag­ments. Each piece is de­signed, screen printed and made by Amy. 'My linen de­signs are in­spired by vin­tage pat­terns that I find on my trav­els, or from antique pieces in mu­se­ums. I'm par­tic­u­larly fond of any­thing with French ori­gin,' she says. Sourc­ing, lay­er­ing and cu­rat­ing lies at the heart of Amy's style, and that is re­flected in both her home and busi­ness. 'I don't fol­low trends -ev­ery­thing here is per­sonal and unique to us. If you fol­low your in­stincts, then your home be­comes a re­flec­tion of you - each layer res­onates your life story and per­son­al­ity.' ■

‘If you fol­low your in­stincts, then your home be­comes a re­flec­tion of you – each layer res­onates your life story and per­son­al­ity.’

The Own­ers Amy Mor­ton (be­low), founder and de­signer be­hind home­ware com­pany, Pillo, and her hus­band, Will, a Sound En­gi­neer, live here with their cat, Steve. View Amy’s de­signs at pil­lolon­don.com – her new col­lec­tion is launch­ing this month. The Prop­erty The flat is lo­cated in an Ed­war­dian build­ing in Lon­don. It has two bed­rooms, a liv­ing room, kitchen/ diner and stu­dio.

ABOVE Con­tem­po­rary matt white units from John Lewis are jux­ta­posed with vin­tage crates, worn chop­ping boards and antique enamel signs from Pillo. The vin­tage in­dus­trial black pen­dant lights are from Flo­ral Hall An­tiques. LEFT Amy favours vin­tage util­i­tar­ian pieces and dec­o­ra­tive finds. These plates and linens are all from her shop, Pillo.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT The cou­ple com­pletely over­hauled the bath­room and re­placed it with a suite that suits the age of the prop­erty; vin­tage linens, faded flo­rals and time-worn hemp sacks are all washed and stacked, ready to be re­pur­posed; the cab­i­net, from Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket, was orig­i­nally for tools.

CLOCK­WISE FROMTOP LEFT The large square pil­lows are from Casa Honore, a ho­tel in Mar­seilles where the cou­ple stayed on hon­ey­moon; the blue vin­tage chest from Spain was found at Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket; the Scan­di­na­vian bench was dis­cov­ered at Ard­ingly An­tiques Fair and prompted the bed­room scheme. The cush­ions are from Pillo.

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