Sian Elin’s flat is a DIY trib­ute to her pas­sion for pat­tern and colour

Mollie Makes - - Living - Words: DO­MINIQUE COR­LETT Pho­tog­ra­phy: KA­SIA FISZER

For any­one fa­mil­iar with de­signer Sian Elin’s bright, Scandi-in­spired fab­rics and wall­pa­pers, there can be no mis­tak­ing her colour­ful home. From the mugs and tea tow­els in the kitchen, to the lamp­shades and cushions scat­tered through­out, her cheer­ful pat­terns fill the space with her breezy, op­ti­mistic style, and serve as the thread that unites all the rooms in her home.

The keen-eyed may recog­nise other bits too, be­cause nearly ev­ery­thing in this flat, lo­cated

on the third floor of a large pe­riod build­ing, was made or ac­quired for styling her Sian Elin cat­a­logues. “Ev­ery­thing is a bit cob­bled to­gether, made for pho­to­shoots or trade shows,” she laughs. While the last thing they look is “cob­bled to­gether”, Sian’s ta­lent for mak­ing ev­ery­thing from wall art to ta­bles has helped cre­ate a beau­ti­ful home on a mod­est bud­get. “Peo­ple think you have to spend a lot of money to make your home look nice, but that’s just not true.”

When Sian and her boyfriend Babak moved into their Bris­tol flat in Novem­ber 2016, it was com­pletely un­fur­nished. Apart from the kitchen units, there wasn’t so much as a shelf on a wall. It did, how­ever, have the ad­van­tage of huge win­dows, high ceil­ings and fan­tas­tic views. With stripped wooden floors and white­washed walls through­out, it was very much a blank can­vas.

“I love colour, and if we owned the flat I’d put colour on the walls in ev­ery room,” says Sian. “Be­cause it’s rented though, I’ve had to find di er­ent ways to in­tro­duce it.”

The huge open plan kitchen/din­ing/liv­ing space was her first chal­lenge. “There’s a lot of white space in here, so I wanted some­thing re­ally bold.” Luck­ily, she had just the thing in the shape of a large Pan­tone ref­er­ence chart that had been printed on fab­ric by a print­ing com­pany she used to use. “It’s so mad and colour­ful, and peo­ple never fail to ask what it is and where I got it from. I’ve al­ways loved it and I fi­nally got around to get­ting it framed, which I did cheaply by buy­ing a huge frame on the in­ter­net and stretch­ing it my­self.”

The room is full of ex­am­ples of Sian’s ta­lent for do­ing-it-her­self, such as the din­ing ta­ble she made fol­low­ing an on­line tu­to­rial, us­ing pine boards and hair­pin legs bought on eBay. This was per­haps her most am­bi­tious piece of fur­ni­ture, hav­ing al­ready made the co ee ta­ble,

the pink con­sole ta­ble (made for a trade fair) and the large desk in her o!ce-come-stu­dio. Even what looks like a small mar­ble side ta­ble turns out to be one of Sian’s. “I just cov­ered the ply top with a mar­ble-e"ect con­tact pa­per from B&Q and spray-painted the legs in gold.”

To add to their kitchen stor­age they bought a Billy book­case from Ikea and added glass­pan­elled doors. A sec­ond was painted grey to house their books and Sian’s trea­sured col­lec­tion of Bloom­ingville vases. Seat­ing also makes a state­ment through­out Sian’s home. The pink sofa came from So­faSofa and the two mid­cen­tury chairs were re-up­hol­stered in Sian’s fab­ric. Her dad gave them the an­tique din­ing chairs and re­wove the rat­tan seats. “He’s very prac­ti­cal, it must be where I get it from.”

In her stu­dio, her sig­na­ture lamp­shades and cushions and a bright yel­low desk chair are com­ple­mented by painted plates mounted on the wall. She echoes this fea­ture in the bed­room, with a col­lec­tion that com­pli­ments the cool blues and mono­chrome of her fab­rics.

“I’d de­scribe my style as graphic, clean, colour­ful and mod­ern,” says Sian. “My home is pretty much what I de­sign for my busi­ness, although my home doesn’t have as much of a styled scheme. It def­i­nitely has a re­laxed feel as it’s a real place I’m liv­ing in – maybe that’ll in­flu­ence my pho­to­shoots more in the fu­ture.”

01 Sian col­lects Bloom­ingville vases and uses them for prop­ping the shoots for her cat­a­logues. 02 The mar­ble-ef­fect side ta­ble is an­other hand­made gem. Sian cov­ered ply­wood in mar­bled pa­per and spray-painted the cast iron hair­pin legs.

01 Sian’s bed­room dis­plays more of her plate art – the larger ones are ac­tu­ally stool tops. 02 Sian built her own din­ing ta­ble, stain­ing the pine boards to match the floor­boards.

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