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Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: LARA WAT­SON Pho­tog­ra­phy: FIONA MURRAY

Artist and in­te­ri­ors gal Lucy Tiffney shows us around her colour­ful Es­sex home

From the trop­ics of Bor­neo to Ja­pan via Western sig­nage, the de­tached 1910s home Lucy Ti ney shares with hus­band Ti , teenage sons Leo and Frank, and Zed the cat, unites her ex­pe­ri­ences in a riot of joy­ful styling. Known for her mu­rals and love of sal­vaged pieces, Lucy’s work merges seam­lessly with her home in Colch­ester, Es­sex as “an amal­ga­ma­tion of creative life”.

Lucy and her fam­ily have lived here for four years, mov­ing in and up­dat­ing, knock­ing

through, rewiring, re­plas­ter­ing and re­dec­o­rat­ing to cre­ate the mod­ern space they needed for a growing brood. The in­te­rior has evolved over the years through Lucy “col­lect­ing stu , ” such as a ‘42’ plaque that a friend found by a rail­way and gave to her aged 18, and the kitchen’s over­sized ‘Gas/Oil’ sign that caught Lucy’s eye, dis­carded at the side of a road in France. “I threw it into the back of the car along­side my three friends and we took it on hol­i­day with us!”

Two years into liv­ing here, Lucy was se­lected to ap­pear on the BBC’s Great In­te­rior De­sign Chal­lenge, in which she made the fi­nal, and her ca­reer took o . “My back­ground is in tex­tile de­sign, but af­ter the show I got com­mis­sions to paint mu­rals in­stead, and I quickly re­alised I wanted to do more wall­pa­pers and home­wares as well as in­te­rior de­sign­ing.” Lucy only launched her wall­pa­per col­lec­tion last May, but the suc­cess has been over­whelm­ing, win­ning Best Start Up Busi­ness at the Mol­lie Makes Hand­made Awards 2017, as well as ac­co­lades in the press and gain­ing sev­eral big clients.

“I’ve never been great at la­belling my style, but my de­signs do tend to be happy and bright,” says Lucy. “It’s all about tex­tures, bring­ing things to­gether – di er­ent colours, items from di er­ent decades, di er­ent places.” She con­sid­ers her­self lucky as her sis­ter lived in Amer­ica and Ja­pan for a while, and in her 20s she had the op­por­tu­nity to travel a lot. “It’s in­formed my work a lot more than I re­alised un­til this point. I spent a lot of time in south east Asia – all the colours, all the trop­i­cal­ness, ma­te­ri­als and graph­ics. That was the luck of how things panned out for me.”

You can also tell from Lucy’s home that she has a fas­ci­na­tion with let­ter­ing and found ob­jects. And, thrift­ing is some­thing she’s very pas­sion­ate about. Lucy has an ea­gle eye for a

spe­cial piece of fur­ni­ture or decor and is never o -duty in her aes­thetic hunt. “It’s the sheer joy of al­ways look­ing out for lovely things,” she ex­plains. Lucy is in heaven in this en­vi­ron­ment, sav­ing any­thing from vintage um­brella stands to old toys. “The thrill is not know­ing where or when you’re go­ing to find it. It’s great, but it does mean I have two sheds full of stu !”

Lucy loves trawl­ing eBay, and most of her fur­ni­ture is vintage, such as her Er­col ta­ble, painted bright pink, “as it was a bit scu ed,” and her Eames DAR rock­ing chair, a gift from her par­ents. Other items are sec­ond-hand. “Both our so­fas came from my sis­ter, the kitchen chairs were do­nated… I don’t spend much money, but I will save up for some­thing like a throw or a cush­ion I re­ally like.” The Prozac cush­ion in the green room, for in­stance, is by Jonathan Adler. Lucy en­joys mak­ing her space her own, re­paint­ing or re-cov­er­ing things her­self to pro­long their life: “If I go o some­thing, I just paint it a di er­ent colour.”

It’s easy to see Lucy’s zest and en­ergy when you visit her home. All those mo­ments of chance, seized as a prize; such a keen eye for de­tail, mak­ing the most of each and ev­ery beau­ti­ful thing. It’s a sen­ti­ment that nat­u­rally trans­lates into her work, and some­thing she can’t hold in. “I throw ev­ery­thing at it,” says Lucy. “Our house is the stu of life.”

This charm­ing lit­tle and bird 01 Pol­lux toy is from Cas­tor in the arches in Brighton. 02 Lucy found this painted disc years ago, and kept it for its fun graph­ics. The lit­tle toys on the shelf are 25 years old, from China.

01 ther­mome­ter gift The yel­low was for a from Ja­pan Lucy’s hus­band. 02 In the bed­room, Lucy’s cur­tains are vintage Marimekko: “I found them in the cup­board when I was teach­ing at col­lege.”

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