Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: LOT­TIE STOREY Pho­tog­ra­phy: FIONA MUR­RAY

See in­side SMUG Life­style Store owner Lizzie Evans’ mid-cen­tury nest

Clut­tered Min­i­mal­ism is a phrase coined by Lizzie Evans to de­scribe the in­te­ri­ors style of the flat she shares with hus­band Daniel, son Con­stantin, and Per­sian cat Ma­bel. Lizzie is the shop owner and de­signer be­hind SMUG Life­style Store, one of Lon­don’s best-known in­te­rior shops based in Camden Pas­sage, Is­ling­ton, mak­ing her more than a bit prone to take her work home with her. So what is Clut­tered Min­i­mal­ism? This home is full of

ev­ery­thing that makes the cou­ple happy, from beau­ti­ful pieces of Eames, Eileen Grey and Robin Day fur­ni­ture, to old Pez and Street Fighter toys, with plenty of plants, light and colour mixed in. “We’re col­lec­tors at heart and love piec­ing to­gether and cu­rat­ing our space based on what we have at our fin­ger­tips,” Lizzie ex­plains. It’s a look that’s ev­i­dent from the piles of books, clothes and rows of col­lected ob­jects that are on dis­play. “Rather than buy­ing lots of new things at once that match or go to­gether in the tra­di­tional sense, mix­ing old and new is what makes me tick.”

The flat it­self is a bright and colour­ful home, pep­pered with mid-cen­tury fur­ni­ture, lay­ered with col­lected ob­jects and Lizzie’s house plants. She bought the Hack­ney home 12 years ago. “My brother works in prop­erty – it was his idea I buy some­where as an in­vest­ment so I could stay liv­ing near the rest of the fam­ily when I ‘grew up’. He found the flat and we viewed it be­fore it went on the mar­ket. I fell in love right away,” she re­calls. For the first seven years, Lizzie lived with her par­ents while she set up the shop and let the flat to ten­ants. But things changed once Lizzie and Daniel de­cided to move in. “When we could a ord to live here our­selves, we did the flat up, got mar­ried and moved in to­gether. The first night we slept here was our wed­ding night!”

So how did the cou­ple be­gin with dec­o­rat­ing? “I al­ways start with white walls and let the books, art and ob­jects bring the colour. I love bright yel­low, soft pink, celadon and navy as well as soft greys and beiges,” says Lizzie, whose in­spi­ra­tion comes from mu­se­ums and art gal­leries. “I’m very in­spired by mid-cen­tury de­sign­ers’ homes and clas­sic Mod­ernist ar­chi­tec­ture – think Le Cor­bus­ier and Ray and Charles Eames.” This love of mid-cen­tury runs through­out the home, form­ing its core look.

“I feel par­tic­u­larly ‘grown up’ own­ing bits of Vit­soe shelv­ing! It’s such a clas­sic de­sign and a beau­ti­fully sim­ple and func­tional so­lu­tion to our shelv­ing needs. We’re big fans of Di­eter Rams – an­other mid-cen­tury hero!”

So where do these trea­sures come from? Lizzie’s favourite shops in­clude The Con­ran Store, SCP, Mar­garet Howell and Merci in Paris, but it’s slow and steady for this cou­ple. “Car boot sales are where we find the nos­tal­gia. We’ve col­lected fur­ni­ture over many years. As a teenager I’d ask for an Eames rocker or To­mado shelv­ing for birthdays and Christ­mas!” Lizzie laughs. “I was lucky enough to in­herit the Eileen Grey side ta­ble.” And the din­ing ta­ble, chairs and side­board? “They all came with the flat, passed on by the pre­vi­ous owner.”

It’s no sur­prise the open plan kitchen and din­ing room is the heart of the home. Right now though? With those col­lected ob­jects adorn­ing the side­board, Lizzie’s in love with the liv­ing room. “The art on the walls are some of our favourites,” Lizzie says. “Since Con­stantin was born, we’ve had loved ones come and hold him sit­ting on the sofa and we’ve snapped ev­ery one!’

A cou­ple that works in de­sign, liv­ing in a flat found by a brother, fur­nished with handme-downs and now home to the first of a new gen­er­a­tion, it’s clear what’s im­por­tant to Lizzie. “Home means ev­ery­thing to me,” she smiles.

01 Col­lected ob­jects con­trib­ute to Lizzie and Daniel’s style. “We call it Clut­tered Min­i­mal­ism.” 02 The cou­ple in­her­ited some beau­ti­ful pieces from the flat’s pre­vi­ous owner.

01 In the liv­ing room, “the Far­row and Ball Hague Blue wall is a fan­tas­tic back­drop.” 02 Lizzie’s a real car boot fan and loves mix­ing old and new.

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