At home with…
Take a look inside mid-century lover Hesper Hawkins’ creative home
Once upon a time, this midcentury house in Su!olk was a pipe dream for Hesper and her husband Lindsay, who used to pass the house daily between the school run and the o"ce. “I’d drive by it for years, admiring the Crittall windows, its flat roof and red bricks,” recalls Hesper. “Honestly, I never imagined that one day we’d be living here.”
But timing is everything, and when the house did eventually come on the market, the couple – who had two children at the time – were ready to move. “It’s hard to believe that that’s over 14 years ago now. And while we’ve done so much to change the internal layout, what we haven’t done is change how it looks from the outside.” Choosing to leave the exterior they fell for untouched, Hesper notes that “a surprising amount of people comment on how strange our house looks, often wondering if we might change the windows, put a pitched roof on or render the bricks. But I love how it looks.”
With four children – Jessica, 20, Molly, 16, Isaac, 14 and Mabel, 10 – as well as Dotty the labradoodle and Mog the cat, the inside of the house has evolved along with the family. “We’ve moved the kitchen to the biggest and brightest room in the house and created more living areas for us and the children, as well as extra studies for myself and my husband.”
The most recent addition has been a utility room with plywood cupboards, green tiled floors and lots of space, which is where Hesper spends most of her time now. “I flit between here and the kitchen, and have an armchair in each room so
“The mid-century furniture pieces came into their own when we moved here.”
friends or family can relax while we catch up and I can carry on pottering!”
Hesper creates a cosy feel throughout her home using colour and craft elements, as well as pieces she picks up in local shops and on her travels. “I’m definitely drawn to mid-century furniture. A few years ago a friend took me to a shop o Columbia Road in East London that was closing down. They were selling pieces of a 1960s wall unit and that was the start,” she enthuses. “My love of mid-century looked a little odd in our previous brand new house, but the pieces came into their own when we moved here. I also love Josef Frank wallpaper and fabric too.”
But not every decorating idea has worked for Hesper, who says certain trends don’t seem to fit her style. “I loved the greys people were playing with and wanted to incorporate them. I tried it in paints and wallpapers, but they never looked right. The greys just didn’t sit well in my already colourful home.”
So are there any interior trends she’s adopted? “I decided pink was the way forward, but choosing the right one took months. My living room was covered in pink squares. I’d think I’d found the right one, only for it to change from one wall to
“I try to buy as I find, and if I love it, I know it’ll definitely work somewhere.”
the next.” The time spent was more than worth it however, as Hesper finally found the elusive shade she was looking for, and is slowing adding it all over the house. “It’s called Rusling by Little Greene. The pink is pale, just a hint really, but so warm and it goes beautifully with all the wood in our house. It also looks good with crisp white paint and warm greens as well as all the other colours going on in here.”
One thing Hesper always sticks to though is cork flooring. “It reminds me of our houses growing up. It was something we used in the bathroom, then in the kitchen, and now in the dining room. It’s such a hard working material.” In terms of pulling the whole look together, Hesper doesn’t have any set rules. “I consciously never buy anything to match. I try to buy as I find and if I love it, whether
it’s a chair, cushion or print, I know it’ll definitely work somewhere.”
Go-to stores include Tea and Kate and Vanil as well as SCP, Couverture, Garbstore, Donna Wilson and Two Columbia Road. But for Hesper, “my favourite things in the house are the original pieces of artwork. I especially love a painting I have from my granny of Mousehole in Cornwall, which is the first holiday we ever took with my eldest when she was just three months.”
Filled with evocative treasures and decorated with care, it’s clear to see both Hester and this much-loved home have found their happily ever after.
Hesper’s a mama and homemaker who always has a project on the go, be it illustration, crochet, or embroidery. Find snaps of her makes and her retro home on Instagram at
01 The kitchen still has its original Crittall windows.
03 Hesper’s bright and cheery desk accessories include a peg board from Violet and Percy.
02 The new utility room is a favourite space of Hesper’s, with cabinets and shelving by Luke Biddulph Kitchens.
04 This desk is a mid-century classic from Two Columbia Road.
01 The vintage Josef Frank print wallpaper makes a bold statement in the hallway.
02 Mid-century furniture even makes it into the bathroom, too.
03 Wooden accents throughout give a 1970s feel.
04 Teenager Molly’s antique brass bed has been sprayed white, acting as a canvas for her growing collection.