THE PROPERTY

A first floor flat in an early Victorian stucco terrace in west London. It has a kitchen with dining space, study area, a ‘salon,’ living room, one bedroom, dressing area, shower/shoe room and bathroom.

THE SALON (LIVING ROOM)

Designed by interior decorator, Sera Hersham-Loftus, this beautiful home is hard to categorise. Sophisticated bohemian comes close, but in truth it’s a lot more decadent, sexy and exotic than that – think Chinese opium den meets Parisian artist’s studio, with a pinch of titillating Seventies film Emmanuelle mixed in!It's a giddy mix that nevertheless holds together.

The flat has an open, flowing layout thanks to a year and a half of building work.

To keep the look creative rather than confused, Sera artfully employs colour, with a dark ceiling to ground the space. Exposed brick and reclaimed wooden flooring create a handsome, earthy backdrop, too.

Lighting is also crucial. Sera never uses overhead lighting, as it’s too harsh. For her, it creates a flat light with no atmosphere, so instead, lamps and wall lights pepper the rooms. Sera likes to find pieces and customise them, such as this antique chaise.

This beautiful table was made by Sera’s partner Danny Lane, as part of a collection they have collaborated on.

STUDY AREA

The desk is an Italian table bought at a market.

KITCHEN

The only hanging lights here are suitably exotic. They were made in the 1940s from parchment, and have been fitted with amber bulbs for a beautiful glow. Sera has fitted blackout blinds to the window, as the apartment gets so bright. They have scalloped edges like in a Paris café. The vintage shutters to the side of the window actually conceal extra storage shelves.

The kitchen was based on a 1940s console, which is fitted to the left of the oven. It was then copied to make all the units.

BEDROOM

This bedroom brims with textiles and wallpapers from around the world. Sera found 10 rolls of the wallpaper in Hong Kong and then teamed it with African textiles at the window and on the bed.

Sera uses mirrors a lot in interiors, as they reflect light and bounce it around the room. This one came from a flea market in Paris.

DRESSING ROOM

The tiling is all handmade, each piece is a one off so each is slightly different. This room (previously a shower room) looks like it’s always been here, but it’s actually brand new.

BATHROOM

The bathroom is decorated with wallpaper that Sera designed, with a vintage tub, and a Victorian mirror on the wall.

See more of Sera of London's design work here.

Photography / Paul Raeside