Urban Glamour #24

With its pen and ink squiggles, an array of bespectacled animals and plenty of black and white contrasts, this gothic family home is as bewitching as the artist’s drawings that are dotted around from wall to wall.

Get the look: Plates by Rory Dobner


The home is made up of two joined-up flats in a Victorian mansion block in north London. There is a living room, study, music room, three bedrooms and a family bathroom on the ground floor. Downstairs is the kitchen-diner, a pantry, a further bathroom and an artist’s studio.


This eccentric home is a magical warren where intrigue and whimsy peep from every corner, in arrangements as deftly drawn as the drawings on the walls. But here, eccentric doesn’t mean crazy clutter. The interior style is as much about what’s left out as what draws the eye in.

The home is dubbed Hamsterville by family because of its circuitous layout and disorientating shifts of level. There’s a run of bedrooms off a long corridor, while on the other side of the house there’s a studio created from what had been a cake-slice of courtyard. Eating goes on in the adjoining room marked EAT, beneath a super-scaled pair of Sarah Stockbridge lips, and the downstairs bathroom is a dark affair, finished in black leather and verdigris-pitted brass.

Get the look: The dining table is made from a New Zealand wool press. The photograph of Sara Stockbridge’s mouth is an ex-display image from Vivienne Westwood’s shop. The chairs are vintage machinist chairs from Australia. The floor lamp is Jielde. The concrete Edison lamps are by Tove Adman at Scandinavian Design Center. The rug is from The Rug Company. The floor is reclaimed York stone.

The worktops and door front are made from old cherry wood chemistry lab worktops, complete with Bunsen burner holes. A skinny pantry room next to the kitchen means surfaces stay uncluttered.

Get the look: These are vintage machinist chairs from Australia. The chinaware and tray are by Rory Dobner. The concrete Edison lamps are by Tove Adman at Scandinavian Design Center. The dual-fuel range cooker is Aga.


A vintage cabinet just outside the kitchen and pantry works for family storage. The Rory Doner alphabet tiles include F for Fish on a Fag Break and S for Skeleton With Stole and Super Shiny Shoes.

Get the look: Find alphabet tiles at rorydobner.com


This home is full of booty that’s been salvaged, customised or bartered. The sofa and chairs are vintage Liberty, recovered in satin. A ‘cabinet of curiosities’ in the corner is home to random objects of beauty or intrigue.

Get the look: The suite was recovered in satin from John Lewis. The rug is by Vivienne Westwood and the Flamingo wall tapestry is by Suzy Hoodless, both for The Rug Company. The pendant light was bought in Japan.

The sofa was originally spotted at an exhibition. It’s  got a great curved back – perfect for watching films together. The faux pug has become part of the family.

Get the look: The sofa is from The Conran Shop. The pug is by Mister Finch. The vase is Soho Home, bought at The Store at Soho Farmhouse.


The glass-roofed studio occupies the old courtyard. In the Seventies the building was squatted by anarchists, so this was where a young John Lydon would step out for a smoke.

Get the look: The flooring is laid with London paving stones from a salvage dealer, bought up when a bridge over the Thames was resurfaced. The wall lamps are Jielde. The chair is a vintage machinist chairs from Australia.

The owner stockpiles vintage frames, waiting for just the right drawing or object to suggest itself.

Get the look: The artworks and sculpture are all by Rory Dobner. The cushion is from Vox Populi Atelier. The book is The Official Vivienne Westwood Opus.

This study is a real artist’s retreat and it’s where the artist’s earliest designs still hang, along with family mementoes. Lots of the drawings started as little joke doodles: an ant with a hammer, who is trying to break his way out of a tiny frame, or a frog eyeing up the fly trapped in the next frame along.

Get the look: The dodo is by Mister Finch. The frames and lamp are vintage finds.

There’s a whole library of vintage frames in every shape and size; tall ones, long ones, gold ones, thin ones…

Get the look: The frames are from antique fairs, house clearances and charity shops. The clock is a vintage find from Kempton Antiques Market.


A hallway runs the length of the ‘sleepy side’ of the house, adorned with hibernating woodland creatures made from fabric.

Get the look: The animals are by textile artist Mister Finch.


Bedrooms peel off a long corridor, once a separate flat and now ‘the sleepy side’ of the house.

Get the look: The bed was bought in Clignancourt market in Paris, recovered in a Romo stripe fabric. The lamp is Jielde. Find the Eames DAR dining armchair for Vitra at John Lewis.


Enter the dark side, where black gloss and leather are set against verdigris brassware.

Get the look: The brassware was from Lassco. The bath is Waterworks. The paint is Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball.

The basin set in a stone slab cut by a local grave stone maker.

Get the look: The brassware was from Lassco. The paint is Down Pipe by Farrow & Ball. The basin is from Waterworks.


The hallway and stairs is the point where the two flats join, with flooring clad in York stone and a wrought iron bannister added in.

Get the look: The flooring is reclaimed York stone. The light is by Moooi. The artwork is by Rory Dobner. The vase is Fornasetti.


This bed is genius – it looks like leather straps, but is made from iron. The chandelier was bought in Amsterdam.

Get the look: This is the Handel bed from And So To Bed. The bedding is from Maison de Vacances. The rug is The Rug Company.


The bathroom overlooks a walled garden and the sounds of local primary school children come floating over at play times.

Get the look: The flooring is reclaimed York stone. The bath is Drummonds. The WC Throne seat is from Thomas Crapper & Co.

See more of the artist’s work at:Rorydobner.com

Photography / Paul Raeside

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