Interior designers Avocado Sweets talks to The Resident about this one-of-a kind apartment in Stoke Newington where, allowed to go all out creatively, the design duo let their imaginations run wild to showcase the owners’ love of music
Staying true to their love affair with colour and fun quirks, when they were given a brief by another creative couple, both Business Development Director at Avocado Sweets, Susie Agathou and her husband, Creative Director Evros Agathou were in their element.
‘Our musical clients wanted their home to reflect their laid-back style and provide a cohesive platform for their collection of vintage pieces,’ says Evros.
The Avocado Sweets team felt the apartment had lots of potential from the start as it’s part of an old Victorian school building. Their clients’ apartment was interestingly the Headmaster’s office with ‘fantastic high ceilings and huge climbing windows’.
‘Despite the grand living spaces, the kitchen was a windowless box room and the bedrooms were on an open mezzanine level, which let in light and noise from downstairs,’ explains Evros. ‘With their first baby on the way, they wanted to create a better family space that was great for entertaining and extra child friendly.’
Once both Susie and Evros put their inventive minds together and got to work, they came up with a seamless solution in no time. Susie says: ‘We reconfigured the existing space to create a stunning kitchen and lounge area, as well as adding in an extra bedroom on the mezzanine level. We closed the mezzanine space with stylish shutters for privacy, peace and safety and the two staircases were changed to broaden the living space and allow extra head height for our tall clients.’
They also factored in a playful and striking entrance hall design that tied the whole apartment together with a homely feel and reduced noise transfer. Susie adds: ‘To achieve the right style, we combined industrial fittings with earthy colours as our base point. We then carefully selected quirky pieces and a mix of colours to add character and individuality using custom made pieces.’
We created a light in their living room from minimalist Plumen light bulbs that serves as a parody of the traditional central chandelier look. Playing with expectation is all part of the joy of the design
Their clients’ vintage collection and colourful personalities served as muses for Susie and Evros when it came to putting together a comprehensive design for the family home. Thinking back to how they pulled all their different ideas together, Evros says: ‘Our clients were playful people so we enjoyed coming up with ideas together. They wanted a stand out space that wasn’t at all glitzy, and it’s this fun yet pared-back approach to design they both had that led to the kitchen lights being made from brightly coloured colanders.
‘We created a light in their living room from minimalist Plumen light bulbs that serves as a parody of the traditional central chandelier look. Playing with expectation is all part of the joy of the design.’
Zoning the apartment, introducing sound proofing elements and creating one big open plan entertaining space all contributed to the success of this eclectic apartment refurbishment, but according to both Evros and Susie, the seeds of this brilliant design were already there before they jumped aboard.
‘The great collection of vintage music pieces that you see dotted everywhere and up the walls all belong to our clients,’ explains Evros. ‘We helped them to curate what they had and incorporate it into their home. This included up-cycling their 60s oak chest of drawers into the kitchen island and creating bespoke wallpaper in the entrance out of their authentic 1940s magazines. We kept the backbone of the building’s history exposed such as the brickwork on the walls and the big original windows.’
Their innovative apartment creation wasn’t just loved by the family that lived there, but all over the world too. They won in the ‘intelligent design’ category of the Society of British and International Design Awards a few years back for their astounding skill and unorthodox, experimental flair when it came to this enviable Stoke Newington apartment. The design duo describe winning this award as ‘the icing on the cake’ after their clients were jaw-droppingly impressed with their new, fun and colourful home.
Devoid of countless chains and known for its abundance of independent shops, their apartment invention sits within the perfect landscape when it comes to Stoke Newington.
Their commitment to originality with this family home is something that rings true throughout the whole Stoke Newington area, marrying the apartment and its local world together perfectly, like two peas in a pod.
We already know we have to watch this space intently when it comes to Avocado Sweets, as their creative drive knows no bounds. Looking ahead to what we can expect from them in the next year, Susie says: ‘We kicked off 2017 with the design for ICCO Pizza’s first sister restaurant in Camden Town and we have a range of exciting residential and commercial projects in Islington and beyond coming up.’
And that we don’t doubt, because Avocado Sweets don’t think outside the box. For them, there never was one to begin with.