This project was a pro-bono collaboration with a local charity providing homes to refugee families arriving in the UK. My task was to furnish and decorate a 3-bedroom terraced house for a family of four arriving from Syria. Designing the home came with unique challenges: The available information about the family was limited/non-existent, the furniture was almost exclusively donated, the national lockdown and Brexit made sourcing difficult and the number of volunteers on the project was significantly smaller due to social distancing regulations. This meant that we really had to get involved and flex our DIY muscles.

My goal was to create a cohesive scheme throughout the house that would spark both joy and peace by using colour to tie the donated furniture pieces together. Additionally, I took inspiration from the only architectural feature of the house — the arched doorway leading from the living room to the kitchen — by incorporating it as an ongoing theme in each of the rooms, whether in the form of a mirror, a wall mural, as upholstery or in the wall art. Finally, changing the light fixtures throughout the house made the greatest impact on the overall atmosphere and flow of the space by either generating an atmosphere, creating the illusion of additional wall height, separating the different uses of the space, or simply serving as a statement piece.

By documenting the design journey on Instagram I was fortunate to receive a lot of support from the creative community in London. Adriana Jaros painted a mural for the living room, Ottoline De Vries donated wallpaper for the kitchen cabinets and Desenio provided us with the prints and frames seen throughout the home. Photographer Taran Wilkhu volunteered his time to shoot the beautiful images that can be seen below.

The project was featured in Wallpaper Magazine.