An Illustrator’s Beautifully Minimal London Flat — House Tour
Name: Pui Lee
Location: Turnpike Lane — London, UK
Size: Roughly 700 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, renting
London-based illustrator Pui Lee is the founder of lifestyle brand Scout Editions, and lives in a two-bedroom Victorian terrace flat in North London. What started off as selling cards and paper goods in its early days has now evolved into its own line of homewares like tea towels, trays, cushion covers and coasters, found in impressive stores like Paul Smith, Conran Shop and Anthropologie.
It’s no surprise that Pui’s home is filled with her own designs, like the beautiful pigeon risoprint in her bedroom and the snail tray in the kitchen, but she’s managed to collect a lot of other interesting prints simply by trading her own work with other illustrators. Pui’s certainly built up a lovely collection of interesting items over the years, and is also a regular at antique fairs like Ardingly Antique Fair, where she found the Bliss Tulip Lamp — an original from 1970s.
However, Pui tells me that she’s actually naturally more drawn to the simple and minimal, Japanese and Scandinavian look. “There is a side of me that is a bit of a hoarder but also the other side of me likes simplicity and minimalism. The challenge is to have a balance of the two, simple and uncluttered, however still have cosiness and character.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Simple, Minimal, Natural and Relaxed ☺
Inspiration: Some Japanese and Scandinavian influence.
Favorite Element: That it’s quite a narrow flat that feels bigger than it looks from outside. Also the stained glass windows in the front windows.
Biggest Challenge: The challenge is that I just love collecting and have a lot of stuff. There is a side of me that is a bit of a hoarder but also the other side of me likes simplicity and minimalism. The challenge is to have a balance of the two, simple and uncluttered, however still have cosiness and character. Having objects scattered around the flat that I love looking at and keeping the home practical, too.
What Friends Say: It’s calming, light, simple and uncomplicated. Love that I have a lot of hooks?!
Proudest DIY: I didn’t make it myself, but I designed a cupboard to store away all my bits and pieces. I commissioned a carpenter to make it. This has got to be the most useful storage in the flat.
Biggest Indulgence: I love collecting. Collecting ceramics, books, prints and things! I collect prints from all sorts of designers and illustrators. I have so many, but haven’t gotten around to framing them and putting them up. There’s quite a few sitting around waiting to be hung, plus I like to “live” with things and slowly decide where their final homes will be. I constantly toy with the idea of wanting to keep the space minimal yet also like it busy at the same time.
Best Advice: Don’t be afraid to “live” with a little mess. As your home is always changing, like your personal taste and interests. Also it’s space where I feel most relaxed, so my natural habit is to leave things hanging around in case I need to use things. I like to create a relaxed feel in my home. So the space is still very much a work in progress and a blank canvas for me to grow into.
p.s don’t open the cupboards though, things will fly out! ☺
Try and display things you love, however random or eclectic. I try to display things that I have collected from my travels as they remind me of the good times also its shame to and have them hidden away. Also I have things on display that inspire me, be it a ceramic ornament or colours etc.
Dream Sources: Travelling, especially to places like Tokyo, Denmark., Paris.
I love seeing how shops curate collections and coffee shops create calming spaces.
Also I like hunting for little gems at antique fairs like Ardingly Antique Fair — I love mixing vintage with modern items along with my little souvenirs from my travels.
PAINT & COLORS
Walls — “Cotton” Dulux Paint
Doors — Grey (Dulux can’t remember)
Kasha Sofa — Habitat
Mistral Armchair — HEALS
Donna Wilson Cushion — Donna Wilson
‘Sniffer’ Dog — By John Bond via Unlimited Shop.
All sorts of ceramics from — Studio Arhoj and Atelier Stella
Woodland Cushion — Kauniste
Bliss Tulip Lamp — 1970s vintage Tulip Lamp. From Ardingly Antique Fair
IKEA PS Cabinet — IKEA
Lucille Clerc Lucky Charm Print — Lucille Clerc
1960s – ’70s light shade — Vintage. Sourced from second hand shop.
Wooden Table with hair pin legs — eBay
Wooden mid-century display cabinet — Local second hand shop. (On loan from sister)
Vintage industrial storage trolley — Antiques fair
Mirror — Habitat