MIMA & STEF - AT HOME
Mima and Stef live in a late 40s art deco inspired flat in Denmark Hill, South London. Mima studied textile design at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, and now teaches art at a local secondary school. Stef works as a 3D workshop tutor at Chelsea College of Art and Design, he also makes stuff, ranging from furniture to jewellery, which can be seen on his blog http://stefwillis-theartofmaking.blogspot.com.
Only a few weeks away from having their first child, they welcomed us into their gorgeous home and plied us with brownies and hobnobs as we shot, styled and chatted. The flat has an incredible ambience, you feel you could be in any stylish European city - London, Amsterdam, Berlin. We love the sweeping curves of the living room and the fascinating array of objects that fill shelves and surfaces and tell the story of their lives.
Original Hans Wegner Sofa, bought from the previous owner with the flat.
Painting (above) by Stef's ex university tutor and good friend Janey Sharratt. http://www.janeysharratt.co.uk.
Bunting from their wedding.
Mima's white goods, teeth top right and mitten middle right. (below)
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED HERE?
M Stef moved in in June 2010 and I joined him a year later.
WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO THE FLAT?
S It was the first flat I viewed when moving back to London and what struck me was the beautiful sweeping bay windowed wall looking out to the lovely gardens. It had a great style about it and the building as a whole was really stunning with loads of character. The previous owner dealt in mid century furniture, which we love, and so it had a great appearance to it with white walls and some cracking items dotted about.
WHAT STATE WAS THE FLAT IN WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT?
S Not too bad. I could see room for improvement when I first viewed the property and the ability to make our mark on the place. As I was moving back to London with very little I was lucky to buy the orange Hans Wegner day bed from the previous owner. It sits proudly in the sitting room along with our original Eames RAR rocker that was just about my only piece of furniture that I moved in with, along with a wooden plan chest permanently borrowed from Chelsea College 12 years ago!
WHAT WORK DID YOU DO TO THE FLAT BEFORE YOU MOVED IN?
M Within the first year and a half we had given the kitchen a small makeover, added some colour to the hall and built what Stef refers to as a ‘panic room’, a large hidden storage area in a disused corridor, accessed by a pull out book case.
Life size drawing of Stef's old dog Barker by friend Marcus James. http://www.marcusjames.co.uk. Photo of Stef and Mima in Portugal - one of Stef's treasured possessions (above).
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM HOME?
S A log cabin high in the mountains close to some skiing.
M Somewhere hot with a sea view!!
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESION?
S Two photos I have. The first is of my 8 year old daughter, then 3, and me lying on a Scottish hill top looking up to the sky (well camera) and of Jemima and I on holiday in Portugal. Both totally capture a sense of love and contentment and have really happy memories.
M My white goods. These are several items of cast material such as my dental plaster moulds of my teeth taken at a range of stages throughout my life and my porcelain mitten Stef cast for me as a reference to me always being cold.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO SPEND TIME IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD?
M&S Love Walk for weekend brekkie or brunch, South London Gallery for the café restaurant no.67, Vineyard Taverna for feeling like we are on holiday in Greece and Ruskin Park for walks, picnics and general tranquility.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN LONDON?
S The Southbank. This reminds me of when Jemima and I first got together and had many a fun evening along that vibrant stretch of the Thames.
M Battersea Park. I have many happy memories from my childhood visiting my dad who lived just off the park. Also in recent times hanging out there with Stef for romantic evening picnics drinking Rose.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE CITY IN THE WORLD AND WHY?
M&S New York. We had both separately been there a couple of times before but finally got to go together as a married couple on our honeymoon. We just had the best time ever!
Artwork by Stef (above).
Shoe box above the bedroom doorway, made by Stef for Mima's shoes (below right).
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT WEEKEND
M&S Very large gin & tonics, home made food, music as loud as we want and alone with all of the seclusion of our lovely friends barn in Shropshire.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SHOP?
M We both love Liberty for it’s beautiful building and the fact that it’s full of lots of lovely things! If given the chance Stef would spend most of his time in Condor cycles drooling!
WHAT BLOGS/ MAGAZINES DO YOU LIKE TO READ?
S Tate magazine. Guardian Weekend magazine. Style magazine.
M That’s Not My Age.blogspot.com This Is Collosal.com. aimeebetts.com. Thepeoplesprint.com
DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING?
M We have a large in-built shelf unit that four years ago was empty. We've really enjoyed slowly collecting little items and stuff and its now completely full with lots of bits that all mean something to us. Stef used to have a reasonable collection of Nike sneakers, around 50, but decided that it was only fair to give me some room when I moved in, so most of them had to go!