My favourite British interior designer right now is probably Abigail Ahern. Known for her Bohemian-meets-rocker glam spin on interior design, Ahern has a lot of irons in the fire. In addition to her eponymous London-based design firm, she operates an online store devoted to her favourite home goods, from vegan leather club chairs to vintage Berber carpets. Offline, she has two stores, one in Islington and the other in the West end, as well as a nation-wide floral delivery service. She also runs interior and floral design workshops throughout the year, and has collaborated with Debenhams on an exclusive lamp collection. If that wasn’t enough, Ahern has authored no fewer than three interior design books and released her own line of home paints. In short, she is basically a British Joanna Gaines, sans the shiplap and TV series.
Ahern’s designs pack a lot of punch, combining layers of texture and unexpected materials to create whimsical and captivating spaces. The vibe is sort of wonky, but it works. Gazing at the pictures of her Victorian townhouse in Dalston, I’m reminded of Tim Burton and Tim Walker, if the the two somehow decided to join forces and open an interior design firm together. Needless to say, I’m repeatedly transfixed by Ahern’s ability to effortlessly cultivate visual interest. Cozy, yet decadent; moody, yet light-hearted; each and every room of her Dalston digs is a study in juxtaposition, from the sunken den — with ancient nooks and crannies guarded by edgy modern art — to the lavish backyard, reminiscent of an untamed forest, yet still current enough to accommodate an outdoor kitchen with all the fixings.
My favourite element, however, are the massive, wild lighting fixtures peppered throughout the house. They’re available online for purchase through Ahern’s website, though, sadly for us in North America, are wired exclusively for European power outlets. Even so, we can still admire their visual splendour from afar. Take a look:
I don’t know about you but Ahern kind of strikes me as the Alexander McQueen of British interior design. This little island is teeming with design talent, so that hardly comes as any surprise, but I thought it was worth mentioning, regardless.
Hour tour images by Rebecca Bond for Apartment Therapy