As the woman behind the eponymous homeware brand, Abigail Ahern has been instrumental in encouraging us to embrace vivid colours, playful textures and thrifted treasures. She talks to us about her darkly dramatic East London Victorian townhouse she shares with her husband Graham Scott and their beloved dogs
ABIGAIL IN THE KITCHEN AT HER EAST LONDON HOME WHICH SHE DESIGNED WITH HERRINGBONE KITCHENS
Why do you live where you live?
I live here in Dalston because I love East London; I love the creativity, I love being two minutes from an outside pool in a park, a farmer’s market and, of course, Shoreditch. The restaurant scene is fab (Little Duck and Lardo being two of my favourite hang outs) and Columbia Road, which I visit every Sunday, is a 20-minute walk away. I can also cycle to the Abigail Ahern store in Islington along the canal without ever hitting a road, so it’s a win win.
How would you describe your home?
It’s a compelling mix of raw and refined, tribal and glam. It’s inky and dark but also cocooning. I love it. It’s filled with pieces I’ve picked up from my far-flung travels and a zillion prototypes, from big round metal tables to little lights that I test out before putting into production. I also have the most fabulous garden which I have grown like a jungle. There’s a fire pit out there, an outdoor kitchen and it’s lit like an indoor room.
(LEFT) OUTDOOR LIVING IN ABIGAIL’S JUNGLE-LIKE GARDEN (RIGHT) ABIGAIL’S MAGICAL, TEXTURAL DOUBLE HEIGHT LIVING SPACE. IMAGES: INSTAGRAM/@ABIGAILAHERN
What’s the first thing you did to your home when you moved in?
Extended it. We took out the back wall and put a double height window in in order to get this indoor-outdoor vibe. The garden is very central to the space. I knew from my time living in America by the Great Lakes where I worked as a designer that I wanted a house to echo that vibe, so that is what I created.
What inspired your new modular cabinetry range with Herringbone Kitchens?
The kitchen is central to my home so, for me, this is the holy grail of all kitchens. I partnered with Herringbone Kitchens to offer anyone a modern and affordable kitchen range that really packs a punch and is unique to individual styles and homes. The range is called Abigail Ahern x Herringbone Kitchens and reflects both of our styles and ethos. Think beautifully designed cabinetry made on British soil, with a modern look yet a classic feel with sleek, flat front units with fuss free lines, which can be painted in any colour – opening up the opportunity for dramatic hues that would not normally be available at this price point.
How would you describe your kitchen?
I’ve taken this to the max for my own kitchen. I’ve mixed dark black, deeply textured quartz countertops with beautiful cabinetry made from tulip wood and mdf, painted out in the most intoxicating of hues. I added some solid brass handles, open shelving and a pantry. I wanted a kitchen that was timeless with a mix of finishes that have been around for ages and will continue to be around for ages. I know that when I stand in this kitchen in 10 years’ time it won’t have dated and I will still love it.
THE ABIGAIL AHERN X HERRINGBONE KITCHENS RANGE REFLECTS ABIGAIL’S INIMITABLE STYLE, HERE IN HER EAST LONDON HOME
What’s the most surprising thing in your home?
It feels like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole when you step through the door; it’s a pretty magical space. Walls, ceilings, floors and trim are painted out in inky hues and lots of different rugs skim the floors. I’ve overdosed on lighting, added pattern, texture and paintings that I’ve collected on my travels, picked up everywhere from the local flea market to Los Angeles galleries.
What was your childhood home like?
Colourful and full of stuff. My mother was an artist so it was brightly decorated with lots going on. I’ve veered from that a tad but, just like my family home felt like a place of refuge, a place to recharge, hang out and just chill, my home feels exactly the same.
What’s your domestic guilty secret or pet hate?
My pet peeve is rooms that are purely practical with little else in them. I think more and more people are beginning to look at spaces in a more creative light and decorate them with finishing touches that elevate them and reveal their personality. Oh, and another pet peeve is pale rooms, which I cannot stand!
DRAMATIC HUES PACK A PUNCH IN ABIGAIL AHERN’S KITCHEN, FILLED WITH SCULPTURAL EARTHENWARE AND THOUGHTFUL LIGHTING
Which room in your home makes you happiest and why?
The kitchen. I can cook looking out into the garden and it’s my happiest place now. I never truly imagined that by introducing true craftmanship, clever design, beautiful cabinetry and a colour I absolutely adore, it would change how I use the space, but it has. Now I want to linger in it for the longest time; whether I’m sitting at the island for a quick breakfast in the morning, or enjoying my morning coffee there.
What are some of the most memorable things that have happened in your home?
My dogs create the happiest memories, whether they’re zooming down the garden path to bark at cats or foxes, or lounging on the sofas with their legs in the air. They are my best buds. When you run your own business, the hours are long, but these two cheer me up no end.
What makes your house a home?
If you design a space from the heart that you love it will wrap you up the warmest blanket the moment you open the door. Mine does, I’ve scented it to smell intoxicating, lit it with little pools of light and played around with texture to tantalise; so all the senses are intrigued.
If the objects in your home could speak, which would have the best story to tell?
All the objects in my home are created or bought because they are loved. So if they could speak I think they would say they feel cherished.
For more information on the Abigail Ahern x Herringbone Kitchens range and to get started on designing your own dream kitchen please visit www.herringbonekitchens.com. The range is available for shipping worldwide.
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