Broadcaster and supper club host Laura Jackson tells the stories of the East London home she shares with her photographer husband, Jon Gorrigan, and their one-year-old daughter, Sidney
Where do you live and why?
I live in London, and have done since I first moved here for university and I honestly haven’t ever looked back. I’ve always lived east of the city, and lived in Hackney for a long time before moving to Forest Gate where I am now. I really love the energy and the vibrancy of the city – it’s full of culture and endless things to keep you occupied, with some of the best food in the world. East London in particular has a really creative and arty vibe which is a real draw for me. When we first found our house, in 2016, I instantly felt a sense of belonging and attachment to the place. It was untouched and had so many original Victorian features. One of my favourites is a curved wall which you can see just as you walk in, which we’ve kept alongside many other original features because it’s what we believe makes our home look so unique.
How would you describe your home?
It’s an eclectic mix of pieces that I’ve collected over the years. I feel like I don’t have a definite style as it evolves so much, but there is lot of colour. When renovating our home we found inspiration everywhere that we went; whether it was a small feature in a hotel or restaurant, or even the colour of a flower, we were careful to make sure it was a great mixture of lots of unique features that were personal to us.
What’s the first thing you did to your home when you moved in?
The first thing was to pull up all the carpets, then we painted any rooms that were dark and gloomy, white. We lived in the space for nearly three years before we started any major works because we wanted to see how we used each room and what the light was like.
What was your childhood home like?
I grew up in Huddersfield with quite a large family and I always remember it being so homely. The kitchen was the heart of the home and we had a gorgeous Aga that my mum always cooked on. I also loved my childhood bedroom; it had mint green walls and peach-coloured ’80s curtains. The colours were all pastel and it was really calming. When I was growing up my Mum was really crafty and always had the sewing machine out, so there was often lots of fabric and beautiful curtains around the house. We were brought up with the mentality that we should make things for ourselves rather than always buy them, and I’ve definitely continued that while renovating my own home.
Describe your front door…
It’s a Victorian-style door in a patent olive green colour. I’m a big fan of earthy tones, so I chose a colour which felt organic and not too garish – something which was in keeping with the tone of the rest of the house.
(LEFT) A MONOCHROME BEDROOM SCHEME WITH AN UPCYCLED BEDSIDE TABLE; (RIGHT) LAURA HAS KEPT THE PREVIOUS OWNER’S FLORAL SANDERSON WALLPAPER. IMAGES: INSTAGRAM/@IAMLAURAJACKSON
How important is sustainability in your home?
It’s so important; I want to stay on top of my impact on the environment and try to make sure it’s as minimal as possible. I’ve noticed that making even the smallest changes can, in turn, make a big difference. For example, I’ve worked out a few ways to be sustainable in the kitchen and I’ve recently created a series of energy-saving recipes with E.ON, which are a great example of how small changes – like switching up techniques and swapping appliances to reduce energy consumption – can result in big annual savings.
What’s at the bottom of your garden?
Our compost heap. The lady that we bought our house from was a keen gardener and the compost heap was already here, so we’ve been composting for the last four years, which I love. It’s a great way for us to live sustainably and manage our waste as we compost any food that we can and also ensure we recycle whatever we can. Before moving here neither me nor my husband were particularly green-fingered, but as the garden was so beautiful my husband has become much more interested in gardening and I guess you could say we take care of it in homage to its previous owner who looked after it so well.
If the objects in your home could speak, which would have the most interesting stories to tell?
My dining table; I cannot reveal those secrets! The dining table is definitely the focal point of our home; it’s where my husband and I talk about important issues, or plan our next adventures and where I sit and chat with my girlfriends when they come round for dinner. Because it’s so large, my daughter might be painting at one end while I work at the other; it’s a great place to enjoy spending time together as a family.
(LEFT) LAURA’S FRIDGE ACTS AS A PINBOARD FOR POSTCARDS, DRAWINGS, NOTES AND MEMENTOS; DINNER AL FRESCO IN THE GARDEN. IMAGES: INSTAGRAM/@IAMLAURAJACKSON
Your kitchen is clearly an important space for you. When are you at your happiest in the kitchen?
I love hosting and entertaining in the kitchen and also being creative; from painting at the table with my daughter to coming up with new recipes. I love creating new food ideas using interesting and different methods, so the energy-saving recipes I’ve developed with E.ON where we’ve been creative with a bamboo steamer has been a great opportunity for me to roll my sleeves up and get busy.
What’s your domestic guilty secret?
I usually lick the spoon and taste an obscene amount of raw batter when making a cake!
What are some of the most memorable things that have happened in your home?
I really love seeing my daughter in our house and watching her walk around and point at things. She is obsessed with one photograph we have hanging in the hallway of two children playing in the desert; she just sits and stares at it. We are only just getting started with memories in the house but watching her grow up here is really special.
What makes your house a home?
The feeling for sure; it’s that warm and welcoming space that’s full of love and laughter. Home evolves with us over the years. It’s filled with a mixture of personalised items that we’ve picked up or made ourselves, which tell our story; almost like an evolutionary backdrop to our lives.
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