Francis Spencer-Barton owns LookLook photo booths with husband Darran. They live with their two daughters in this mews flat in Edinbugh.
We bought this house in June 2014 as a complete fixer upper – but with it being so close to the city with great transport links, a beautiful walled garden and being completely south facing, which was very important to Darran being a photographer – we could see its full potential and make it our own. Being across from the zoo is also very handy!
Scandi decor is my favourite. I like the light, bright natural aspect to this style and it can be seen throughout the house. We’ve used a lot of grey and neutral colours, with funky accents like our gold polka dot wall stickers and geometric patterns in our art and accessories.
The whole house needed both re-plastered and re-decorated – the decor was untouched for 25 years! The first thing we did was rip out the existing mustard-coloured kitchen and false sloping ceiling. We took down a wall between entrance hallway and kitchen to give it a more spacious, open-plan feel.
We have a projector that flips down and a white screen that covers the full length and height of windows in living room. This was our splash out piece for sure, but it is used lots. This is our first bought house, we’ve always rented, so it’s really nice to put our own stamp on it. It was important that the house worked for the full family: child-friendly by day and adult friendly by night. Because of this we’ve been very clever with storage, which helps hide all the toys and day-to-day living away and out of sight, then when the kids go to bed our home cinema comes to life! Although splashing out on our bespoke kitchen and projector, we have been very adventurous in other areas with saving money.
Some of my favourite pieces are: the ladder shelves in the living room which I house lots of plants on; our stag antlers as it’s like 3D wall art; and I also love the teepee in Marley’s room. But my ultimate favourite piece in the house is, of course, our GifGif (the perks of running a photo booth company is having the gadgets in your house). It takes six photos in succession and then merges them together to form a moving image, or a “gif”, which can then be shared seamlessly via social media.
Darran made our kitchen dining table himself, again trying to maximise space with good design. He used cardboard to cut out the perfect shape and size of tabletop to house us all easily. Cutting corners for Marley to access freely, and using the window bay so we all sit comfortably. He then made it up with wood and finished it with raw osmo to give a nice smooth and easily cleaned tabletop. This all in probably cost us £10 or so! And instead of shutters for our kitchen window we opted for a white wooden Venetian blind, which works really well and gives the effect of a shutter. Space saving was important.
One space-saving solution we had designed was a ‘post box’, as we call it, formed in the over cabinets which keeps the countertop clear of all gadgets. We decided to treat the over cabinets with a white osmo, which gives a nice contrast to the ash and also gives it a Scandi look.
If I was to give anyone advice on undertaking such a project like we did, it would be to try and live in it initially to get a good feel for your surrounding and space, and trawl through Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration!
I would definitely say I could have imagined us in this style of home as it really fits our personalities and reflects us as people. It’s a well-used house – we use every inch of it.
Interview by Robyn Lang-Shankland (twitter @rlsinteriors), pictures by Eve Conroy.