Whilst in the throes of redecorating (some of) my house, I have found much inspiration on the hugely stylish interiors edit58, the brainchild of the lovely Lisa Mehydene. It’s a wonderful site: cherry-picked finds from around the world. But it’s not just her site which inspires, her Instagram feed @edit.58 is one of the best. She shares snapshots of the incredible London home which she shares with her husband and four-year-old twins, Milla and George – you can imagine how excited we were when she agreed to take us on a tour. And share her genius styling tips. Put your feet up, grab a cup of tea (or glass of wine – no judgment here) and join us on an epic tour. This one’s a real treat.
The birth of a company…
My background is in advertising. I worked in London, Dubai and Singapore, where we decided to start a family. After the twins were born, I realized that for the previous 10 years I had spent my entire career climbing the ladder, but I actually didn’t enjoy it anymore, and certainly not enough to be away from the children 5 days a week for long hours. Like many mums I wanted to find a way to be around for my children more, but still have a career I loved.
We decided to move back to the UK. Interiors have always been my passion (obsession?!) and so I started to think about how I could bring all the items I had found and loved from my travels back to the UK. I decided it was best to start with a small edit of homewares that I love (and that I think make a home): baskets, blankets, cushions, rugs and wall-hangings. This was the initial edit and now it’s grown a little to include wire words and prints, with new items being added all the time. It’s my mission to keep the edit really tight though – everything we stock I adore and have in my own home.
My gut instinct that there was a gap in the market for decent rugs was actually right. I was frustrated that in the UK the options seemed to be a rug from a high street retailer (mass produced and not very exciting) or from a rug specialist with £15,000 price tag. I realised there was something in-between missing – somewhere to get great vintage rugs at reasonable prices that’s not intimidating. I wanted to provide a rug sourcing service that people could tap into to find their dream rug. Nothing makes me happier than matching a beautiful rug to its perfect home. It’s the part of my job that is most satisfying.
I suppose you could also say a love of interiors is in my blood. My 102-year-old grandmother is antiques obsessed and even to this day still visits antique fairs and shifts her furniture around. I hope that’s me when I’m her age!
…and a name.
The story behind the name is a little less glamorous than one might think! I was having a brainstorm with a great friend around my kitchen table and we were struggling to come up with anything that was unique, catchy and not yet taken as a domain name (harder than you might think). ‘Edit’ felt right (see above explanation of offering) and then my friend suggested simply adding a meaningful number to it. 58 is our house number. This felt like as good a number as any and pretty catchy when put together. So ‘edit58’ it is! (Told you it’s a dull story!)
The first product
I’ve always been obsessed by baskets; my mantra is ‘you can never have too many’. When I discovered the Eliza Gran Venice Pom Pom Baskets, which are created in Santa Monica, California, I knew I had to bring them to the UK market. edit58 was the first UK stockist and I am thrilled they’ve been such a huge hit (they were the first product we sourced). It would appear I’m not the only basket fan out there – our current bestseller is our personalised embroidered baskets.
I knew this house was ‘the one’ from the minute I walked in.
We were living in Singapore and house hunting remotely. It was 2013 and the UK housing market was crazy at this point – with houses going in record time. We were having no luck so we decided we had to fly back and find one (we combined a trip back to house hunt with a wedding we were attending). We came back, and by the time we landed most of the properties we had lined up to view had already gone! Whilst we were here I saw this property online one morning. We called the agent that minute, viewed it that day and put the offer in the next. I knew from the minute we walked in it was a lovely space and had great potential. The entire exterior of the house is covered in Wisteria, so before I even stepped through the door that had sold it to me! (I’m wisteria obsessed!)
We didn’t have to do masses of work – we just reconfigured some rooms (knocking down walls/changing layout slightly, sorting the flooring) and then just a full redecoration job.
My decorating philosophy
Traditional with an eclectic twist. My decorating philosophy is to mix high street, vintage and designer pieces, much like you would with your wardrobe. For me, one look head to toe doesn’t work and the same applies in the home. This mix gives a home texture and interest.I love to surround myself with vintage pieces that tell a story and items that I’ve brought back from our travels. The house is filled with things that remind us of places we’ve been, people we know and experiences we’ve had. I love homes where the pieces on display give a true sense of the people living there and the things they love. I hope that’s what people get when they visit us.
I’m certainly not a minimalist!
I like to surround myself with ‘things’ – I like to walk into a room and have my eye travel. A home should feel like a home. Based on that, to me, a room needs layers – so I take into account the space, what the room will be used for and by whom. Furniture can be kept simple, but I like vintage pieces mainly as I like that they have a story to tell. I then like to add texture with rugs, cushions, blankets, wall-hangings and art. They really help to soften a room, make it warm and cosy, and add visual interest.
It was our first ‘investment piece’ when my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I purchased our first home together. We went into Liberty (slightly inebriated after drinks in Soho – oh, pre-kids life!) and as soon as I saw it I knew we had to have it. It’s the Russell Pinch ‘Claude’ sofa and I love the simple lines and deep seats. We selected the fabric – lime green velvet! – which on paper sounds hideous. but was the best decision ever. It adds interest but honestly acts like a neutral. That sofa has been with us for nine years, has traveled with us when we moved overseas, from London to Dubai to Singapore and then home again – and I love that it’s been our constant companion and always made wherever we have lived feel like home. It’s also survived two children jumping on it on a daily basis – it’s been through a lot!
The chair was from a vintage shop in Singapore. I purchased it when I was pregnant with the twins and had it recovered in the mustard yellow linen fabric (it’s one of my favourite colours). I wanted an upright chair that I could feed the twins in. It never got used for that, but I love it!
The sideboard is a vintage apothecary cabinet. It came from a pharmacy in Old Street, East London. We sourced it via an antique dealer and I feel like it was meant to be – it fits into that gap in our living room with about 1cm to spare! I love it because it’s such a focal point in the room and is brilliant for storage. It hides both my stationery and candle addiction!
The wall-hanging is one which we stock at edit58. It’s by a brilliant weaver based in Nashville, Tennessee. A wall-hanging combines both art and textiles – the ultimate combination. It’s like having a mini rug on your wall! They add texture, colour and depth to a room and I’ve been thrilled with the response to them. People have purchased them for nurseries (a lovely idea for a baby to stare at), living spaces, bedrooms.
I’m constantly moving things from room to room
The basic set up remains the same, but I love to mix a room up – creating new vignettes and moving items from place to place. Lots of our pictures aren’t mounted on walls for this very reason. I love to ‘lean’ a picture and then have the ability to move it somewhere else. That’s another reason why I’m such a fan of rugs and wallhangings too as they are so easy to move around and instantly change the feel of a space.
I also love flowers and plants because they have the ability to inject colour and atmosphere into a room. Even changing those on a weekly/fortnightly basis can help to refresh a room.
The dining room (featuring George)
Thee table is actually an old school laboratory bench top (sourced from Retrouvious) – we simply got them to add the legs. There is also a cabinet that we sourced from Retrouvious (again!) that came from a school in Kent. It was used as pigeon holes for students to keep stuff in and I love that inside there are still remnants of this time – graffiti, stickers etc! The cabinet hides everything from colouring books/pens/crafts to my work things.
For now the artworks are mostly maps that are a reminder of our travels and life living overseas. (Top tip – these are simply wrapping paper by Cavallini for £2 each that we then framed!)
The chairs were purchased on eBay and painted. The basket is Eliza Gran (from edit58!) – told you I even use baskets as plant pots! I love having a cactus in it, as I feel the basket (which is from LA) must feel very at home with it in. I’m obsessed with fonts/lettering/signage – so a great friend gave us a ‘L’ and an ‘H’ (mine and my husband’s initials) when we lived in Dubai. He saw some workmen taking them off a shop frontage in Dubai and putting them in a skip. He grabbed as many as he could carry!
I mix up classic kitchen paraphernalia with ️artwork, flowers and cookbooks etc. It keeps things visually interesting
The cabinet is a 5m reclaimed museum cabinet (sourced from Lassco), with a granite countertop added. The kitchen flooring is actually Hopton Wood Fossilforous limestone reclaimed from Heathrow Terminal 2 concourse (sourced via Retrouvious) and the tiles are Zellige.
In the middle of the room we have added a zinc topped farmhouse island that comes from France. We simply added wheels to the base so we can move it around. It’s the centre of our life and we LOVE it. We eat here, prepare food, the children do crafts, play etc. So useful. The storage underneath is so handy too. The other really useful piece in the kitchen is the full size glass fronted cabinet. I love being able to see everything and it makes me use everything much more. Plus all the children’s crockery (melamine!) has been put on a shelf at their height so they can help themselves and feel very grown up.
I’m also a huge fan of open shelving in kitchens. Admittedly it does take more effort to keep things clean, but I like that I can mix up classic kitchen paraphernalia with ️artwork, flowers and cookbooks etc. It keeps things visually interesting and makes the room feel larger/airier than it is.
All the paint in our house is from Little Greene including the white floor paint. I love the chalky finish and that it goes on so well. It’s also all washable (two sets of sticky toddlers hands!).
We were still living overseas when we purchased the house and did the renovations. Based on that I felt we needed to keep the paint colours quite neutral as we hadn’t lived in the house (and couldn’t even visit!) and so didn’t have the insight of how the light was etc. We therefore selected a grey from the Little Greene range for the bedroom, and then used a range of tones from the same colour throughout the entire house. I like using a fairly neutral paint colour to allow the items in the room to do the talking. The walls are a blank canvas in that respect.
I treat a bed much like I do the rest of a house: an opportunity to layer up as much as possible, using different colours, textures and patterns to create visual interest and cosiness. I’m also bed linen obsessed: duvet covers, eiderdowns, blankets, cushions – you name it, I love it! Vintage eiderdowns I get from vintage markets (there will be a selection on edit58 to purchase very soon); blankets – these are edit58; duvet covers – always from Zara Home, La Redoute or Designers Guild. (I’m a linen bedding fanatic, so whenever I see I good one I purchase. I just got some great linen bedding from TK Maxx.) Cushions are edit58, of course!
The sign was purchased from Pedlars and the mirror belonged to my mother-in-law who sadly is no longer with us. I love that this was in her hallway and she looked into it every day, as we do now. We use one of our vintage flat weave runners as bathmat as they can be washed at 30 degrees. At last – nice bath mats! In fact, they can be used all over the home.
The cabinet is a new piece from Abigail Ahern, but I like that it looks old with the vintage wallpaper lining and distressed paintwork. It stores all our toiletries and the glass frontage encourages me to keep it tidy and well organized!
On styling children’s rooms
You’ll wish you’d never got me started on this! When we moved into our home our children were two and half, so we used the opportunity to move them into their ‘big’ beds’. They each have separate bedrooms, but I got them the same beds – iron ‘hospital’ style beds (white for Milla, black for George) from Maisons du Monde – which I love for their simplicity, that they look vintage (even though they aren’t) and their timelessness. From here, I then built up their room design from one inspiration item.
In Milla’s room it was the chest of drawers which was painted in pink, cream, green etc. It then provided the general colour scheme for the room. I’m a firm believer that children’s rooms don’t need to be in primary colours, that a subdued palette can work really well and mean that their rooms can grow with them. For this reason, much like the rest of the house, the children’s bedrooms are painted a soft grey and colour comes from their toys, artwork, furniture, bedding and books.
I wanted Milla’s room to have a fairly vintage feel all round really. I highly recommend junk shops, eBay and gumtree etc for children’s rooms. Milla’s wardrobe was about 35 quid from ebay and then I just painted it and changed out the handles. Her dolls house was picked up at a charity shop and painted. The mini chairs are from Tiger, the giraffe print/wallhanging is from ebay etc. The cheaper the better in a child’s room, as things do tend to take a knock and inevitably they will out grow certain items. You can’t be too precious about anything.
As in any room I like to have wooden floors in children’s rooms and then big rugs on top. I find this easier to keep clean, you can change the rugs as they get older/wear out – and I have been known to just scoop up all the lego on a rug and use the rug to pour it away into a basket!
That brings me on to baskets. ESSENTIAL in children’s rooms. We have large ones (Eliza Gran. Ikea, Tiger) in their rooms for all the toys (aka plastic crap) and smaller edit58 embroidered ones that are labelled ‘dolls’, ‘lego’, ‘mice’ etc for all their collections of bits. I also find this a good way to help them keep organized and be able to put their things away in the right place (ok, sometimes!). We also use these little mini baskets for their clothes too (‘socks’ ‘hats’ ‘pants’ etc). It makes tidying up so easy!
But where is all the plastic tat so beloved by children?
See above! All hidden away in baskets or styled up to look a little nicer than it really is! For me – a place for everything helps me keep their rooms tidy, and baskets/trunks etc help me do that.
I’m also fully aware that my children are only four and yet to get very vocal about their room design/preferences. I’m hoping that by keeping it all quite changeable the room will adapt with them. I’ll keep you posted!
Use books to create a constantly changing gallery
Having books on display (on simple Ikea picture frame shelves) makes them not only accessible to them, but allows you to create a constantly changing art gallery with the lovely cover designs. I also stole a tip from my sis-in-law and recently purchased a vintage toy pram to store all Milla’s books in. It is the perfect height for her, she can flick through the books and also move the books from room to room.
We mix up these picture shelves with artwork too. Again – really cheap simple bits – it could be a postcard from granny, a note from a friend, a birthday card – it just adds a nice touch to have these personal bits interspersed with books.
Finally: bedding! My children’s rooms are simply another opportunity for me to go bedding mad, I’m afraid. Duvet covers, eiderdowns, pom pom blankets and cushions. Changing their bed each week *might* be a personal highlight. I’m also worried about what I have passed on to them. They are obsessed as me with being ‘cosy’ and snuggling up in bedding. What have I created?!
Other tips: make even the mundane parts of their room look good by styling them up. I put all Milla’s best shoes on display on a tray underneath her wardrobe. Nice little toys go under plastic cloches (from Tiger), beautiful vintage toys I’ve picked up along the way (that get played with, don’t worry!) are on display on cabinets. Hair bows and bands go into old Bonne Maman jam jars. Pick up vintage suitcases (or modern tin ones) and hide stuff in those. In George’s room we use a cheap Ikea PS white cabinet to stash his more unsightly bits. It’s possible to make all the kiddy clutter look good if you think about it!
I have this thing about baskets…
I have just counted the number of baskets in our house for you and it’s an embarrassing 26! In summary they are used for storing: chopping boards, children’s coats, shoes, toys, newspapers/magazines, beauty paraphernalia, wrapping paper and ribbon, by the kitchen sink to store washing-up liquid, soap and brushes/sponges. And as plant pots and for laundry. In Milla’s room she even has some in her wardrobe [above] that are embroidered with ‘socks’ ‘hats’ “tights’ etc – and therefore help keep her wardrobe organized and easy to navigate!