Design

A Cozy London Apartment

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Skye McAlpine of the food blog From My Dining Table lives in London with her husband, Anthony, and their almost-four-year-old son, Aeneas. Over the past six years, she’s turned the once run-down Victorian apartment into a elegant space that’s made for entertaining. Take a peek inside (you can almost smell something delicious coming out of the oven)…

KITCHEN

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Pots and pans: Ruffoni. Gold cake platter: West Elm.

On fixing up the space: When we first moved in, the Victorian flat was quite run down and higgledy piggledy. The floors are slanted and the doors a bit crooked, but I like that. We also love the big windows, since the rooms get amazing light. We’re on a busy street in South London full of restaurants and coffee shops.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Dining table and chairs: vintage. Chandelier: vintage. Table lamp: Anglepoise.

On casual entertaining: We love having people over — we’ll do a Saturday or Sunday roast, and our friends will bring their friends. The living room is right off the kitchen, so it’s a great open space to hang out. It’s much more intimate and relaxed than going to a bar or restaurant — especially if you have children. I find that people stay longer, too. At a restaurant, everyone leaves after the meal, but at home we serve coffee and wine after and people stay late and chat.

On bigger parties: I love cooking for loads of people, so I’m very happy when we have an excuse to celebrate something. For my husband’s last birthday, we had about 20 people over and I made slow-roasted pork. (You just shove it in the oven for 12 hours.) My husband loves Pavlova, so I made with one with dark chocolate and one with berries. For my son’s fourth birthday, we cleared out all the furniture in the living room, so the kids could just run around and eat cake.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

On spices: My husband always jokes, “This is ridiculous, why do you need so much flour?” He doesn’t really get it, but sometimes you need different flour for things! I’ve got plain flour, the really fine Italian 00 flour, self-raising flour, cornmeal flour, buckwheat, strong bread flour and gluten-free if I’m baking for friends who don’t eat gluten — and they’re all labeled on the bottom. When it comes to spices, I use a lot of cinnamon because it’s so warm.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

On hanging out in the kitchen: When I’m cooking, Aeneas loves to be involved, especially if I’m making pie and he can play with some dough. I have horrible taste in music and basically love 80s pop, but my husband used to play the piano, so he’ll usually put on classical music.

On go-to meals: When it’s just the three of us, we eat quite simply — mostly pasta and fish. Aeneas has always been a great eater, so that helps. He loves artichoke hearts, which are a special treat. He loves pasta with pesto. We have a tiny, tiny terrace with a tiny, tiny BBQ. My husband will make steaks or lamb chops with a salad.

LIVING ROOM

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Sofa, coffee table and chair: vintage. Pink and white pillow: H&M.

On vintage pieces: We have lots of furniture from flea markets and charity shops. Our building is so old that it didn’t seem right to fight against that! I was raised in Venice, Italy, and I love that our chandeliers are from the Venetian glass factories — we found them at a flea market, so they’re slightly chipped. My father was a great collector, and our home felt like a cabinet of curiosities. I think that I’ve inherited a love of quirky clutter from him.

On flowers and fruits: Every week or two, I’ll go to the flower market for whatever’s in season. The flowers last longer and are cheaper. Roses last longer, too. I also like putting out bowls of fruit. We obviously eat the fruit as we go along, and when it gets down to the end, I’ll make a crumble or cake.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment7

Gold mirror: vintage. Green pillows: House of Hackney.

On mood boards: I have two pin boards up in the living room for inspiration. I will pin up recipes with great flavors, ones that were shot really well or just beautiful imagery. They are constantly changing and evolving. Magazines are wonderful, but don’t like them gathering in stacks around the house. So, I will buy one and read it right away, tear out all the inspiring pages, pin them on the board, and then get rid of it. I like Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Wine, Vogue and Cherry Bombe.

skye-mcalpine-tour-9

On blankets: Whenever my mom asks what she should get us for Christmas, I always ask for a rug or blanket. I really love everything to be cozy. Because I work from home, it’s important that this is a calming space and a refuge from the city. I find London to be quite manic and overwhelming, so I wanted the house to feel warm, welcoming and soothing.

MASTER BEDROOM

skye-mcalpine-tour-12

Wallpaper: Zoffany. Bedframe: Loaf.

On wallpaper: Wallpaper instantly gives character and warmth to a room. I chose a French toile print for our bedroom. Pink is my favorite color, I find it very soothing. We used to live in a tiny studio, which had a pink fridge and kitchen counters. My husband has gotten quite used to the pink thing.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Pineapple lamp: House of Hackney.

On birds: The bird prints above our bed came from a book on parrots that my dad gave us years ago for Christmas. My husband loves birds and wildlife. We thought they were so beautiful that it was a shame they were all in a book where no one could see them, so we framed four of them.

SON’S BEDROOM

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Pillows: Volga Linen. Blankets: knitted by a friend.

On trees: I saw this tree wallpaper at a friend’s house and fell completely in love with it. I wanted something that Aeneas would like, but that wasn’t obviously childish. I thought it was really magical for a little boy’s bedroom because it felt very Robin Hood.

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

Skye McAlpine's London Apartment

On reading together: My son loves playing at his work bench in his room and has tons of Legos. We also read a lot of books together. He loves Peter Rabbit, Thomas the Tank Engine and anything about dinosaurs. I am kind of longing for him to be a bit older, so we can read Harry Potter and the books I loved when I was younger.

Thank you so much, Skye! Your home is so beautiful.

P.S. More house tours including a rambling Sonoma garden and a city apartment with a cabin vibe.

(Photos by Skye McAlpine for Cup of Jo. Interior design by Jersey Ice Cream Co and Skye McAlpine. Interview by Megan Cahn.)

  1. What a beautiful space! Thank you for sharing! Kate xx

  2. Love the aesthetic at work here. The light fills the space and makes the jars look incredibly tactile. It feels luxurious, homely yet practical. A triumph!

  3. Love the exposed spices in the kitchen…. Always wished I had more of an exposed layout as opposed to cabinets. One day.

  4. I am in love with the living room, with the tall window and fresh breeze coming in to allow one to cool down after a hard day at work..

  5. I like the living room, with the tall window and fresh breeze coming in to allow one to cool down after a hard day at work..

  6. Nice, I love it..

  7. What abeautiful apartment! It does have a Venetian vibe, I think the walls do the trick! I love Skye McAlpine and I folow her on Instagram , Pinterest… everywhere!
    Thanks for sharing!
    xx,
    E.
    http://www.theslowpace.com

  8. Heather says...

    I LOVE TOILE!!!!

    Joanna – thank you for sharing this! I feel that many of the apartment tours – while all special – similarly fit into the very chic & sleep midcentury modern/eclectic look that your place in Brooklyn has… so I love to see something a little outside of that box. Very cool!

  9. Oh I am such a fan of Skye’s and am delighted you’ve shared her beautiful home! It’s stunning! x

  10. t says...

    The wood floors are amazing.

  11. Every room is cozy but chic. I love the distressed and color of the walls in the kitchen and living room. And your couch is just what I am looking for…so cool.

  12. Caroline says...

    I adore your sons room; what fabric did you use for his window treatments?? Love how well it goes with the wallpaper (which I adore as well!)….I’ve been looking for something similar for some time for my baby boy’s room.

  13. Katie says...

    This home is ethereal and I want to cozy up in it! Also, can I tell you how much I love that your son’s name is Aeneas??

  14. So fun to see a house tour from abroad! The flat is beautiful. My four-year old also loves pasta pesto. I find it so funny because I don’t think I really liked anything green when I was little…

    http://www.minipiccolini.com

  15. Absolutely wonderful and so gorgeous. There’s just something special about the whole space <3

  16. Samantha says...

    Loved the kitchen, the modern look of the counter top and cabinets against the vintage feel of the appliances. I wish I had that many flours! One of my wishes is to have enough money one day to buy all the ingredients for all the recipes I wanna make and not have to think about it, so all those flours are just dreamy to me. And her room is so lovely and looks super cozy. I wish my boyfriend would agree to decorate our room like that, but that’s not gonna happen. I love throws and blankets too, it does sound like a great idea to ask for blankets as presents because I’m always cold lol. And the wallpaper on her kid’s room is so cool, I kinda wanna decorate my nephews bedroom with a similar one.

  17. this is just stunning. I’m curious. do you rent or own? also, for the pink walls in the kitchen, how did you go about getting that exact texture and color…is it a plaster? you definitely nailed that venetian villa blush (my favorite hue) and I’m dying to know how. thank you!

    • Apple says...

      I would say they definitely own the flat. In London you wouldn’t be allowed to hang wallpaper, paint new colours, and add shelves etc if it was a rental : )

  18. Gorgeous space! I especially love the way the pink walls are painted. Maybe I missed it in here, but how is that achieved? So cool!

  19. I love that you buy less than perfect items to decorate your home e.g., chipped chandeliers. I think sometimes I look for items that aren’t blemished at all but what lovely character it lends and so nice to make your home’s atmosphere cozy and sweet. thanks for sharing.

  20. Kate says...

    Luring friends into lingering for 5 hours over dinner is exactly my approach to a party at home. I just inherited 6 Thonet chairs, love how they look, but wondered if they were comfortable enough for the long haul. Good to see they work for you!

  21. Kim says...

    I really like how she sets out the flowers and fruit. It feels considered, yet still casual.

  22. HeatherSJ says...

    What a dreamy place!

    (Haha, I love all the comments asking about the pronunciation of Aeneas. Must not be many classics majors reading CoJ. 😝)

    • Was just thinking the same thing! The Aeneid was required reading for us at our inner city public high school.

  23. Katy says...

    I’m so curious how you find these homes for your blog. Are people submitting their homes for consideration or are these friends and acquaintances that you know? Just wondering… :)

  24. What a beautiful house! You have made this place truly lovely. I especially love the copper pans hanging in the kitchen! What a dream!

    xxx

    http://nicolaranson.com

  25. Claire says...

    So beautiful.

    ‘Victorian Apartment’ feels funny to my British ear ;)
    We only tend to say apartment for very modern buildings. Victorian flat, maybe.

    Thanks for always featuring such quality content – I always love every post.

  26. Ali says...

    And her Instagram is the very best.

  27. Gem says...

    Wowwww! This is beautiful. I feel like often the home tours featured on Cup of Jo are all of a similar style (they’re beautiful, don’t get me wrong!) but this is very different, and I love it!

  28. Alice says...

    Beautiful! The sofa, coffee table, flooring, parrots, and all that flour – swoon. Completely dreamy. But then I picture kids running amok and Morten Harket’s voice drifting around the gorgeous wallpaper and it adds a really fun, lively, element. Perfect home. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Janel says...

    Love the darling home!

    Aeneas, such a gorgeous name! I had to look up how to pronounce it, as its new to me.

    Uh-née-us is case anyone wants to know.. :)

  30. Julia E says...

    I love that big cutting board. Would love to know where it’s from :-) Thanks! What a great house tour!

    • Hi Julia, it’s an old olive wood board that my mother gave us – I’m not sure where she found it! Sorry not to be more help! :)

  31. This place just oozes character. I LOVE it!!!
    Best & Bisous,
    Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

  32. Oh, those rows of jars!

  33. donnaB says...

    curious if you rent or own your apartment?

  34. Kate says...

    Can you recommend any good used furniture places in central/north? Love this tour!

    • Hi Kate! Thank you so much! I buy a lot of things from the Antiques Market on Northcote Rd in Battersea; the market at Spitalfields on Thursday mornings is also a treasure trove; as are the little shops around Portobello. Hope that helps a little! Xx

    • Kate says...

      It does! I will check them out, thank you! :)

  35. rach says...

    One of the most beautiful charming homes!

  36. Flora Guevara says...

    my favorite out of all that you have featured!

  37. Cynthia says...

    It is so cozy! I love the fireplace and mantel, as well as the big windows. I feel as though I am stepping back in time when I am looking at the pictures of the rooms. I love old houses anyway. We live in a colonial cape cod built in 1939, and it has lots of character. I live in Richmond, Virginia, and we have lots of Victorian houses in the middle of the city.

  38. Beautiful house! Love the pink!

  39. Jessica says...

    Woooow. *heart eyes*

  40. Laura says...

    That kitchen is dream! Is it a Jersey Ice Cream Co. creation? I adore their work.

    • Yes! It is a Jersey Ice Cream Co. creation! So glad someone put that together!

    • Melissa says...

      I also instantly recognized their work. It’s so distinctive and so, so beautiful.

    • Hi Laura, yes it is! Xx

    • e says...

      I should have known from those beautiful walls! Adore the pink kitchen walls.

  41. Valentina says...

    This is such a beautiful home!!
    Do you know where’s the wallpaper on Aeneas room from?

    • Hi Valentina! The wallpaper is by a Sweedish company called Sandberg – they have so many beautiful designs and prints. Here is a link to their site: https://sandbergwallpaper.com

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I hope you have a lovely weekend! Xx

    • LOVE Sandberg!

  42. Judy says...

    Higgledy piggledy! Must fit into my vocabulary :-)

    And ditto on the lovely wallpaper. So refreshing and welcoming. Getting tired of white walls and fiddle leaf figs everywhere!

  43. Jo says...

    So beautiful!!! Are the pink kitchen walls Venetian plaster? We used that in our bathroom but couldn’t find pigments we liked so went with the plain tones of the white plaster.? I’d like to be to find a good pigment source. Thanks!

    • Gypsum plaster, not Venetian. Just more of a matte look. Try Guerra Paint and Pigment!

    • Hi Jo, the Jersey Ice Cream Co did the plaster for us – they might have some tips on pigment sources (I’m way out of my depth there!)… Have a lovely weekend!! Xx

  44. Rosie says...

    swoon swoon swoon. so feminine and charming and cozy and warm. just beautiful.

  45. I actually LOVE that kitchen. The shelves and the hanging pans…beautiful.

  46. Jane says...

    Their place feels so warm! While Victorian isn’t my personal style, I appreciate that this apartment tour is so different from all of the white-on-white apartments that are currently en vogue.

  47. I’m curious, how do you pronounce her son’s name?

  48. kathy says...

    I LOVE this house. So much character. I’ve gotten so used to mid-century modern. This house is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing! xoxo

    • Jessica says...

      Kathy, I thought the exact same thing! It seems like every home I see on the internet is in the similar mid-century modern vein, with bright white walls. Nothing against that look but I loved seeing something more vintage, even romantic here. When I got to the end of the photos, I was actually sad there weren’t more! One of my all-time favorite Cup of Jo home tours.

  49. Do I spy a pink fridge in the corner of the second living room shot?! It’s great to see a home with color on the walls!

  50. Shannon says...

    Where is that beautiful tree wallpaper from??

    • Hi Shannon! The tree wallpaper is from a Sweedish company called Sandberg – I love all their designs… Here is a link to their site in can you want to take a peek: https://sandbergwallpaper.com

      Have a lovely weekend! Xx

  51. What brand is that amazing toy work bench?

    • Hi Mariel, I’m so sorry – I’m not sure where that one came from originally. I bought it second hand from a friend who has a beautiful toy shop in London called Semolina. Xx

  52. I absolutely love the walls and use of wallpaper! I finally decided to wallpaper a few rooms in my home to brighten things up, and I cannot believe the difference it makes! We’re vacationing in Paris right now and its enchanting seeing all the wallpaper hung in old homes and buildings. Gorgeous silk walls, you never see opulence like that anymore! I think wallpaper always adds that little extra touch, element of design which cannot be conveyed simply by painting! Gorgeous!!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  53. Laura says...

    LOVE the pink, worn-in wall color. Is that a paint technique or wallpaper?

    • Lea says...

      I would love to know as well!

    • Laurel says...

      Same here, dying to know!

    • Erin says...

      Same! Love it!

    • Hey all, The walls are Venetian plaster with pigment added to create that dreamy pink color. Percy worked with Anthropologie for a few years perfecting the technique and we use it whenever we can. We had to source some UK pigment we’re not used to while we were over there, but it ended up turning out amazing. Pink plaster forever and ever.

    • It’s a special plaster veneer wall finish that we did. Thanks!

    • MissEm says...

      I want to know too!

    • Hi Laura! The pink walls are Venetian plaster by the Jersey Ice Cream Co. Xx

    • LT says...

      I’m curious, too! It looks exactly like tinted Venetian plaster, which is wonderful . . . as long as you never plan to change it, since you can’t just paint over it. The plaster is usually sealed with wax, so you have to remove the wax, at least, and often the plaster, which is an expensive, time-consuming job for professionals. You can get a very similar effect by using sheer washes of tinted glaze or thinned-down paint. I’ve sponged my walls with oil pigment mixed with oil glaze and gotten a similar effect, too. For guidance I used a book called “Paint Magic” by Jocasta Inness.

  54. Michela says...

    I thought she lived in Venice! I would love to see her venetian flat!

  55. Mo says...

    Want to burn down my mid-century LA house and live in this pink wonderland now! So, so gorgeous.

  56. Summer says...

    Looove to cozy feeling of this place. Thank you for sharing, Skye!

  57. Deb says...

    I’d been wondering where all the good British food blogs were! Thanks Jo and the team for finding me one!

  58. Tricia says...

    All of the blush, navy, and green accents are to die for! That little living room with its navy fireplace and big leather couch. I want to go to there!!!

  59. The pineapple lamp made me smile, especially with that lampshade. I love all the pink–it’s warm without being too cutesy. Beautiful parquet floors, too.

  60. Natalie says...

    I adore this house! The pink is so pretty and the open shelving is divine! Thank you for sharing xoxox

  61. Lauren E. says...

    I basically sat with my mouth hanging open the entire time I read this. WOW. This home is absolutely stunning.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree!!!

  62. NHA says...

    This home is spectacular. Love the deviation from the typical Brooklyn aesthetic- more please!

    • Dee says...

      I agree! Such a thoughtful comment, I do love NY loft apartments, but that’s just the housing stock where I live so its nice to see great design from elsewhere.

    • Bec says...

      Second this!

    • Jessica says...

      Agree! While I love the NYC and San Francisco home tours, I get so excited when it’s a house or apartment from somewhere else. And as a real Anglophile, I say bring on more UK homes!

  63. Lucy says...

    I am completely and utterly in love with that kitchen!