Say hello to Athina Bluff, one half of Interior Design duo, Topology, and the latest addition to our Today’s Coolest Habitats series. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek inside her small – but perfectly formed – London flat, as part of our ‘small space living‘ project with the pair. Athina discusses how she has expertly optimised the flat’s square footage, without compromising on style. Take a look for yourself…
Where do you live and who do you live with?
I live in South West London in between Brixton and Oval with my best friend.
Why did you choose this particular location and home?
My boyfriend moved to the area, so I got to know Oval really well and fell in love with it. It’s full of different cultures, is incredibly central and there’s loads of small independent bars and eateries nearby.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Can you summarise what you do for a living?
I’m the founder of an online interior design service and award winning interior blog called Topology. In short, I aim to make having an interior designer – which lets face it, is a bit of a luxury! – affordable to anyone. Since it’s all done virtually, our design service fee is very low.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Your home has such a huge impact on your personal wellbeing and quality of life. This is what inspires me to do what I do. I love helping people create their dream space that makes their life that much more enjoyable.
What exciting projects have you been working on lately?
Well Topology have just completed an installation for Habitat in their flagship store! It was a living room design that aimed to show off some great small space solutions. See more here.
How would you describe your interior style?
Ever changing! Currently though, loving Scandi influences mixed with industrial and rustic vibes.
Are you a Habitat Voyeur?
Yes, yes and double yes.
Whose home do you most admire?
I’m loving an Instagram account called ‘restoringlansdowne’. The owner Kristine is renovating a Victorian home in London – she has a great eye for design. Think dark walls, rich woods, metallics and velvets – all my favourites.
What does Habitat mean to you?
It reminds me of my parents home I grew up in. There were always Habitat shopping bags lying around the house from recent purchases. As a kid I spent a lot of time following my mum around the Kings Road store, so I guess you could say it’s a part of my childhood!
Which Habitat products do you love and why?
What’s your favourite thing about your home?
Since I’m so close to Westminster, sometimes I can hear Big Ben chime at night – when I hear it, it reminds me I’m in one of the best cities in the world and gives me bit of a buzz!
What was your last interiors project and purchase?
I’ve just completed two bedrooms for two girls under five. Their mum’s brief was ‘all things pink and gold with a hint of unicorn’! It was great fun to do as my inner child got to come out and play. We bought things like a candy pink beaded chandelier, a unicorn head mount and pink sheepskins!
Have you made this house your home?
Yes to a certain extent – I rent so I always knew this home would only be mine for two years, as I’m soon to move in with my boyfriend. In light of this, I’ve done what I can under landlord restraints – so I’ve painted a few walls and bought or upcycled furniture but if it was up to me, I’d gut the kitchen, get rid of the flooring and go dark throughout the entire flat.
Tell us about your most treasured possessions? What’s travelled with you from home to home?
I really love my chest of drawers – I bought it in a market and it came from Afghanistan. It’s quite distressed and has intricate metal detail on the drawer front which I love. I also love my vintage bus destination blind. To me it’s oversized art. It’s very fragile and a bit beaten up – but I think that adds to it’s charm.
Where is the heart of your home?
Probably my bedroom as to me it’s a calming space where I can fully relax. I have lots of little luxuries in it like candles, high quality bed cushions & linen plus I always ensure there are some flowers in there too. I’ve added a desk in my room as sometimes I like to work from home so it gets a lot of use from me.
If you could re-live one moment in this house what would it be? Tell us about your favourite memory.
I really enjoyed my last birthday when my girlfriends held me a sleepover party! Despite being 25 years old and probably too grown up for this, they turned my living room into a den filled with mattresses and we had such a laugh drinking prosecco, watching films and doing face masks. Not very rock and roll but fun nonetheless!
Is this your perfect habitat?
In all honesty, probably not – I am looking to buy with my partner so I presume that will be our perfect habitat. Somewhere I can really make my own where there’s no limitations on what I can do to it. Being a designer it’s so frustrating renting as all you want to do is get rid of existing features! This home has been amazing though and currently what would complete it would be a Habitat Hendricks velvet sofa!
Tell us something interesting about yourself or your home that not many people know.
Van Gogh used to live round the corner. There’s a blue plaque and all!
Like what you see? Explore more of Athina’s home.