Today’s Coolest Habitats: Tilly Hemingway

When you’re born into design royalty, great taste is inherently in your bones. Step forward Tilly Hemingway and our latest love on Today’s Coolest Habitats. Tilly is the second child of Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, best known as the founders of eponymous brand, Red or Dead. Tilly is a multi-disciplinary designer and partner in the the family business, Hemingway Design. She lives, with her partner, Dan, within an iconic 1970’s housing estate in north London (and one of our architectural favourites) designed by the revered modernist architect Neave Brown.

Here we get to know a little more about Tilly, her life and her home.

“I’m a designer by day and potter by night. I’ve worked for the family business; Hemingway Design, since graduating from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL in 2009, where I read Urban Design. At Hemingway Design I work across various design fields, from urban design and regeneration to furniture and product design. A couple of years ago I started my own ceramics business and now spend a few evenings a week making hand thrown ceramics in my studio attached to the office.

“I feel very lucky being able to work on a range of different projects on a day to day basis and I really enjoy working alongside my family (my mum, dad and older brother are all part of the business). Making ceramics helps me wind down after a long day and working with my hands is such a nice contrast to sitting at a computer screen. Though I do need to work at finding a balance between the two.

“Our philosophy at Hemingway Design is to improve the things that matter in life, and we honestly feel that good design can do this. I find working on urban design/regeneration projects the most rewarding; having somewhere nice to call home is important and knowing you have contributed to improving someone’s living environment is a good feeling.

“Our home is a split level maisonette, constructed in the 1970’s. Typical of that era, the kitchen/dining/living areas are open plan on one floor. I enjoy cooking and tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, with it being open plan I can still be in the same room and communicative with Dan and friends when we are entertaining.

“There’s lots of things I love about our home. The light is amazing, the living room has an entirely glazed elevation and on a sunny day it can feel like I’m abroad. It’s also very peaceful. The estate is pedestrianised, it’s rare not to hear cars when living in London, but here you only hear people, kids playing, dogs barking. On warm days, kids bring out tables and chairs and play, there’s a nice sense of community.

“My interior style is mid-century, modernist and Japanese inspired. I’ve a love of 1950’s and 60s design and have collected a number of pieces over the years that I really treasure. Our sofa is from the 1960’s, it belonged to a friend who was moving home and didn’t have space for it, we took it off his hands and had it completely re-conditioned. Dan built the day bed in our living room from left over sheets of plywood we installed for our bedroom floor. I’ve also been heavily influenced by the Japanese interior design aesthetic after travelling to Japan in 2006 with my family and again a few years ago with a good friend.

“My parents have shopped at Habitat since buying their first home just before I was born. I grew up in Wembley and can recall frequent visits to the Tottenham Court Road store. I’m a big fan of the washed bedding. I must have it in at least three colours! The muted tones are lovely and it looks great straight out of the wash. I hate ironing! I’m a fan of all things woven so the Duffield woven storage baskets would be ideal as laundry baskets or to house our larger houseplants. Cobalt blue appears to be a theme in our flat so the Olmo dark blue dinner set wouldn’t go amiss either.”

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