A PASSION FOR beautiful and inspirational design – and the influence of his colleagues at England stationery and giftware store Kikki.K – has certainly helped shape the simple, uncluttered two-bedroom London terrace that Neil Kenna shares with his partner Ash McMaster. “My style and philosophy is one shared by the business I work in,” Neil says. “We follow the mantra ‘an uncluttered space means an uncluttered mind’.”
The couple bought the house two years ago. Fortunately it was structurally in great condition and also featured a neutral design and colour palette, so no renovations were required. The predominant use of white and beige in the home made it feel both light and spacious – and also the perfect blank canvas, just waiting for the duo’s personal touch. It also satisfied their penchant for a Scandinavian design aesthetic. “I love the combination of warm wooden tones with high-gloss white,” Neil says. “This contrast captures my love of simplicity and clean lines, but with a warm, rather than a cold feeling.”
There was only one aspect of the home that was less than favourable – the purple laminate kitchen cupboards. Unfortunately purple is not one of Neil’s favourite hues. However, to make this colour work for him he cleverly provided interest and contrast in the way of furnishings, fixtures and bold yellow wall art, which complements the purple doors, and also emphasises the wood finishes. “I don’t like colour on its own; I like the pairing of colour and tone, to create a complementary colour palette,” he explains. It is also the clever styling of this home that has given it an edge, with the skilful combination of objects, colours and fixtures and fittings providing real visual appeal. The home’s northern European design flavour has been further enhanced by the use of maple and Victorian ash timbers in furniture such as the dining table, leather recliner and living room sofa.
Neil freely admits to being very passionate about homewares, with exquisite examples found throughout his home. “I just love things,” he says. “I don’t understand saving the ‘good stuff’ for special occasions. What’s the point of buying nice glassware if you’re not going to enjoy it every day?” Just as he and Ash enjoy their glassware daily, they also revel in their beautiful home!