My Cultural Diary: Designer Abigail Ahern
INSIDER'S LOOK: Design secrets from Abigail Ahern, colour guru and interior expert
Having made a name for herself as the Queen of eclectic and unique interiors, the Ahern design empire is now expanding to encompass an Alternative Design School. Students are invited to learn how to create their own stylish spaces; ones that will reflect the designer's personality and influences from wherever they might have hail from, or have travelled to in the world.
We caught up with the interior style maverick, lecturer, author Abigail Ahern to discover her favourite spots in London and her design secrets.
Inside Atelier Abigail Ahern, Upper Street
Quick fix? Paint is the quickest, cheapest and most transformative thing you can do to instantly update a space. Whether it’s spray painting an old vintage furniture find, or painting floors, walls and ceilings out in an incredible new colour, it’s the best quick fix ever.
Labour of love? Building a beautiful, personality-filled room takes a while - you can’t just instantly buy all your furniture, lighting and accessories, plonk them down and hope it’ll work! You really need to collect things that you love over time, and develop your own style and figure out the vibe of the room. The best rooms have layers and layers of different design elements.
Interior design must have? Plants and flowers, whether they’re real or faux.
French country or Scandinavian minimalism? Neither! Although if you held a gun to my head and made my choose then I would go for French country.
Worst design of the decade? Minimalism?
The colour that's often forgot? Black.
Most overused tones? White.
If you could live in one room for the rest of your life? Living room.
Designer Abigail Ahern
Old Favourite? Cecconi's
New discovery? The Richmond. It’s just opened in my neighbourhood and has the best selection of raw wines and seafood - the first and only speciality seafood place in East London!
Best-loved walk or view? Along the canal to the Tow Path cafe.
Favourite local restaurant? Lardo
Most memorable cultural experience of the last year? London Design Festival is always a biggie for me.
Hidden gem no-one else knows about? Maltby Food Market, I am obsessed with that place.
Best place for a first date? Have a fabulous coffee at Monmouth at Borough, then take a walk along the South Bank.
Best for children? The London Eye
Where will you be seen this month? I’m running my Design School at my pad, and also speaking at the May Design Series. I’ll definitely be visiting Dalston Street Feast too, and I have to fit in a couple of trips to China. Crazy month!