I've always had an intense passion for unique living spaces and have aimed to create surroundings that complement and reflect my style and interests. People spend a lot of time in their homes, and we should aim to make them true oases that make us feel calm, comfortable, and complete. I started taking this approach to interior design seriously in 2003, when I finally owned my first home. I've lived in three places since — which of course now includes my flat in London with Luis. Below you'll find a history of these legendary spaces; starting with our current home and looking back over the previous 15 years.
Luis and I took the anticipated plunge and moved in together in central London in April 2017. We both had a vision of what we wanted, and we also knew how difficult it would be to find something that met our home design standards in such a competitive market. After a few months of searching meticulously, we found a distinctive converted warehouse in northeast London that was built in 1912. Our flat straddles the Islington and Hackney boroughs, areas that coincidentally remind me of Little Five Points where I used to live in Atlanta.
During the process of moving in together, Luis and I both wanted to create a new compelling space that reflected our combined aesthetic. This challenged us to dispose of the old and recreate the new. We purchased a new dining table, sofa, sideboard, vintage dresser, refurbished school locker, coffee table, office shelving, bed, and home accessories. I upgraded my infamous DJ console — the orange one with so much history from Atlanta (see the gallery at the bottom of this page) — and transformed it into a minimal, modern, white DJ booth crafted in Germany by Hoerboard. Luis also built a new industrial wardrobe for our clothing, which is as stunning as it is functional. Needless to say, our adventure in design has been quite the overhaul.
After many months, we finally achieved an almost-complete vision of our interior design. Luis has inspired me to embrace vintage elements, which add significant character. Given he's a theatre designer by trade, I wouldn't expect anything less.
In the scrolling gallery below, you can view our flat and see how it's come to life:
The flat has an open floor plan with two bedrooms. It has its original warehouse windows and brick interior, adding definitive character.
We've been particularly specific about what we've put on the walls — dominated by a bold, massive, framed and split photograph I took of a road in Iceland when I was there in 2015. It looms over the dining table, almost demanding discussion of adventure. We still have a few pieces of art to find to complete the space.
Luis has rewired much of the lighting, specifically in the kitchen, dining area, and bedroom. This has made the lighting less harsh and more intimate.
Most of the lighting in the rest of the flat is powered by Philips Hue, which adds a wonderful ambience.
Luis was kind enough to allow me to populate our entrance hallway with a number of Pet Shop Boys album sleeves. The ingenious thing about these frames is that they open to allow for easy access to pull them down and play them when the vinyl mood strikes.
Our bedroom is a true sanctuary and presents an intersection of industrial and vintage design. The refurbished locker is perfect for clothes and the wardrobe that Luis built adds to the rugged aesthetic.
Luis works in a sizable studio in nearby Shoreditch, and he was kind enough to let me convert our second bedroom into my home office and DJ studio. I use it for both my job and various creative projects.
Our least liked part of the flat is the bathroom. We would love to replace the sink, toilet, and overhaul the shower. But of course those are all big undertakings. I am pleased with the colour palette, which includes two scenic earth-toned photographs from our 2016 trip to Portugal. We also replaced the lighting, installed a proper medicine cabinet, and upgraded all of the fixtures.
Kingston Upon Thames, 2011—2017
In the spring of 2011, I relocated my life to the UK. All of my possessions were shipped overseas and needless to say rigorously downsized. Upon arriving in London, I was tasked with finding a place and I yearned for something comparable in size and aesthetic to my spacious, industrial Atlanta loft. This was nearly impossible considering that London had one of the highest costs of living (although this has changed dramatically since the misguided Brexit decision). It's still an expensive city, and in order to find something with a bit more space, I decided to settle outside the city centre in Kingston Upon Thames. During my six year stint at that location, I created a quaint, smaller version of my former Atlanta loft. Although not as large, industrial, nor bold as my former home, it still had unique charm and sat beautifully on the River Thames. You can see that living space by clicking through the gallery above.
The first true physical manifestation of Remark Central was my loft near Little Five Points in Atlanta, Georgia. I lived in and owned this property from December 2003 through April 2011. My loft was located in a community called La France Street Lofts, comprised of 90 units converted from a former decommissioned lumber storage warehouse.
Living in this space brought a vision to life that I had wanted to do for years. I thought of my loft as being more like a swanky lounge than a home, complete with a video projector, DJ booth, exposed architecture, and lighting to fit the mood. My former partner and I hosted tremendous memorable parties there — particularly on New Year's Eve. Most of our friends thought of the loft as being a neighbourhood mini-nightclub, and during this time, my loft was showcased on various websites and a handful of publications for its forward-thinking design and club-like inspired decor. To get a sense of the design aesthetic, scroll through the rotating gallery below.
I hope you've enjoyed this stroll through my former and current living spaces. Luis and I couldn't be happier with our cohabitation and how we've made our flat truly a home. Feel free to email me if you have questions or comments about my passion for interior design.