At Home With Cate St Hill

Cate St Hill is architecture journalist, design and interiors blogger and founder member of new online interiors community at{mine}, which helps design lovers to discover real interiors from across the globe. Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an architectural journalist by day (at Blueprint magazine) and a design and interiors blogger by night. I’ve also just finished writing my first book on temporary architecture for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

2. Where do you live?

I live on the cusp of Bloomsbury and King’s Cross, not far from the Brunswick Centre, with my French boyfriend. We live in a two bedroom flat in a four-storey, red-brick block from the 1930s. I love the area, it’s super well-connected and an easy 20 minute walk away from Covent Garden or Angel; King’s Cross has really changed over the past few years and we’re spoilt for choice with coffee shops and restaurants. My favourite street in London, Lamb’s Conduit Street, is also not far – I love to pick up books at Persephone bookshop or browse the small independent boutiques.

3. Who do you live with?

I’ve been living with my boyfriend for a year and half, I bought the flat when I was a student at UCL and lived here with two friends during my studies and for a couple of years afterwards to save money. My bedroom was the living room, so it’s lovely now to have a proper living room and spare bedroom!

4. Tell us a little bit about your home.

Our flat is no 13, some people would think that’s unlucky, but I don’t (yet!). We’re on the third floor and even though it’s right in the centre of town, it’s a lovely quiet flat, and being south-facing it’s very light. We have two generously sized bedrooms, one of which doubles as our home office and a room we let out on airbnb. The living room is the hub of the home and has a small balcony where I try to exercise my green fingers, we’ve got herbs, clematis, lavender and sunflowers at the moment.

We’ve gone for quite a neutral colour palette – everything is painted white or a very light grey, we wanted to keep it light and calm, with a bit of a Scandi vibe, and let some of the accessories do the talking.  

5. What made you choose to live here in this property?

At the time I was a student at nearby UCL so it seemed like the perfect location, I wanted to be within walking distance of the university and King’s Cross back then, in 2006, was pretty run-down, and relatively cheap! When I bought the flat, it was looking a bit sad, with terrible wallpaper and an ancient kitchen and bathroom, but I could see the potential of the large rooms (much larger than you’d get in a modern property, with their dwindling space standards…) with their big sash windows and wanted a little project to do up and make it my own.

6. What improvements have you made? 

When I first moved in with friends as a student we completely gutted it and redecorated, installed a new kitchen from Ikea (that’s lasted remarkably well), a new bathroom, laid down wood flooring, but we kept it quite basic for a student flat (lots of good old Ikea!). When my boyfriend moved in a year and half ago, we had another renovating session, re-plastered some of the dodgy walls, which had hideous bumpy 70’s wallpaper, gave everything a new lick of paint and invested in some nicer, more classic, longer lasting, mid-century furniture, such as Ercol chairs, a Saarinen-style round tulip table, String shelving and an Eames chair. 

7.  What’s your favourite room?

My favourite room is probably the living room, just because for so many years I didn’t have one! It was my favourite room to decorate and source items for. It’s painted in Little Greene’s French Grey and features a grey Ikea sofa, pattered grey rug from Urban Outfitters (bit of a grey theme going on there, my boyfriend’s surname does mean ‘the grey’ in French… just a coincidence I’m sure!) and has lots of shelving for my art and architecture books. It’s also where I like to display all my knick-knacks, sourced from vintage markets or from travels abroad – I love mixing old with new, for example placing an old piece of furniture against a crisp white wall or a modern shelving system, such as the String, with vintage cups lined on it.

Most of all, I love flinging the French doors open in the summer, seeing the balcony in bloom and letting the sunshine flood in. I don’t think I’d be able to live somewhere now without a small outdoor space, it really lifts the feel of the space.  

8. How has your home interior been inspired by your fellow at{mine} community members?

Yes definitely, I’m inspired by some of my favourite bloggers who use the site: Apartment Apothecary, Igor Josif, Lapin Blu, Curate & Display to name a few. They’ve inspired me to think carefully about styling surfaces, not to keep everything the same all the time and to make little, incremental changes every now and then to keep a home fresh and clean.

9. Describe your perfect day spent at home.

My perfect day would start with a lazy breakfast in bed with the newspapers and fresh croissants bought (by the boyfriend!) from a small French patisserie round the corner from the flat called Patisserie Deux Amies on Judd Street. I love cooking and entertaining friends, so we’d have a big picnic style lunch (cous cous salads, roasted vegetables, charcuterie etc) with the doors to the living room open. I’d then nip out to Columbia Road Flower Market to pick up flowers for the house and a couple of plants for the balcony and spend the afternoon reading one of my favourite Persephone books sitting in the sun.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Cate’s home over on at{mine}. Don’t forget, Heart Home readers are exclusively invited to sign up now to become part of the at{mine} community and discover the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.