At Home With Katy Orme From Apartment Apothecary

Katy Orme is the award-winning interior design blogger behind Apartment Apothecary and co-founder of monthly blogging series, Styling the Seasons. Her popular blog showcases creative DIY and craft projects, room makeovers and simple but effective design tips. Katy is also a 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} launch community and receive early access to the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

1.     Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’ve always been obsessed with interiors, which probably began when I was 11 years old when we moved house and my parents asked if I wanted to decorate my own bedroom. I thought that was the best thing that had ever happened to me and proudly got on with painting the walls peach with sponged pale pink on top - not sure that would be my choice now! From that point onwards I redecorated my bedroom every year and did a bathroom, living room and kitchen makeover for my parents over the years before I went off to university.

I read History at Leeds because I was told and believed art and creative ‘stuff’ would never earn me any money so I ended up training as a secondary school teacher and working in a very tough East End school for ten years. I loved it for many of those years but when the creativity of my job began to be squashed by changing governments I found myself on Pinterest rather than planning lessons and so I began my blog Apartment Apothecary as an outlet for all of the decorating ideas I constantly have in my mind. I blogged for about a year, whilst still working as a teacher, and it soon became clear that I was enjoying blogging far more than being in the classroom so I decided to take the leap and try to make blogging full time a reality.

I have now been blogging about interiors and crafts for just over two years and I absolutely love it. As well as collaborating with great companies and brands on my blog, I also work as a stylist on home tour shoots and write and style for craft magazines. My next project is to work more with clients to do room makeovers, which is my favourite thing to do.

2.     Where do you live?

I am a Londoner and currently live in Bermondsey, at the south end of Tower Bridge, in a new build apartment block. I wish I lived in one of the converted warehouses on the river but you can’t have everything! I have lived in my flat for five years and the area has become such a great place to live as the local Maltby Street market is amazing and Bermondsey street itself is always buzzing. I also love being right next to the river for long weekend walks.

3.     Who do you live with?

I live with my partner, Jules, and our Golden Retriever puppy, Otto. Jules is a web developer and is also starting his own company of shared ownership for sports cars, so he currently works at home, too, but he wishes he didn’t as I constantly pester him for technical help with the blog. Otto is a regular feature on my blog and Instagram feed - the best prop you can get!

4.     Tell us a little bit about your home.

My home is a good sized two bedroom flat. We are really lucky to have floor to ceiling windows in the bedroom and sitting room so it is flooded with light. It is a new build flat, which is not my preference - I would far prefer to be in a Victorian terraced house - but I have tried really hard to inject some personality and character into what is otherwise a soulless white box. I didn’t want to lose any of the space or light so I kept the blank canvas and have added eclectic furniture, vintage finds and soft textiles to make it more of a home, rather than a generic central London flat.

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

I chose this flat because of the light and the size of the rooms; I find that being in a dark house makes me miserable so that was a deal breaker for me. When I looked round the flat I was also drawn to the balcony and the fact we are six floors up so we have amazing views across London. Then I was shown the roof terrace and that was my decision made! The terrace has 360 degree views of London and over the river Thames and it is the full foot print of the apartment block. We share it with our neighbours, which is brilliant as it means we have got to know them all and we have parties, BBQ’s and even screen films or big events like the Olympic Opening Ceremony onto one of the walls. We have also formed a little gardening club to try to grow food up on the roof, which is really fun.

6.     What improvements have you made?

The flat was brand new when I moved in so I did nothing to it. When we got Otto a couple of years ago we quickly realised all of the carpets throughout the flat had to go and we didn’t want to invest in a really expensive wooden floor as we weren’t sure how much longer we were going to stay in the flat. Therefore, I got my DIY on and painted the MDF boards underneath the carpet, which has made the flat feel so much brighter and more modern. I also painted all of the internal doors and changed the handles, which has made the space feel much more open and less institutional. I am now hatching plans for a kitchen makeover as I hate the door handles and worktop so watch this space...

7.     What’s your favourite room?

My favourite room is our office, which used to be the spare room before we both began working from home. I wanted this room to be light, bright and motivating as well as functional so I painted the floor white and made a double desk with MDF and trestle legs. I did a cabinet makeover and added pegboard for all of my crafty bits and invested in some String shelving that I love. I placed the desk in the middle of the room as this makes it completely flexible as I can take photos on it from any angle or I can clear it completely (and chuck Jules out for the day) if I need to do pattern cutting for sewing tutorials.

8.     Where do you find inspiration?

I love looking at fellow bloggers’ posts, magazines and Pinterest. I get a huge amount of inspiration from visiting other people’s homes, especially when we shoot home tours for magazines. I come home filled to the brim with house envy and ideas for how to change things up. I also visit some of my favourite high end furniture stores and take note of what I love and come home and try to think of a cheaper alternative or find something similar second hand somewhere.

9.     Describe your perfect day spent at home.

My perfect day spent at home is a Saturday after having been to Maltby Street market in the morning and taken the dog for a walk. We come home laden with cheese, parma ham and bread and a bone for the dog and have lunch on the roof terrace. And the perfect day would not be perfect without an afternoon snooze in my big bed surrounded by magazines and my naughty puppy next me.

Been inspired by what you’ve seen? You can find more lovely images of Katy Orme’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} launch community and receive early access to the inspirational stories, people and brands behind beautiful real interiors today.

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Photography © Katharine Peachey