Critically acclaimed Casting Director Julie Harkin shows us around her Victorian terrace Walthamstow home and gives us the inside scoop on her recent renovation project and what she does when she’s not discovering the UK’s hottest new talent.
Julie and her partner Marc bought their home in Walthamstow at the start of this year “it is our first house together so it's very special to us” she says. The house, a beautiful old Victorian mid-terrace building, is located in Walthamstow Village, close enough to trendy Hackney but surrounded by “old cottages, a museum, a stunning church and with some fantastic local pubs and restaurants”. “We wanted to live in a place that was quiet, but had character and local entertainment.” Julie explains.
Julie says they were attracted to the house straight away because it was “bursting with original features, a stunning fireplace, wooden floorboards, architraves and ceiling roses… we knew we had a interesting base to start from” she laughs.
From that base they launched into a £40,000 three month building project to overhaul the interiors. Having previously lived in an old sewing factory in London Fields, Julie admits that “it was often difficult for us to imagine how our ideas would be realised” so they enlisted interior designer Sarah Ellison to help them with the design process. “Sarah encouraged us to be brave with our choices and she was genius in how she made our budget work” Julie continues, outlining how she helped them visualize their ideas using mood boards and managed the building project, ensuring everything ran smoothly.
Julie describes her style as rustic and eclectic and is strongly influenced by old retro and vintage furniture “I think this style of furniture adds so much character to a space” she says. As a passionate collector she had gathered a lot of pieces over the years, “so when we moved it to the house we had to find a way to make the furniture fit” she says.
Her favourite websites for sourcing new pieces are Rockett St George, Rose & Grey, Caravan Style and Guardian while she recently purchased a beautiful framed Aida print from Nelly Duff on Columbia road, East London.
She cites London as their major inspiration and the walls of her home are adorned with art picked up from local artists while living in East London. “Our style has evolved now due to Sarah’s influence; she really helped us bring everything together and helped us understand what would work in this house. Our style is definitely more joined up than it used to be” Julie explains.
After a hard day auditioning actors and working on ideas for new projects at her studio in Clerkenwell, Julie admits she and her partner Marc, an analyst for a financial company, love to come home, cook and chill out. Julie’s favourite room is the kitchen “it is quite an industrial look, but with some rustic touches” Julie explains, crediting Sarah for encouraging them to go for the dark grey colour, “it really helped bring our ideas to life with the Belfast sink, exposed copper piping, vintage cupboard and door handles and the open shelves”. As keen cooks, they love to entertain and generally they have people over for dinner at least once a week. They tend to serve slow cooked meats with vegetable and salad selections followed by an indulgent dessert prepared by Marc who is an excellent baker. When they aren’t busy cooking up a storm? “We listen to 6 Music a lot, and often dine to Daft Punk – we met through a mutual friend at one of their gigs” she tells us.
The couple recently had their garden landscaped by Rhubarb and Rubble of Stoke Newington and are “ really happy with the results – this has given us a fantastic outdoor space”. Looking to the future Julie says that they would like to renovate the loft to make another bedroom and will definitely be calling for Sarah’s help again!