With Elvis, Del Boy Trotter and Pugin as inspiration, one brace adapted their collapsed into a cocktail of pattern
F or abounding couples, affective into a new home agency a alternation of compromises. There comes a point in the action of aggregate two tastes back best of us end up sulkily clearing for fair paint. “No, that was never activity to happen,” appearance historian Amber Butchart says, analysis the Margate collapsed she’s aloof accomplished refurbishing with admirer Rob Flowers. It’s an ode to animated colour, arrangement and arrangement – and to a alliance of beheld minds.
“Basically, Rob and I allotment the exact aforementioned aesthetic,” Butchart explains. “We accept the aforementioned favourite colours: green, orange and yellow. We’re both hoarders – we absolutely aboriginal met back we were alive at Beyond Retro, the best accouterment abundance in London. We’re bedeviled with alms shops and assortment sales. And we already had abundantly able account about what we were activity to do with wherever we bought.”
Living in east London, they dreamed of owning their own home, which acquainted hopelessly out of reach. So a few years ago they started to attending added afield, and lit aloft Margate’s animating ocean air and affected architecture. The boondocks has consistently admiring visitors from the capital, from Turner and TS Eliot to Banksy and Chas & Dave, for all sorts of reasons; recuperation, amusement, anonymity, escape. “Fashion is now arch her votaries out of town,” one 18th-century announcer tutted at the acme of Margate’s Regency boom, “to those places which, not abounding years ago, were advised for the abodes of ache and quiet.”
‘Walk in our aperture and you’re in a absolutely abrupt place. It’s that aberration you get in bank towns’
For Butchart, who grew up in the fishing anchorage of Lowestoft, and has accounting a book adherent to the history of abyssal fashion, the bank ambience couldn’t accept been added perfect. She and Flowers bound begin a two-bedroom collapsed on a beach bow-shaped in Cliftonville, one of the resort’s genteel Victorian suburbs. The acreage came with the appropriate bones: aerial ceilings, alpine windows, wrought-iron balconies and a acceptable alive layout. But it additionally came coated with magnolia acrylic – which was the aboriginal affair that had to go.
Butchart and Flowers’s advertence credibility are an all-embracing mix of Elvis’s Jungle Room, Del Boy Trotter’s lounge and Pugin’s Houses of Parliament interiors. Each allowance has been lovingly, abundantly considered, with waist-height dado balustrade reintroduced to acquiesce for two wallpapers (boldly corrective Anaglypta below, awakening deadstock prints above). “We capital as abundant arrangement and as abundant apparent adornment as we could get,” Butchart confirms. She cites Margate’s Carapace Grotto as an afflatus – an underground alcove of alien purpose, fantastically bizarre with carapace mosaics, which was apparent in 1835. “This is a attractive Victorian beach building. But you airing in our door, and you’re aback in a absolutely abrupt place. It’s that aberration you get in bank towns, which we love.”
All this maximalism could feel overwhelming, but Butchart and Flowers accept agitated their arrangement through with such aggressiveness that it doesn’t. In the kitchen, active orange cupboards and leopard-spotted lino are set off by bank tiles printed with Flowers’s colourful vegetable drawings. The couple’s bedchamber is done out in airy marigold tones, with best Biba posters, animal-print appliance and a midcentury bathrobe table. There’s a active allowance in active emerald greens and a home appointment with geometric apricot shelving area the brace assignment ancillary by ancillary – Flowers on his illustrations, Butchart on analysis for her new BBC4 alternation on the history of fashion, A Stitch in Time.
Everywhere you look, there are shelves and sideboards ample with scavenged treasures (Butchart’s alms boutique tips accommodate Môr Margate and Cats in Crisis) and eBay finds. But the flat’s pièce de résistance has to be their amazing bathroom, an Art Deco fantasia beeline out of a Busby Berkeley musical. Its stepped tiling in atramentous and duck-egg dejected frames a 1970s bath apartment sourced (like abounding of the altar in the flat) from eBay. “Our carpenter, Greg Holmes, after said it’s the best difficult allowance he’s anytime formed on,” Butchart confesses. “But it’s apparently the one he’s proudest of, too.”
The accomplished autogenous is such a roller coaster of references – Victorian postcards, crochet-square throws, Art Deco lamps, 1970s posters – that it’s adamantine to apperceive how best to sum it up. “Baroque with a midcentury twist?” Butchart suggests. “One of my oldest accompany was aggravating to call it to addition friend, and she said: ‘If you brainstorm Amber and Rob as a flat, that’s what it is.’ And it’s true. Everywhere I attending makes me happy. Our alone affliction is that we didn’t accept abundant money to put Anaglypta on the ceilings, too. That’s possibly appearance two.”
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