28/05/2011 14:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Hot Houses: The White House

On a sunny summer morning it must be pretty amazing to wake up in Lara Einzig's light, bright North London flat. Lara, a senior retail marketing manager for Topshop, shares the immaculately styled space with husband Dan, founder of Mystery brand design agency, their 11-month-old son, Raphael and two lively Burmese kitties, Bambi and Theo.

To see more of the flat, check out the gallery at the end of the interview.


Lara, congratulations on your beautiful home. Can you tell us something about how the place looked when you bought it and the work you've done? Thank you! We bought it a year ago and it had been untouched for about 25 years - dingy carpet, velour curtains, pine wood kitchen, uneven floors, and old radiators. We pretty much gutted it completely but didn't change anything structurally as it was already a great layout. Alongside designing a new kitchen and en suite, we also managed to create and additional wet room adjacent to the guest bedroom, which was once a utility room. The next stage is to build a balcony off the kitchen with steps down to the garden and some landscaping. When the weather is good, there's no place we'd rather be than in our quintessentially English garden. We're also about to decorate the guest bedroom, it's taken us a year to decide what we want!

With the interior, did you set out to achieve a certain look throughout or did you work room by room? There wasn't a grand vision for one certain look, we pieced it together based on things we like and best use of space. It goes from minimalist lounge/dining area to an industrial kitchen to an art deco en suite, to a spa-like wet room. We did however keep all the walls white, which gives a great feeling of space and freshness.

How long did it take from the day you bought to what we see in the picture gallery below?
As anyone who has renovated knows, it's a never ending task! But for the most part, it took three months.

Do you and your husband make joint style decisions or do you lead and he follows?
We both have very creative careers so every design decision is a clash of wills! I think we fought through the entire process, particularly on the white floor boards - I had to fight and fight for them, but thankfully I didn't back out. They look amazing and Dan now also agrees it was a great decision. I just decided I wasn't going to compromise. We both have very strong ideas about what we like and although we argue about it constantly, we usually get to a point where we're both happy.

What's your favourite space in the house?
We both agree it's the lounge and dining rooms - very high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows either end, original coving, cornicing, fire place etc. It definitely has the biggest wow factor.

Your kitchen is one of the nicest I've seen - how did you put that look together?
We wanted to combine modern units with a few vintage pieces we found at markets and we wanted a durable work top in Corian. We sourced pieces from a variety of different places; we deliberately didn't go to one kitchen supplier because we wanted something original. In effect, it was really hard work but I love preparing food in there and we knocked through an opening to the dining room which adds a great social element.

You have some great accessories and furnishings in the house. Do you have certain "go to" interior shops that you find yourself using all the time?
We always buy pieces on our travels and we've been collecting things for years and have kept them in storage for the right space. We love going to Kempton Markets for truly unique finds from European suppliers. Conran is probably my favourite shop in London and Heals is also a go-to for great quality pieces. Habitat is brilliant for staple items.

Is that a TV on a stand behind the mock croc cabinet in the dining room?
That's a drinks cabinet - glass interior which beautifully showcases our best glassware - Waterford crystal wine glasses, Conran champagne flutes, vintage martini glasses.

You're on the books of locations agency jjlocations. Has the house been used a lot as a shoot location for anything we might have seen?
Only two shoots so far.

If you were starting work on the flat again, is there anything you would do differently?
Mainly just decorative changes but that's easily fixed, we're changing things constantly. We've still got quite a bit of artwork needing frames, which we should have done already. I wish we would have run the white floor boards downstairs too, because in winter it can get a little dark and I just find them so cheerful.

What three words would you most like people to use when describing your home?
Liveable, unique, interesting