Every inch of fashion blogger Susie Lau’s home is packed with quirky finds and bright picks
“It’s not for everyone,” says Susie Lau, curled up on her living room sofa. She nods towards the cheerful kaleidoscope of knickknacks crammed on to a nearby shelf, and to her double-stacked, colour co-ordinated bookcase. “Some people would find this a nightmare, because it’s such an onslaught on the eyes.”
We’re sipping tea out of geometric metal mugs in her compact two-bedroom house, built on the site of a former teddy bear factory in Seven Sisters, north London. Susie, who runs Style Bubble, one of the world’s best-known fashion blogs, has lived here with her boyfriend Steve for the past two years.
I’ve been thinking, where are we going to put a baby when it comes? Maybe we could fit a cot among the clothes
Most couples would collect a fair amount of clutter in that time, but theirs, like the fashion picks on Susie’s blog, is a mix of vintage bargains and catwalk finds: one hand-painted Claire Barrow leather jacket hangs on the dado rail next to another from luxury brand Coach. Their collections of design curiosities exude stylishness.
“Maybe I do have a similar approach to ordering stuff as I would putting together an outfit,” says Susie. “Some people say my house looks like a store display. But I travel so much for work that when I’m back in London, home is a sanctuary. I like pottering around. I move my laptop from space to space, and I arrange my stuff in a way that’s visually stimulating.”
After seven years of renting a small flat together, where they had “clothes falling on top of us, quite literally”, Susie and Steve spent two years looking for their own place. When they finally moved in, they relished the opportunity to make changes, and settled on a compromise between Steve’s more minimalist, white-walled style, and Susie’s trademark love of colour and self-expression.
“When we first moved in, I had a no-Ikea rule,” says Susie. Instead, she and Steve would send each other ideas for furniture that was both affordable and unique, such as their wardrobe and chest of drawers custom made by east London furniture workshop Unto This Last, and multicoloured display shelves by New York brand Chiaozza, which Susie found on Etsy.
Other finds include a vintage dedicated shoe cabinet on the landing, from German eBay, and a red Tom Dixon coat tree picked up in the sample sale. Items collected by Susie on her travels include pastel-coloured Moroccan rag rugs, embroidered fabric found at a market in Mexico, and sweet red wine-scented perfume sticks made in Florence, but found in a shop in Japan.
In the end, the pull of the Swedish flat-packer was too great even for a style symbol like Susie. The backlit mirror, in a bathroom modelled after Susie’s favourite hotel in New York, the Soho Grand, is straight from its aisles. So is the Stolmen storage system in what is possibly the most exciting room in the house – Susie’s walk-in wardrobe.
“This was originally a bedroom, but it’s tiny. It might have been a baby’s room,” says Susie, rifling through the textured rows and picking out a cherry blossom Simone Rocha skirt. “I’ve been thinking: ‘Hmm, where are we going to put that when that comes?’ Maybe we could fit a cot among the clothes.”
One day, the couple would like to move on to a bigger place, but for now they’re happy in their busy but cosy bubble. The only problem would be if they keep accumulating stuff, says Susie, who once even considered putting drawers in the staircases to pack more items away. “For a first home, I’m fairly happy with it,” says Susie. “It feels like ours.”