Home Tour// An Eye-catching Flat on the Isle of Wight

Names: Lorena and Terry

Location: Isle of Wight, UK

Home Size: 2 bed, 1 bath, 900sqft

Lorena is a designer and artist working mostly in the textile industry, while Terry leads a creative agency that works primarily with street artists. So it is no surprise that their flat on the Isle of Wight in the UK, is not short on bright colors, fun textiles, and cool design elements. Earthy furniture is surrounded by unique patterns found on vintage pieces, and an assortment of beautiful artwork. It is clear that every tiny detail was considered when decorating this space, and the artful way in which it was curated is an obvious reflection of the couple's creative souls.

Lorena and Terry decided to buy this apartment as an investment property, while acting as a second home to have during their family visits to the Isle of Wight, where Terry is originally from. Because they both live and work in Los Angeles, they knew the place would be empty most of the year, so the only logical option for them was to put it up on Airbnb. "This would offset the monthly mortgage costs and justify decorating it from head-to-toe right off the bat." - Lorena

Terry and Lorena in Los Angeles.

Terry and Lorena in Los Angeles.

What was the inspiration for your overall look and feel of your home? 

We’ve had our Los Angeles home for over 3 years now and its look, feel and decor has moved very slowly compared to how fast we put this new apartment together. To this day, we have not painted a single wall, and are just now beginning to hang up a substantial amount of artwork. The most prominent decor piece is a dinner table that took us about a year to buy. So I saw the new apartment as a blank canvas to start over and maybe do some of the things I wish I could have done in our L.A. home. 

Like any home owners, we wanted the place to be representative of us both. But since we decided it was going to be on Airbnb for most of the year, it had to reflect us in a less outwardly way, since it was now going to be a home for visiting guests—people who would be interacting with it and experiencing it in totally different ways. I think the success of the decor comes in the subtle ways we are expressing each our distinct styles through design; from our handpicked artwork, favorite plants, and color combinations, to handmade textiles, found vintage objects with history, and custom made storage and shelving components to optimize the shortage on space. Even though there's not a single photo of us in the apartment, or any one item that is extremely personal to us—our backgrounds and personalities left their mark through these elements. - Lorena

What is your favorite component of the home? 

I found myself enjoying the open plan kitchen, and living area, and the bedroom for its skylight. I think because our own place has a more traditional, sectioned layout—going through rooms to get to another, I welcomed this new way of interacting within a home. Even though the new apartment is smaller, the open plan adds a layer of transparency, and inclusion of everyone inside. - Lorena

What was the biggest challenge when decorating your home? 

Being in another country! All I had while working on the decor was a floor plan with measurements and photos I had taken on my phone when we were viewing the place for the first time. About 80% of the furniture and decor pieces (including rugs, vintage pieces and dried flowers), I sourced and bought online—cross checking measurements over and over again (from centimeters to inches and back), and really taking my time to read the descriptions of items, the materials, the type of assembly, the weight (for shipping purposes). It was a long couple of months of selecting, buying, shipping, and at times sending items back. When we actually flew to England with the remaining stuff we hadn’t shipped there already—a lot of that work paid off in that most things worked well, others turned out looking better in totally different layouts or rooms, but that was also part of the fun. - Lorena

Resources:

Living room pouf: Overstock

Gold planters: Overstock

Living room rocking chair: Overstock

Green Leather Chair: Overstock

Living room rug: Overstock

Small area rug in study: Overtsock

Vintage decor pieces: Two vendors from Etsy and here

Dried flowers and grasses: Etsy

Wooden hooks for peg wall in study: Etsy