Time to grab a cuppa and get comfortable – because this week’s ‘Stay at Home’ feature is with a lady that brings all the homely vibes – it’s Ghenet Pinderhughes Randall.
I’ve known Ghenet for around three years now (as usual, we met on the internet) and it’s been a pleasure to get to know her better. From her unrivalled Harry Potter knowledge to her incredible baking skills, she’s someone that knows how to make the most out of spending time at home, making her absolutely ideal for a home tour feature.
Ghenet lives in South London with her husband Phil and their cat Rex, who they adopted from Cats Protection 3 and a half years ago. She moved to the UK from America in December 2014; heading straight for this purchased abode having never seen it.
The South-facing flat has a large lounge and dining area, kitchen, bathroom and 2 bedrooms (one of which they use as an office space). It’s still a work in progress, but the pair have worked a fair amount on the space to make it into the comforting home it is today. Let’s explore shall we?
First up, a broad one! What does home mean to you? Are you a homebody?
I am absolutely a homebody. I really have to be in the mood to go out, and I do occasionally, but home is my happy place. I love coming home! This is where I spend most of my time so I want it to be comfy and joyful.
You’ve been in your home since December 2014. How has it changed since then?
It’s changed a lot in the last 5 or so years! We’re fortunate enough to own our flat, but in truth, I wasn’t really involved in that portion of it. My husband didn’t want me moving over here without having a solid place to live, so went through the whole process while I was still living in New York.
I’d only seen photos of the before and it was… a choice. Every wall had pebble dash wallpaper and was painted in shades of orange and peach. By the time I moved in, it was pretty much a shell. The carpet had been pulled up to find crumbling cement underneath. There was a lot of structural work that needed to be done. We lived in a construction site for absolutely ages! Walls needed replastering, and the electrics needed work. For the first year or so, we had walls, a cement floor, and a roof and that was basically it. I’ve got a whole Twitter thread with photos that I shared as a reminder that creating a home is never just a snap of the fingers. Sometimes it takes a ton of work!
We’ve come so far now, but we’re still not done. All that work was really expensive, so we go through phases. A spurt of work done, and then we leave it for a while. Then we come back. We’ll get there eventually, but at least we’re mostly at the nice decor stage now!
I certainly agree. How would you describe your interior style? Does it differ from Phil’s?
I’d say my taste is pretty varied. It’s part eclectic, part rustic, with smatterings of mid century modern. I did a lot of DIY in the beginning, but added in pieces that fit with everything else we’ve already got as opposed to sticking to one style.
Phil likes mid century modern for sure, but it’s not limited to that. I have a good read on what he’d like or dislike, regardless of style. Or if I’ve got ideas about things, I’ll show him pictures and either he likes it or he doesn’t. We’ve not had any major problems so far, so that’s good! If you asked who decorated our home, we’d both say it was me, but with consideration for his tastes…does that make sense? We also have some things I made or sourced for our wedding that have now become decor pieces, which is lovely!
That is lovely! You talk a lot about feeling cozy and the little joys in life on your blog. Where is your favourite place to snuggle up with a book?
Most often, I read in bed! It’s part of my bedtime routine. Usually I put the kettle on, prep for the next day, plug my phone in to charge, and then head to the bedroom. I like to read for 30 minutes or so before going to sleep as it really helps me unwind. I’m kind of a stickler as well. I don’t like going to bed too late, and if something gets in the way of my reading, I’ll skip it! The number of times Phil’s asked if I’m up for watching a film or an episode of something. If it’s late enough that it will disrupt my bedtime routine, I will say no. That’s the thing I do for myself, ya know? Cozy up in my pajamas under the duvet, with a cup of tea and a good book. Perfect!
Can you tell me what your other home comforts are?
Blankets, candles and fairy lights. I’m really into hygge, and it taught me that light has a real effect. There will be a point in the evening when the only lights we have on in the house are fairy lights! I have them wrapped around our blanket ladder and about our bed. There’s something about that ambient light that is inherently cozy! We also light a lot of candles too. Phil definitely thought it was weird at first, but now we’re both obsessed! I have scented candles and lots of pillar and dinner candles to add more ambiance without burning through the scented ones too quickly! And of course, blankets. They add coziness to everything!
Do you have any plans for updates to your home in the future?
Absolutely. We’re nowhere near done. My next focus is the bedroom. I want to buy a new bed frame, for starters. The one we have at the moment is a black leather monstrosity; it was given to us by a family member of Phil and was just meant to be a bookmark. I’m ready to say goodbye to it as I am not a fan of leather or black furniture! I plan to add a shelf above the bed for some more artwork, candles and little bits.
Then there’s the blank wall. At the moment, all that is there is the broom we jumped over at our wedding. I need to work out what I want to do with that wall space! I’m also stuck on the office, and want to add a few finishing touches to the lounge, like a rug for under the coffee table. The work is never really done until it’s totally done!
Indeed! To finish off, can you tell me three small businesses that we absolutely must go and look at right now?
One of my absolute favorite places to shop for homewares is Trouva. It’s a great way to support independent businesses, and they have such wonderful stuff! I have so many wishlists of things I want for my home.
I definitely prefer to shop independent if I can though with some exceptions – I’m obsessed with Habitat, Anthropologie, Oliver Bonas and West Elm for homewares. I also love looking on Etsy for things, especially vintage stuff, or just something I can’t find elsewhere!