May 4, 2020

Stay at home with Nikki and Luke of the Tierney Terrace Location House.

I’d be lying if I was to say I wasn’t extremely excited about this week’s ‘Stay at home with‘ feature. While I wanted to primarily focus on folks that didn’t show off too much of their home, I felt that I had to make an exception for a house that I’d happily move in to tomorrow.

Wanna know who lives there? Meet Nikki, Luke and their two Boston terriers, Paloma and Pilot (who are aptly named after the pairs favourite cocktails – Paloma and Aviation). Prepare yourself for the front door folks…

couple in bright blue lounge with yellow sofa
front of sixties house with glass brick and pink cladding
A welcoming entrance featuring. green door, glass brick tiles and pink cladding.

The Tierney Terrace Location House is a sprinkle of Palm Springs in Streatham, London. As it says on the tin, the house is available for shoots and event hire, but is also where Nikki and Luke reside. As such, the colourful home is an interesting mix of photo-worthy areas and personal touches that make it feel personal to them. The pair have owned the house for almost 2 years, but moved out for 6 months during the renovation and have now been living in the revamped property for 9 months.

Let’s talk layout and features. The South London house has an open plan kitchen, dining room and living space, a utility room and a bathroom. Upstairs, there’s a shower room, master bedroom, an office which doubles up as a spare room and a music studio (also available for hire). A south-facing courtyard garden out the back finishes this compact ode to Californian style. Shall we take a tour? I very much think we should!

blue kitchen with plywood worktops
girl in pink and blue kitchen with two boston terriers
pink and blue kitchen cabinetry
The pink and blue kitchen is one of the houses show stopping rooms.

Can you tell me a little bit about how the Tierney Terrace Location House came to be?

Before living here, we lived in a flat on the same road. We walked by this house and its ‘For Sale‘ board for months. One day we got curious, went for a nosey and realised it actually had so much potential that was hidden behind a lot of ugly. We decided we had to have it. 

Because it looked the way it did, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to get away with cutting any corners – it’s not like our old Victorian flat where we did much of the work ourselves and if something was cracked or wonky, we called it character. To pull off turning it into something special, we knew this house would need a high quality renovation, which of course comes at a price. 

In addition to throwing in all our savings and borrowing from the bank, we decided to put the house to work and turn it into a location house. This allowed us to spend more than we would otherwise have spent in the knowledge that the house would be earning some of it back. It was bad timing, as our first bookings had to be cancelled due to the Coronavirus, but we’re looking forward to getting that back on track. 

blue shelving and miniature figures on tiles
Dalmatian print wallpaper in utility room
two cocktail prints on Dalmatian print wall
It’s all about the little details in Tierney Terrace, from miniature figures on the tiles to cocktail drawings.

And, how would you say you’ve decorated it? What’s your interior style?

We took a huge amount of inspiration from the Palm Springs modernist style, which adds a sort of tropical and fresh edge to mid-century design. This works for us because we both love colour, but also like things to be quite crisp and, in some ways, minimalist. It’s not always that easy to do as it’s really tempting to just go all in with colour, but I think the key is being confidently restrained – we achieved it downstairs by having a white poured resin floor which allowed us to be more colourful elsewhere. We also both love the brutalist architecture around London and geometric design, so there’s quite a bit of that knocking about too. 

pink and white patterned wallpaper in dining room
purple and white stairs
The house has a strong sense of colour but this is kept in check with lots white and minimal clashing.

I’d definitely say that you made bold choices. Did you disagree on any of the style elements?

There were definitely a lot of ideas that didn’t make the final cut from both of us (such as Luke’s sunken hot tub idea for the garden which, to be fair, I’m now regretting veto-ing). And it’s safe to say that Luke likes pink a lot more now than he used to after some gentle persuasion. 

On the whole though, we have quite similar taste, so we’re lucky. 

One of the things we found the hardest to come to a conclusion on was the outside of the house. It was such a big decision, and an idea that we were forging ourselves as there weren’t many examples around that we could learn from. We had to take into account things like planning permission and structural engineering, so we went through a lot of ideas and options. It’s probably the thing that took us the longest to decide on. 

pink bathroom with black and white flooring
The pink bathroom is small but impactful, especially with the black and white flooring.

What are each of your favourite rooms to hang out in and why?

Luke: My clear favourite is the studio, which I absolutely love and spend all my time in. I’m really lucky to have this space in our home. I have artists in the studio most days (under normal circumstances) and it makes a massive difference being able to invite people to somewhere they can feel relaxed, help themselves to a nice coffee and hang out with dogs. 

Nikki: My favourite place to be is the kitchen – it’s a really enjoyable space to cook, eat, drink and throw parties in. It’s also one of the rooms I’m most proud of in terms of interior design. But I secretly also adore the laundry room. 

Boston terrier in yellow bedroom
palm tree in yellow bedroom
styled shelfie with print from Supermundane
The yellow bedroom is a space to feel refreshed – at least that’s what Paloma thinks.

Where do you shop for furniture and decor? 

We love our South London neighbourhood and try to shop locally as much as we can. There are some great artists, makers and interior stores around us. 

The rest of our furniture was either bought cheaply or made ourselves, as we prioritised spending money on the boring stuff like a new roof. For example our bed and side tables are from IKEA and we have a few bits and bobs from reclaim and charity stores – it’s amazing what a coat of spray paint can do to a naff ornament. 

I find Trouva great for discovering independent boutiques and in terms of highstreet, I think Oliver Bonas has a strong interiors game. 

eight ball and skateboard design details
music equipment in green studio
amps and soundproofing in green studio
The Tierney Terrace studio is a vibrant green and features quirky design details.

It’s also about the little details for you i.e you have little miniature figures on your kitchen tiles. Do you think these things make it feel more like home?

One of the most important things to us was that this was a fun place to live. Despite being in our 30s, neither of us feel like grown ups, and we didn’t want to create a house that didn’t reflect us.

Things like the miniature figures and the birdcage light in the bedroom are little touches that make sure the house feels like it’s really ours. 

guy plays guitar in outdoor space
girl and two dogs outside of pink and green house
More of the fantastic Tierney Terrace exterior – a slice of Palm Springs in Streatham.

Finally, I always like to end on a small business shout out. Tell me your favourites (this doesn’t have to be interiors!)

So many to choose from! Here are some of our favourites:

Our local Indian, Taj Mahal | Plants at Cornercopia | Beer and art from Art & Craft | Dried flowers at The Happy Blossoms | Colourful lifestyle store Albino | Illustrator Krystal Wong | Coffee at Batch & Co | Creative interiors and lifestyle collective Dogwood Lifestyle

What do you think of Nikki and Luke’s bright home? What you be brave enough to make those changes? Follow Tierney Terrace Location House on Instagram, and book the house here. For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on InstagramPinterest and Twitter for more EJP in your life.


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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