Gemma and her husband Rich live in a stunning loft apartment in Birmingham and after we saw her tree last year we just knew we had to get this home tour for 2017. Over to the lovely Gemma to show your her slice of New York in the Midlands.
From the minute we first stepped into the loft apartment when viewing we could see the potential and fell in love with it. Although when we bought it was nothing like it is now. We’d previously been lucky enough to live in Manhattan for twelve months and loved loft style living, so when this was on the market when we were looking for our first home we had to have it.
We host Christmas most years and I’m still a big kid a heart and love this time of year so always make a huge effort. This year will be even more special as our daughter Olivia will be just over one so it’s going to be a really lovely time.
As the whole apartment is open plan we decided to choose a colour scheme throughout so that everything tied together. The black iron stairs, bannister and beams are dominant features seen throughout the apartment, so we settled on a colour palette of black, white and grey combined with natural wood tones for an industrial look. The walls throughout are Farrow and Ball Great White.
Every year we choose a huge tree, we have the space and love Christmas so why not! Think we have actually gone bigger each year and this year it must be over 15 foot. Decorating it is so much fun and gets us into the Christmas spirit. Rich stands on a chair at the bottom luckily he’s 6”1 so can reach quite high and I stand on the balcony and decorate the top. This year we have put tree stumps under the tree with woodland animals on, the stumps are something we sell on The Wedding of my Dreams and I knew they would be perfect.
To take your eye up the stairs we framed photos I’ve taken on our various travelling adventures I love these and each one means something special to us. For Christmas we add lanterns to the staircase for a warm festive feel, from The Wedding of my Dreams.
The kitchen was the first area we tackled, we designed it ourselves and chose to have cabinets along two walls with a breakfast bar to slightly section if off from the rest of the living space. We splashed out on the solid oak worktops but I love them and think they really set the kitchen off. The shelves are made from industrial stair treads, we try to keep them clutter free with glass jars of our everyday foods on bottom shelf, jars from the wedding of my dreams, and pots and plants on the top. My brother’s partner is a potter in his free time and makes stunning pottery, most of the pottery in the apartment is by Joe Pascoe Ceramics. For the door into the pantry my Mum had made a lovely Christmas wreath, she’s well practiced this year as has been making bespoke wreaths them for lots of her Passion For Flowers clients.
The dining table is another of my favourite pieces made from reclaimed wood with iron legs, this is from Nkuku. As a florist and owner of The Wedding of my Dreams decorating the table for Christmas is always one of my favourite things, this year we have gone for a relaxed look with loose lay foliage, bronze candle sticks, tea light holders and white stars, to tie in I printed our place cards and put them in tiny brass photo frames. The plates are on wooden tree slices for a rustic festive look all from The Wedding of my Dreams.
We have separated the lounge area off with a huge rug from West Elm. The mirror in the corner of the room makes it feel bigger – we actually we have two of these, a bargain from Ikea. I’ve added plants and organic foliage and flowers in brass bottles with brass photo frames for accent details from our own collection.
As everywhere is so open plan we needed somewhere to hide all our bits and pieces. Our iron cabinet from Nkuku is great for this and creates the base of our bar. For Christmas we set our bar out so guests can help themselves, a rose gold sequin runner, gold plate for the glasses and footed vase of blooms set it off, all from The Wedding of my Dreams.
The bathroom is situated as you first come into the entrance hall of the apartment, behind the porthole door you see next to the bar.
Upstairs was completely open when we bought the apartment it was actually quite tricky to decorate as felt so large. When our daughter Olivia came along we chose not to move but instead had some internal walls built to create her a bedroom. We also have a separate walk in wardrobe so all our things are not in full view.
In the open plan section we have created areas so our bedroom is at one end of the room and in the middle we have a sitting area. Our bed was an eBay find, it’s made from reclaimed wood and behind it are old barn doors which were being thrown away from the farm house where my office is located, I had to have them. Our bedding is from Loaf and bedside tables are wooden crates.
For the sitting area next to our bedroom we put up a fire surround and painted the inside with chalkboard paint. It gives the illusion of a fireplace and focus point in the room. And you can’t have Christmas without a fireplace so we use it to hang our stockings. A floral touch is always a must for Christmas too. We use our coffee table from Swoon Editions for Christmas Eve treats for Father Christmas.
Our crate wall is great for extra storage and displaying pretty things. For Christmas we added carboys with fairy lights for an extra twinkle.