It has to be something we love whether it’s expensive or inexpensive. It’s about what fits into our lifestyle and we love whatever makes our home cosy and nice to live in, rather than considered or stylised.
Mawi Keivom is the designer behind the jewellery label known as Mawi. Mawi worked for Isaac Mizrahi and Bill Amberg, experimenting with vintage finds, mismatched hardware and precious gems, before launching her own label in 2002. Her eclectic take on traditional and contemporary design quickly saw her pieces being worn by all the coolest British girls including Kate Moss, Alexa Chung, Elizabeth Jagger and Daisy Lowe, while becoming a favourite with international fashion editors.
Married to her business partner Tim, the son of an antiques dealer who inspired him to become a passionate collector of vintage and antiques himself, the couple have created an eclectic home in East London filled with vintage finds and pieces collected from their travels around the globe.
The couple live in a diverse area of East London called Dalston, named “the coolest place in the world” by Italian Vogue, and their home reflects their appreciation of a rich mix of cultures and styles. When Mawi and Tim first saw the house it was in need of substantial renovations but all of the original cornicing, fireplaces and sash windows were in tact.
The move into their new home was typically unconventional, “We moved in between London and Milan fashion weeks so we moved in with the previous owner and stayed with him for a couple of weeks, with all his stuff still here, waiting for him to move out,” remembers Tim. The remodelling of the house is a work in progress with much of the original paintwork and wallpaper still remaining as the couple peel back years of paint, revealing the history of the building.
The house, a large Victorian villa, stands proudly on the corner of a long terrace, it’s position giving it a substantially more generous footprint than its neighbours and providing enough space for a large sweeping entrance hall and grand staircase. The lower ground floor is home to a kitchen dining room where a long farmhouse table covered in an antique lace table cloth is surrounded by mismatched vintage chairs. Mawi’s collection of vintage china is housed in a large glass fronted cabinet while Tim’s collection of vintage soda syphons is on standby for unexpected guests who might pop in for impromptu drinks.
On the ground floor the sitting room, formerly two separate rooms, has been opened into one large space with a formal seating area at one end and an antique desk overlooking the garden at the other. Victorian chesterfields sit comfortably alongside Art Deco side tables, ethnic textiles and Indian artwork while large Persian rugs cover the polished floorboards.
On the first floor Mawi has the luxury of two dedicated dressing rooms, home to a fraction of her vast collection of vintage and designer clothes and accessories, stored in cabinets that had previously displayed Linda Farrow’s collection in London’s historic Liberty store.
The master bedroom on the first floor is painted in a warm ochre, offsetting Mawi and Tim’s headboard that is covered in a blue silk kimono. Art Deco style bedside tables and lamps add glamour while vintage textiles provide comfort and warmth. Each room has been decorated with an eclectic mix of furnishings and textiles that reflect the couples’ love of period styles and diverse cultures. “When we go and look at things for our home, nothing is based on price,” says Mawi.
“It has to be something we love whether it’s expensive or inexpensive. It’s about what fits into our lifestyle and we love whatever makes our home cosy and nice to live in, rather than considered or stylised.”