My Spacious Upgrade: From creating an extra room to tidying up clutter, here’s how storage entrepreneur Jess Stern transformed a tiny one-bed apartment into a light and airy family home
“It celebrates everything I love: soothing yet meaningful colours, patterned fabrics and precious finds,” says Jess Stern of her north London home. The property, a Victorian ground-floor apartment with a terrace in Kilburn, north-west London, which she shares with husband Marc and one-year-old daughter Poppy, originally had just one bedroom.
But the couple reconfigured it to create another bedroom and improve the layout for family life. “The kitchen area was originally dark and cramped, with a wall separating it from a run-down utility room,” says Jess, co-founder of retro locker brand Mustard Made. ‘
The whole room felt completely disjointed.’ Her new open plan eat-in kitchen was the first step in her renovation project. “To create the feeling of space, we tore down the wall between the kitchen and the utility room.”
They also dug down, making sure the ground was level with the garden so the new space could extend outward seamlessly. Double French doors were added to allow light into the room throughout the day.
The open plan living area needed a fabulous sofa and this one from boconcept.co.uk is Jess’ pride and joy. “It was gorgeous, but it’s a sofa for life.” The artwork comes from emmielouart.com. For a similar fern pillow, try oka.com
Poppy’s room used to be Jess and Marc’s bedroom. Where the living room used to be is now the master bedroom. Jess’ home combines style with practicality. The walls were mostly white, “which gave us more flexibility to add lighter tones through accessories,” explains Jess.
Clever style solutions are present throughout. “I’m always looking for simple updates that can quickly freshen up a room, such as: E.g. mirrors, throws and rugs.” Of course, complete storage is also a must for locker queen Jess.
Everything from toys, clothing and medical supplies are cleverly tucked away and within easy reach, with clever storage and in the kitchen, their showpiece, a hidden pantry. Check out the new Limited Edition Poppy Lockers at Mustardmade.com.
The kitchen cabinets are from howdens.com. Jess had them color matched to the sage green locker collection she launched during the pandemic. “The color is gentle on the eye but also has impact,” she says
This pantry hides Jess’ kitchen utensils and doubles as a coffee station. “Stylish yet functional storage has become a way of life,” says Jess. For similar glasses try Lakeland.co.uk. The vase is from anthropologie.com
Jess painted the bottom half of Poppy’s bedroom wall the same color as the kitchen cabinets. The bed canopy is from projektityyny.com
Jess and husband Marc love to entertain and the redesigned garden area has given them more space to do so. The parasol and tablecloth are both from basilbangs.com. The chairs are from conranshop.co.uk
In the kitchen-living area, the gallery wall includes prints from vam.ac.uk and margomcdaid.com. The bench is from neptune.com and the carpet is from oliverbonas.com
SHOP THE LOOK
Steal Jess’ style with these eye-catching pieces
Loose, £139, uk.mustardmade.com
Regal, £33, laredoute.co.uk
Vase, £55, trouva.com
Print, from £75, tatianaalida.co.uk
Wall light, £25, marksandspencer.com
Bench, £129, johnlewis.com
Rug (140cm x 200cm), £150, oliverbonas.com