An eye for stylish vintage finds helped Esther Patterson turn her former design studio into a colourful and intriguing home.
Originally bought as a design studio for Esther Patterson’s bespoke lighting company Curiousa & Curiousa, this former malthouse in a Derbyshire village has, in a few years, gone from practical workplace to stylish home. Built in the 1800s, the property has been through various guises, but the unique style of the interior struck a chord with the couple. ‘My husband Paul and I were living across the road, but our studio space in this building gave us lots of options,’ says Esther. ‘Firstly, we had the idea of creating a small independent cinema, The Northern Lights Cinema. Then we realised that as our company grew, we would need another base for our lighting company, so the seed was sown to create a home for us and our son Gabriel, here above the cinema,’ says Esther. The couple were confident about making changes to the upstairs apartment. Despite being in a conservation area, the property wasn’t listed so the interior design was open to options. ‘The brick walls and beams were a beautiful feature to showcase,’ says Esther. ‘And we wanted to be able to stand at one end of the building and see all the way through, so decided on glazed walls made from Crittal windows to divide the open-plan space. The glass was sound-proofed and we put up curtains for privacy.’ Keeping the original floor was a priority but, with the cinema below, they needed to consider sound insulation once more. ‘We realised we needed to install new plumbing and electrics, so we raised the floor to allow for all of this,’ explains Esther. ‘And it was beneficial, as the varying levels divide the different areas.’ A pantry was fitted in behind the kitchen to house appliances and more storage. ‘I wanted somewhere I could just stash all the household stuff away,’ says Esther. ‘It is a godsend.’ With a good eye for reclaimed materials and vintage buys, Esther and Paul gave their home a bespoke look, which evolved naturally, enhanced with a selection of their own lighting. ‘I’m not one for finding solutions at the beginning of a project and have it all spot on,’ says Esther. ‘It was like creating a foundation for a home to develop on its own. It has grown as we’ve grown, which is why it feels so comfortable, reflecting exactly what we’re all about.’
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