We love discovering inspiring interiors that we can share with you. Our latest interior crush is @home_of_hlk – a charming Instagram account full of gorgeous details and beautiful home ideas we think you’ll love. The homeowner behind the account is Harriet Kingdon, who lives in North Greenwich and aims to inspire her followers and share her love of monochrome décor and houseplants.
We recently caught up with Harriet to chat more about her favourite interior brands, how she uses her beautiful space, and what she’s aspiring for in her ‘forever home’.
Hi Harriet, we LOVE your interior style. Can you start by giving us a bit of background information?
I live with my husband, Rob. Right now it’s just the two of us – no kids or pets. We own the flat – it was our first property we bought together. We moved in just before Christmas back in 2015, so we have been here for around five years.
Do you have any interesting facts and figures about the property?
The flat was built around 2014-2015. We bought it off-plan and only saw it on the day we signed the papers! It has one bedroom, one bathroom, an open-plan living/dining area, and a balcony. I think the flat is around 550 square feet in total.
Why did you choose to live in Greenwich? And the Peninsula in particular?
We knew someone who lived in the area and told us Greenwich was up-and-coming with lots of new builds. The development wanted young professionals to purchase in the area to encourage a community.
"Proximity to Central London is important for our commute, but we also wanted to feel like we've escaped the hustle and bustle of the city centre - Greenwich gives us that."
We were originally hoping to buy a property in Clapham but the price for a one-bedroom flat was out of our budget. So we explored the Greenwich area instead and fell in love with it as soon as we visited. Proximity to Central London is important for our commute, but we also wanted to feel like we've escaped the hustle and bustle of the city centre - Greenwich gives us that.
What do you love most about living and working in Greenwich and London?
I love living in North Greenwich because it’s right on the river. It has a huge, beautiful park – the Greenwich Observatory – so it feels you can escape from that busy city atmosphere. I enjoy living in London as we have everything at our doorstep; cool restaurants, every shop imaginable, museums, parks, pubs... the list goes on!
What amenities, landmarks and places of interest are nearby?
The O2 is literally a stone’s throw from us – and it’s only a 10-minute walk home. Dreamy! Also, 'The Tide' has recently opened in North Greenwich. This is the first-ever elevated riverside linear park, which goes 1km along the riverside through the Peninsula, past silver birch trees, gorgeous-smelling pines, grasses, and wildflowers. It’s a calming walk home from the tube station, perfect for clearing the mind after a long day.
What are the views like from your property?
We’re lucky that we’re at the end of the block and only have one property next to us. When we’re on our balcony, we can either look out to the square garden of flats, or a view over North Greenwich, which always gets a lovely sunset.
Have you done any renovations?
We haven’t so much renovated the flat because it was a new build when we bought it and didn't need much alteration. However, over time we have painted some of the walls and changed the colours of the doors and handles to bring them more in line with our style.
Is this property your ‘forever home’? If not, where do you dream of living in the future?
I love our little flat. It’s so special to us, but it’s a bit small to be our forever home. We are considering moving at the end of this year. We want to get a house and move out of London. Ideally, our next home will have three bedrooms and a garden – maybe that could be a renovation project. We’re thinking of moving out towards east Sussex.
"I would love to build a house one day. It would be very modern and open-planned with lots of natural light."
My forever home – where do I start? I would LOVE to build a house one day. Hopefully, that would be the ‘forever’ home. It would be ultra modern and open-planned with lots of natural light. Either a beautiful rendered white house or I would opt for black cladding. Either way, it would have lots of crittall windows and doors and be very minimal inside. I would have it open-planned with monochrome décor and lots of houseplants. The dream would be to have a living foliage wall.
That sounds beautiful! So, back to your current home – how do you use the space for everyday?
We spend most time in the kitchen/living room area as it opens up to the balcony. In the summer, I have the sliding doors fully open and have created the balcony to be a coherent space from inside to outside, making this whole area feel airy and spacious.
Does the space, and how you use it, change during the summer and winter months?
It changes a little bit in the summer as we have fewer plants in our flat – they can all go out on the balcony. In the winter, a lot of them have to come inside so it can look like a jungle in here! I also put sheepskin rugs on the chairs during winter. The rugs give the space a cosy feel but I have recently put them away for summer as it is too hot.
How do you relax in the evening or weekend?
I usually see friends, go for country walks, watch a good series, or go to the theatre. I also love having a nice glass of pale rosé on the balcony watching the sunset.
Do you often host friends and family for special occasions?
I love hosting! It was a big debate with my husband, as in a one-bedroom flat you would normally only get a small round table that may only seat four people around it. However, I was determined to get a proper dining table so that we were able to host dinner parties.
We now have a beautiful mango wood dining table that we can easily fit eight people around. It also doubles up as a kitchen island. We were concerned it was going to take over the space but I think it gives structure to the room and makes a lovely focal point.
"I love creating tablescapes. I always make sure I have dressed the table before guests arrive... I decorate with vases filled with wild grasses, small flowers or foliage, and matte black cutlery"
I also love creating tablescapes. I always make sure I have dressed the table before guests arrive. I've recently bought some olive green linen napkins that work really well with the monochrome dinner set we have. I then decorate the table with vases filled with wild grasses, small flowers or foliage, and matte black cutlery.
What’s most important to the design of your home interior?
Keeping a coherent look. I know what I like and what works well in the space. It's easy to be influenced by other people’s styles and what looks good in their homes, but I have to be strict with what works here and my signature style . It’s a small space and I have to utilise every inch of it with the décor and design layout. It's taken time to work it all out but I'm really happy with how it is now.
What are your top five online homeware retailers?
2. Swoon Editions
4. ferm LIVING
5. H&M Home
What are your favourite homeware purchases of 2020 so far?
I’ve got two. The first is my Plisse Black Alessi Kettle (wow, that's a mouthful!). I’d wanted it for ages and I finally treated myself during lockdown. It looks like an art piece and is the trendiest kettle ever. The second is my black ferm LIVING planter – again, so modern and chic.
How do you shop online? Are you purposeful and decisive, or do you like to browse?
Oh, I love to browse! I think having an social media presence themed on interiors really opens up so many new online stores and I get so easily influenced. I tend to browse all the time and screenshot the products I like. If I keep thinking about them, I have them stored on my phone and I know where to buy them. I also do a ‘Sunday Wishlist’ on my Instagram account and save the items in a tab for others, and also myself, to pore over.
Speaking of wishlists – is there a particular wishlist item you’ve set your sights on?
I absolutely love the Angui Bench! It’s something I’ll have to save for, but the design is amazing. It feels like more of an art piece than a bench. Also, the ferm LIVING ripple long glasses are firmly on my wishlist.
To see more of Harriet’s beautiful monochrome style, visit her Instagram profile @home_of_hlk.