Character homes have always intrigued the London-based interior designer Laura Logan. “Ever since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the idea of houses as repositories of people’s stories,” says the designer born in a historic town in the north of England. She lives in a renovated East London Victorian home with her husband and two young children, Bonnie, 5, and Alban, 2. “This felt like the perfect place to write a chapter or two of our story,” says Laura. The building dates back to 1867, and echoes of the past sit in harmony with a breezy modern extension that the couple instigated after purchasing the property in 2019.
“There was a lot that just didn’t work for us as a family; the kitchen was small and cramped, rooms had oddly positioned doors and windows, and the décor was uneven and eclectic,” says Laura. Faced with what she delightfully describes as ‘a historical kaleidoscope of the last 40 years of interior design,’ the designer set out to amplify the home’s functionality and bring visual cohesion via swathes of organic textures and tones. She worked with the architect Lizzie O'Neill of EJ Studio to extend the old dwelling with an open-plan daylight-soaked kitchen and dining addition that flows onto the back garden.
“We wanted the house to feel like we were stepping into a warm, calm oasis, despite being in the middle of London, and I think the material choices are a huge part of achieving that feel,” Laura explains. Light dances across the soft, natural palette grounded by sustainably sourced European Oak timber, breathable limewash paint from Bauwerk, and microcement flooring by Forcrete. “Simple design choices, such as maximising natural light, using natural materials and sensory stimulation, can have a huge, calming impact on our health and wellbeing,” says Laura.
The considered curator applies ‘cradle-to-cradle’ thinking to the materials, furniture and decor she incorporates into her spaces. Every element is assessed in terms of its circularity and whether it can be recycled or repurposed to extend its lifecycle infinitely. An old refectory table used as a kitchen island in Laura’s updated Victorian is a prime example of this waste-not-want-not approach- plus, it helped keep the kitchen build budget under control.
The original pine floors, shutters and cornices were retained and refreshed, preserving a sense of history while reducing building waste. “By eliminating waste and pollution from the creation process, keeping materials in use and out of landfills, we’ve sought to approach the design in the most sustainable way. The outcome is a space that positively impacts us and the planet,” Laura explains.
Honest, handmade pieces further diminish the environmental footprint of the Logan family home. The collections gently adorning the shelves and nooks have been locally carved, shaped, sewn or painted. London is flush with trailblazing artisans and makers leading the way internationally, and Laura is more than happy to support the creative community around her. “For example, at the moment, I’m working with a local designer and carpenter (@Reyducreative and @StudioNLM on Instagram) to create the most beautiful garden chairs made solely from fallen London plane and repurposed fabric. They’re going to be the dream!”
Handcrafted wares from The Dharma Door settle effortlessly within Laura’s clear design vision. “We have a lovely selection of Dhali and Buna baskets, which we use all over the house for displaying utensils, kids' toys, bathroom items, etc. They add warmth and texture whilst being incredibly useful,” says the designer, who is particularly drawn to her Bhola Jute rug. “There’s something quite magical about the way the light catches it to show all the beautiful texture.”
With Laura’s finely honed design eye and love of sustainable homes that brim with character, it’s surprising to learn this stylish powerhouse is a relatively new voice on the creative scene. Before launching into design full-time last year, Laura was a London lawyer who funnelled her interior design work into her out-of-office hours. “I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all going and am so pleased I made the jump,” she shares. “I have some very exciting projects on the go at the moment, which I’m really looking forward to sharing more on in 2024.” We know that whatever Laura does, it will be thoughtful and beautiful.
1. Small Square Jute Basket 2. Dhali Baskets 3. Clay Beads 4. Large Round Jute Basket 5. Joti Jumbo Round Jute Basket 6. Buna Basket 7. Oatmeal Handwoven Hand Towel 8. Bhola Jute Rug 9. Hemp Wash Cloth
@house_of_logan | Written by Jessica Bellef
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