Real home: a modern loft apartment in London

Interior stylist Louise Miller realised her dream of owning a spacious studio apartment and has injected her unique style with mementos of her life and travels

Living space in a loft apartment
Project notes

 The owner: Louise Miller, an interior stylist who runs her own business 

The property: A 1930s concrete frame apartment building that was used to manufacture aircraft parts before being converted into residential and office spaces, Hackney, East London

Project cost: £60,350

After years of working as a flight attendant on private jets, Louise Miller always knew that one day she’d find an apartment to call home. So in 2013 when the loft came on the market, she jumped at the chance to take on the project, even though she was still living life on the move.

With a budget of £40,000, Louise used her design-know how and eye for a good buy to source furniture, fittings and accessories from salvage yards, antique shops and also collecting pieces on her travels, to kit out her new home. 

Find out what she did next, then browse more real home transformations. Find out more about renovating a house or flat, too.


The open-plan apartment benefits from plenty of natural light through the large windows that already existed in the property


Furniture and accessories in Louise’s favourite shade, amber, stand out against the white backdrop of the painted walls and floor, while upcycled and handmade lighting completes the look. The tripod floor lamp from the Fort Road Yard, Margate


The sideboard is from Missionary Mart in Wallington, Surrey. Kimino bought at a market in Kyoto, Japan. The pendant light was made by Louise using a basic light base from Wilko and fabric tassels from Walthamstow market. The Art-Deco-style armchair is vintage


Sofa bought at a sale in a theatre where set pieces were sold off. Cushions are from a boutique in Williamsburg, New York. Rug bought in Santa Fe


Louise was keen to make the most of the open-plan nature of the loft apartment, so worked with architects to get the layout right


Louise has zoned the apartment to have a generous living area, kitchen-diner and an additional seating area in the middle


The hide rug was bought at a flea market in the south of France. The armchair is vintage and reupholstered by David Scotcher Interiors in Islington


Louise salvaged the freestanding units in the kitchen from vintage and antique markets around London. The trolley is from Costco


The builder was commissioned to make the large table from scaffold poles and trellis boards. The dining chairs are reclaimed and the bench is a salvaged church pew. Sink is from Stonage Salvage in Enfield. Taps are from a builders merchant. Range cooker Bertazzoni. The blue pendant is from Church Antiques


The statement tiles, inspired by a trip to America, are from Mosaic Del Sur



Tucked away between the new mezzanine structure and bathroom, Louise likes to work and relax in the snug area, surrounded by her favourite prints and artwork. The sofa and desk chair were bought on eBay and the desk sourced from Chelsea market in New York


Louise briefed the builder to create a new room divider leading into the bathroom, featuring salvaged doors, windows and stained glass, which the builder used to form the basis of the structure


In the double-height bathroom, the wall and floor tiles are from Mosaic Del Sur


Bath is from Victoria + Albert with taps, drinks cabinet and towel radiator bought on eBay


The shower salvaged. Sink is from Stonage Salvage in Enfield with taps from The French House



Making the most of the industrial heritage of the building, Louise chose to keep pipes and utilities exposed. The WC is from Burlington


Upstairs, the bedroom is in the new mezzanine level and features an Asian feel. The concrete ceiling is the original from when the building was used as an aircraft parts factory.


Louise has kept the scheme in the bedroom simple with neutral finishes. The bed is from Get Laid Beds with bedding from Selfridges. The glazing was custom made and the storage gifted by a friend. The mask is from South Africa

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