Archive Articles: Good Housekeeping, February 1984

When Mary Wiggin found new premises for her furniture shop Coexistence, she also discovered a great place to live. Above the store in Islington, a Victorian maisonette cried out for renovation. With home and workplace under one roof, the two share a style in common. Pure modern design is the key, though the odd period piece is evident too. New and old coalesce in a strikingly successful partnership.

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Left: Directly above the shop, an L-shaped interior serves as a kitchen-dining room. The narrow section is used for cooking; the wider one (seen here) for eating. Favouring cool, practical décor Mary has chosen pale grey walls and picked blue-grey studded rubber flooring to suit the requirements of both areas.
The Ponte d’acqua table by Pallucco seats eight, but with a reeded glass top and trim metal legs, it doesn’t swamp the room. New highlights old: a canvas chair by Cassina and hi-tech Arteluce lamp flank the classical marble fireplace, while Hockney’s Celia gazes wistfully at the antique bust below.
Top right: This detail shot shows one end of the dining area. Hanging here is Elizabeth Dax’s huge abstract painting with its inspiring colours and exciting shapes. Two Area lamps bloom like highly decorative flowers. Produced by Artemide, these lights gain most impact when grouped together.
Bottom right: In the small but functional kitchen area, Mary decided against lining the walls with work surfaces and built-in units. She settled for a single surface and a freestanding oak cupboard for storing food.

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Left: Situated on the second floor, the monochromatic bedroom has incorporated its period features – fireplace and wood panelling – with great subtlety. Curtains could disguise the interesting proportions of the windows, so blinds are suspended instead.
Furniture is sparse and with Mary’s dislike of built-in wardrobes comes a novel way of hanging clothes. Attached to the Zanotta hatstand, garments are readily available.
Top right: A stylish Alias chest of drawers in four different shades of grey occupies the far bedroom corner. On top, carefully selected accessories prevent the scheme from being stark. A no-nonsense Tenolumen lamp dominates but is offset by the fragile twisting plant and mug of fresh flowers.
Bottom right: Turning this top floor interior into an intimate sitting room was easy. Modest windows and a low ceiling lend a natural cosiness which is increased by the dark grey walls. Furniture remains limited to the best in modern design: a leather Corbusier chair, a Tizio lamp by Artemide and Driade glass table.

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