Precious Possessions: Natasha Landers
Never underestimate the power of a single object to transform a living space, says interior designer and diversity consultant, Natasha Landers
Interior designer and diversity consultant Natasha Landers’ home in Walthamstow is beautiful, bright and inventive, but it’s certainly not precious. “Home’s a safe haven for me,” she says, sitting in the kitchen with her cockapoo, Reggie. “But, it’s also open to different people all the time, so I don’t want it to feel delicate. It’s not supposed to be a show home and I don’t want people to feel like they can’t relax here.”
The reasons for this are two-fold; Natasha regularly opens her house to yoga and mindfulness retreats (her open-plan kitchen-diner and ground floor are perfect for small groups to spend the day together), and the property also doubles as a location house. “A couple of location agents saw the house on Instagram and got in touch,” she explains.
The house itself is bursting with sunny colours – and with savvy design decisions. Natasha’s designed her kitchen shelves from scratch and had them made from MDF, abstract shapes painted onto the walls, floor and ceiling play with the proportions of her living room, and the front windows’ shutters are made from reclaimed wooden scaffolding boards.
Her ground floor is filled with beautifully styled mid-century furniture – “I’ve always been a fan of mid-century design,” Natasha adds – and she’s a dab hand at bargain hunting. “Look online and type ‘secondhand’ or ‘used’ into Gumtree or eBay, rather than ‘vintage’ or ‘retro,’” she says. “A lot of sellers don’t realise what they’re letting go of. It’s a great way to find a bargain.” Elsewhere, the idea of a bright yellow floor would scare most interior designers, but lifts her kitchen area just so.“It feels like sunshine,” Natasha says, simply.
This optimistic and airy space also plays host to a remarkable framed photograph titled, printed to a giant size, which covers the exposed brick wall opposite the kitchen top. Titled 'Painted Love', it depicts a young black man, standing defiantly on a huge yellow Black Lives Matter floor mural, paint brush in-hand with a face-mask on. “My cousin, photographer Marcia Wilson took this of Cav Manning, who posted it on Facebook,” Natasha explains. “When I say it, I thought, ‘you’ll always know exactly when this was taken – right down to the year, or even the month. The mural and the face-mask make this such a clear moment in history. A moment of uprising right in the midst of the pandemic.”
Further down the wall from this photograph, there’s a neat set of wire shelves, on which perch a few pot plants and two more of Natasha’s most precious keepsakes. An old black-and-white photograph of her late auntie as a young girl sits alongside a little clay yogi sculpture. “I know you can get them from Abigail Ahern, but found her on the internet,” Natasha says. “When I find something I like, I’ll always shop around and see if I can get it cheaper. You look at that, and it just makes you feel at peace. It puts me in my ‘yogi’ headspace.”
It’s hard not to leave Natasha’s home thinking ‘that was a feast for the senses.’ It’s a hugely welcoming space, but a complex one too. Colourful, yet calming – much like Natasha herself.