Liz Engelsen's Colourful, Edinburgh Home
Today's home tour is with New Yorker Liz Engelsen, otherwise known as Liznylon, someone I now call a friend having gotten to know her while I've been commuting up to Scotland with work. Funny, vibrant, kind and also with a beautiful home, here in her own words is Liz and her home.
Hi. I’m Liz, a New Yorker, living in Edinburgh, married to a Scotsman and mama to a chatty toddler boy (read: total flirt). I’ll say it - I’m an interiors junkie.
Rewind 7 years ago, I was a footloose & fancy free single gal living in New York City. I had a great job at a Branding Agency and just bought my dream apartment in trendy Chelsea. Life was good. Then I met “the Scotsman” and the whirlwind began – new city x2, new hubby, new baby, new home. I survived 6 moves in 7 years, including a move from New York City to London and London to Edinburgh. A bit crazy especially when you add in buying 2 flats, selling 1 flat, and taking on a massive renovation of an old Victorian flat.
I’m a city gal, so our home is smack in the centre of Edinburgh. We have cafes, boutiques, galleries, interior shops on our doorstep. It’s brilliant. The trade-off is space, our place is compact (read: small), yet full of charm that comes with a Victorian flat – yes, sky high ceilings, ornate cornicing & panelling, traditional fireplace.
Our style is perhaps described as modern, eclectic with colour pops, vintage pieces, and a nod to my NYC years. For us, an absolute must was letting the period features shine but in a more modern way. I’m not afraid of mixing colours, patterns, textures, and styles together – it adds character. I also find the mash up of period features with urban industrial accents interesting. It did take some convincing of the hubby though.
One of my obsessions is the “mantel shuffle” where I regularly swap around the art, vases, succulents, and plants to create a fresh new vibe for the lounge. This usually means shuffling the sexy orange Jonathan Adler chair around too – one side of the fireplace, over by the Edinburgh press, then next to the sofa, then to the back of the room. My friends always laugh when they see my Instagram pics.
18 months ago, we completed a massive gut renovation of our home. You name it, we did it. The space had an awkward layout, so I got to sketching how & where we could make better use of the space we had. This meant rearranging the bathroom, shifting the kitchen to an adjacent room, and removing some walls – all the things they tell you NOT to do. We’ve renovated three previous properties, so we had learned what was possible. My husband was still not entirely convinced.
We spend most of our time in the kitchen-diner with a larger than life baroque mirror from NYC that I graffiti spray painted. Out with the dusty traditional gold and in with the trendy dark ink blue. Add subway tiles, industrial lights, narrow cabinets with a prep sink, and voila a feature wall. The builder thought I was nuts when I showed him this sketch. This corner of the kitchen now serves as my favourite place to test out new wallpaper samples.
The kitchen is also a suntrap in the afternoons and a typical scene is our young son causing chaos with trucks everywhere. Watch this space as there are more revamps planned for the kitchen.
Before the renovation, I lusted over all those minimalist scandi bathrooms on Pinterest. I created my own take on minimalist scandi with soothing luxe pale green metro tiles, white units, a grey wood tiled floor, and industrial accents. However, the space was missing something and that something was colour! After months of debating over wallpaper samples, I put up Cole & Son jungle blue wallpaper. It’s a statement & we love it!
While I’m on the topic of statement walls, I’ve spent the most time experimenting with paint in my son’s room. This summer I painted abstract stripes along one wall in my favourite Little Greene Paint Trumpet Yellow as part of the Revamp Restyle Reveal challenge. I didn’t stop there – I also painted large boxes around the art so each piece would pop. I then perhaps went a step too far - I painted the window frame & shutters. What do you think? I’m slowly turning him into a lover of yellow.
What’s next? There is a never-ending list of projects. An en-suite renovation is planned for Autumn and this hallway door will disappear. Then we will tackle the bedroom. Like most renovations, we ran out of funds and our bedroom drew the short straw. I’ve put up some art and a mini gallery wall, but it is a soulless. I’m feeling a lovely shade of blue and wallpaper will brighten up the space. My husband laughs every time he sees a new wallpaper sample taped to the wall.
The Girl with The Green Sofa