Interiors:Interior designer Lee Sowerbutts uses art to revamp his Glasgow flat
Confident design decisions create a unique and stylish home
ONE day last year, interior designer Lee Sowerbutts decided to take a different approach to the diverse array of artworks he had collected over the years. He spent three evenings re-hanging every piece in his living room so that the artworks filled the walls. Instead of arranging them by theme or shape, Lee approached the task in an intuitive way, working his way round the room. “What you see now is what went up for the first time; I didn’t then move things around,” he says.
Lee’s business partner and fellow interior designer Anna Murray, who together form Rehab Interiors, watched the process evolve. “Anna was able to read the narrative route through this,” Lee says. Knowing Lee well, she understood why certain pieces were juxtaposed with others. “It was about putting stuff together I liked, but not necessarily stuff that goes together,” he explains. “It’s about telling a story to a certain extent. It’s about having the confidence to not think you’re doing something wrong.”
This ethos – of having the confidence to trust your instincts – is evident throughout the home that Lee shares with his civil partner Craig Falconer, who owns City Gym in Glasgow’s south side. Lee and Craig bought this two-bedroom garden level flat at 13a Kirklee Terrace in the city’s West End in 2007.
The property also featured two external, but attached, outer rooms: one a laundry and an office space, which Lee and Anna have used as their studio.
Initially Lee and Craig did very little to this flat other than redecorate. “We had to go through the real process of living with something, which is something that Anna and I recommend to clients,” Lee says.
This flat presented a different character to the couple’s previous property. “There isn’t dripping cornice work here, but this house has unusual, quirky features like the original stone food and wine cellar off the hall,” Lee says.
Firstly, Lee rearranged the three walk-in storage spaces off the hallway to create a wardrobe, storage cupboard, and a shoe and coat cupboard. “It was about being able to put away all the stuff you don’t need, and then surround yourself with those things you want to look at,” he says.
The bathroom was revamped with smart fittings and white brick-format tiling – with grey grouting – and with a bespoke cabinet, in bright turquoise, that appears to float on one wall.
Eighteen months ago Lee and Anna redesigned the dining-kitchen. Again Lee and Anna mixed things up, combining cabinets in dark grey gloss, ribbed corrugated oak, and white gloss, all from Ikea, with a bespoke mustrad-coloured cabinet. The stainless steel worktop is also bespoke, while the floor tiles, which look like concrete, are by Forbo Nairn.
Re-arranging the artworks in the living room had a significant impact: “By covering the walls with art you’re encasing yourself and making the room feel welcoming,” Lee observes.
This interior has some wonderful design pieces, but fundamentally it’s a personal space, filled with inspired and inspiring touches. As Lee says, “It’s not about having fabulous things; it’s about the relationship between the person and the space.”
• 13a Kirklee Terrace is on the market through Rettie & Co (0141-341 6000, www.rettie.co.uk)
Rehab Interiors (www.rehabinteriors.com)
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east