At Home with Designer Sheena Murphy

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    We take a tour of nune founder and director Sheena Murphy’s tranquil North London home where she lives with her husband Paul, daughter Matilda and their puppy Sid.

    After living in Brooklyn for more than a decade, New York and London-based interior design studio nune founder Sheena Murphy knew it was time to return to her home country (the UK) in 2018, following the opening of nune’s London studio. Not long after her move, Sheena welcomed est inside her temporary Queens Park rental, located in a leafy, quiet neighbourhood close to the designer’s family and Heathrow airport.

    Fast forward two years and Sheena has just completed the redesign of her family home; a red brick, post-war house built in 1958 with minimal architectural detail. The interiors, however, tell a different story; each sun-filled space imbued with creamy tones and curated with an eccentric mix of rare and vintage pieces.

    Since completing design school in 2013, where she was taught by ‘modernist-loving architects’, Sheena admits she’s been inherently drawn to homes with less architectural frivolity and a focus on practicality. “When we found this post-war house, I was immediately excited about its potential,” Sheena says. “It hadn’t been renovated in more than fifteen years, so we gutted it and laid it out in a way that works perfectly for our family,’ she adds. 

    The 170-square-metre home is spread across three floors with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a study nook, an open plan kitchen and dining area that backs onto the garden and two living spaces. Each space gently and seamlessly unfolds onto the next, creating the illusion of a larger, more spacious home. The architects, deDraft, also managed to make room for a clever study nook in the centre of the home beneath a generous skylight. It’s this space where Sheena spends the majority of her time.

    The heart of the home is tucked at the rear, comprising of a large kitchen with island bench, butler’s pantry and dining zone, with inbuilt banquette seating. Everything in this space reflects an interest in tactility, beauty and colouring – reflective of nune’s signature aesthetic. Limestone and oak form a restrained base for the layering of personalised pieces within this space, including the sculptural dining chairs reupholstered in Kvadrat fabric, vintage kitchen wall sconces and artwork by Ben Nicholson from The Francis Gallery – one of Sheena’s favourite pieces within her home.

    “My home was the most involved and challenging project I’ve worked on, but we feel so fortunate to live here, particularly at what’s been a difficult period in our history.”

     

    – designer Sheena Murphy

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    The circa-1940s Danish banana sofa was another rare find from Beton Brut.

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    Sheena says her home is a more emphasised adaptation of her personal style. “Over the years, we have developed something of a type when it comes to our body of work,” Sheena says. “My home isn’t a huge deviation from that, but it does feel different; it feels like a more saturated version of what I like and the things our family values.” Sheena also created plenty of opportunities to display pieces from designers and studios she admires. Open shelving, custom storage and wall-nooks throughout reveal a curated selection of objects, books and sculptures.

    Sheena says her home reflects the way her family like to live, filled with colours and shapes that feel comforting and inviting to them. “Our house was designed to be highly functional, quiet and restrained like its architecture,” she says. “We also wanted to create a home that we use fully, and we do, so that’s incredibly satisfying.”

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    The powder room features the Gubi F.A.33 Rectangular Mirror.

  • sheena murphy's signature style

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