Free Shipping & Easy Returns | Over 35,000 5-Star Reviews
0

The multi-talented content creator's passion project is a zen blend of Japandi style and Edwardian design.

| By Rachael Thompson | Home tours

Mariko Kuo’s Zen London Terrace Is Filled With Happy Memories

The multi-talented content creator's passion project is a zen blend of Japandi style and Edwardian design.

Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we celebrate innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types by taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour lawyer and content creator Mariko Kuo's Japandi-style home in London.

“I always think you can sense whether a home has been occupied by happy families or not,” says Mariko Kuo. “This home gave me a very warm and happy feeling from the minute we walked in. It turned out that the previous owners bought the house over 60 years ago and raised their children there. We just knew it was the right home for us with so many happy memories.” As a hard-working lawyer, digital content creator, and mother, having a soothing space that speaks to her design sensibilities was essential to come home to after each corporate workday in bustling London.

Mariko started a blog in 2012 as an outlet for expressing her creativity, something she felt unable to do in her day job as a lawyer. "It all started when I was a trainee solicitor feeling disillusioned with my career path and having that ‘Have I made the right decision’ moment," she explains. "I think in hindsight I was feeling that way because law doesn’t tend to foster people who need creative outlets."

As someone who loves fashion, her blog began as a space to talk about workwear and how she was dressing in the office. More recently she's leant into lifestyle content more generally and her interest in home renovation and interior design, providing inspiring content for her loyal Instagram followers. In pursuing both content creation and law, Mariko has allowed herself to embrace her creative side as well as her passion for giving legal advice.

From the get-go, this freestanding Edwardian terrace in South West London gave her the vibe she was looking for.

Tapping into her design-savvy side, she gave it a full renovation while being sympathetic to its heritage features. Now, the space exudes a Japandi aesthetic, nodding to her Japanese heritage and love for Scandi design, combined with elements of classic design.

With soaring ceilings, timber flooring, plenty of natural light (a dream in London) and spacious rooms (another huge win), there's much to love about this home. If you want to create a soothing space for yourself, take notes from Mariko's design choices where she's primarily stuck with a neutral palette and minimal ornamentation. This is particularly true of her bedroom. "The more things you have, the more ‘worries’ you might have which may send you spiralling every night down a rabbit hole of your thoughts and worries!"

Plenty of texture and layering of linen, ceramics, and various timbers make it tactile and warm, while decorative mouldings from the cornices to the fireplace nod to the home's original design, adding charm and history.

The bathroom is arguably the home's pièce de résistance, and a space to add to your inspo board, ASAP. Here, the expansive wall is clad in large marble slabs and a freestanding bath makes for an ideal spot to luxuriate.

In creating this peaceful home, she has given herself an opportunity to fully realise her interior design dream and also live in a space that lets her unwind after high-pressure corporate days.

Shop Mariko's Edit.

Hi Mariko! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?

I make interior design content for my social media platforms and also ‘make’ legal advice as a lawyer.

How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?

One of my biggest issues with working as a lawyer in private practice was that I never had the ability to be my own boss. This is one of the main reasons that made me want to start blogging and creating things that I have full ownership over. I love being in control of my own decisions and so making things through my own vision and idea resonates with me. It’s my passion.

Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?

No, not at all. I think what led me down this path was how law as my sole career lacked any creative outlets. It’s a very professional environment that does not foster idea-making. I still enjoy being a lawyer, but finding my love for interior design and being able to express myself freely through content creation have allowed me to love both sides of my career.

You’re a content creator, a lawyer, a mother, and now a recent dog owner, how do you juggle all of these roles so well?

Prioritisation and working around the clock! But, most importantly, I love all of these roles in my life. It means that I never see any of these as ‘jobs’ or ‘chores’. They are all my passions that I enjoy very much.

Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?

It’s a process that takes some time. I absolutely love stewing over ideas in my mind for a couple of days before deciding on a path forward.

What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?

Always go with your gut feeling. I’m quite decisive when it comes to any major decision-making needed at work. I trust my gut completely and go with my intuition. Of course, the experience I've built up over the years comes in handy too.

What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?

In terms of my law career, working for a biopharma company makes me feel like I’m using my legal skills to make a difference in people’s health – that’s a very good feeling. For my blogging career, the feeling I get every time a major renovation project is completed is the best thing ever.

Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?

For anyone thinking of becoming a lawyer, just make sure it’s what you actually want to do, and not, for example, what your parents want you to do (case in point, I’ve got Asian parents). For anyone wanting to get into the social media world, make sure you have a unique selling point and a very consistent and strong voice.

Can you walk us through your nighttime routine?

My routine starts with putting my daughter to sleep. Then, I usually have a glass of wine and a bath with my partner. We use that time together to catch up on the day’s events. I then go through my nighttime skincare routine and then off to bed after completing my nightly breathing exercise.

Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?

I’ve lived in our home for three years now. We moved into our home just after the first lockdown and started work on it straight away.

How did you initially know this was the space for you?

I always think you can sense whether a home has been occupied by happy families or not. This home gave me a very warm and happy feeling from the minute we walked in. It turned out that the previous owners bought the house over 60 years ago and raised their children there. We just knew it was the right home for us with so many happy memories.


Which is your favourite room in the house?

My living room. We’ve just renovated this space with the focus on being sympathetic to period features but ensuring we are creating functional spaces. We created a formal front room and a back TV/family room to give the two spaces clear functional meanings.

What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?

I think we sleep better in clean, minimalistic, and spacious rooms. The more things you have, the more ‘worries’ you might have which might send you spiralling every night down a rabbit hole of your thoughts and worries. I think it’s good to keep your bedroom minimalistic and avoid clutter as much as possible.

Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?

I am working on renovating our gardens at the moment. The main objective is to create functional spaces and as I absolutely love the inside-outside lifestyle, I am creating an alfresco dining space in the garden. I can’t wait for it to be completed so I can have family dinners outside on midsummer nights.

For more from Mariko, follow her @marikokuo

Photography by Vicki Adamson. Styling by Hannah Simmons.

Welcome to Bed Threads

It looks like you’re in Australia. Enjoy…

  • Free shipping Australia-wide
  • Easy returns
  • Plus, subscribe for $15 off your first order

Your Order (0)

Free Standard Shipping
Your cart is currently empty.
Not sure where to start?

You May Also Like

  •  

     
    0 out of 5, from reviews
  •  

     
    0 out of 5, from reviews
  •  

     
    0 out of 5, from reviews
  •  

     
    0 out of 5, from reviews
  •  

     
    0 out of 5, from reviews