The inky-black exterior of Mirva Yoshinari’s four-bedroom Victorian terrace makes a bold statement on its quiet west London street, and when she greets us at the front door, it’s immediately apparent that the darkly beautiful Yoshinari, 40, also has a far-from-suburban air.
Half Japanese and half Finnish, she was born in Finland but grew up in Rome, Tokyo, New York and Japan with her mother and diplomat stepfather. Aged 20, Yoshinari bought an open-return ticket to London and decided to stay after meeting her partner Sky Grimes and moving into a squat with him in Islington.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app“I only had £70 to my name and we needed to make a living,” she recalls, “So we bought a sanding machine and started a painting and decorating company.”
Twenty years later, the couple have three boys (Kai, 12, Fin, 10, and River, three, and are expecting a fourth child) and the business has become Q Scaffolding, which Grimes runs from an office in their garden, while Yoshinari is an interior designer for a property developer, recently renovating a house in Queen’s Park in her distinctive industrial-chic style for Sienna Miller.
The family moved to Acton a year ago, from a smaller property in Notting Hill. “This house was a wreck so it was a bit of a wrench,” Yoshinari says. “We ripped everything out, replaced floors and added a side extension to the kitchen.” There were no original features, so Yoshinari had authentic period coving moulded and reinstated the ceiling roses.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMeticulous about getting everything just right, she also commissioned the glass artist Tom Spencer to copy stained-glass panels from neighbouring houses for the front door.
In the entrance hall, Yoshinari stole a little space from the sitting room and had storage cupboards made, adding vintage French-mirrored door fronts. “I love getting something for nothing,” she says, “I usually find things in Kempton Market, salvage shops or online.”
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appPracticality was key when kitting out the house. The living room, for example, is also the playroom, with toys stored in apple boxes on runners. “I like industrial things; objects that can’t get nicked or bumped. I have three boys and one on the way, so I can’t contemplate living in a white minimalist space.”
The dark walls of the double living room are lined with contemporary art and lead on to the large, bright kitchen-diner, which is anchored by a polished concrete island unit. Yoshinari decided to get her own building team to make it after being quoted £30,000 for the job by a specialist company. “It doesn’t matter that it’s not totally perfect,” she says.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app“I prefer the handmade to perfect symmetry or machine-made things, incorporating the Japanese wabi-sabi ethos of the impermanent and incomplete, which I follow.”
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appOn the first floor is a guest bedroom and bathroom and the master-bedroom suite that Yoshinari wanted to feel like a “country house in the middle of nowhere”.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appHer favourite piece in the house – a gift from Sky on her 22nd birthday – is a frame that hangs on the bedroom wall and cost £1 from Portobello market.
A profusion of potted plants and mirrored surfaces in her bathroom give it a feminine, glamorous and decadent feel. “It’s a little ironic,” Yoshinari says, “I love plants, but I’m not good with them at all. I really like the way they add energy and life to a room. If you take them away, everything looks flat.”
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAs well as influencing her decorating style, the wabi-sabi philosophy of impermanence plays out in Yoshinari’s life too, meaning the family probably won’t stay in the house for that much longer. “I’m not sure where we will go yet,” she says, “but I’m already itching to find another house to do up."