Simple pleasures: the Methodist chapel that’s now a minimalist flat | Life and style


The stuff of frequently existence – laundry, footage, TV, washing-up liquid – is nowhere to be observed. ‘But it’s no longer stark,’ its owner says

Muller van Severen’s First Rocking Chair in the living area.

Muller van Severen’s First Rocking Chair throughout the living area. Photograph: Ben Quinton for the Guardian

Taped to the once more of Morgwn Rimel’s front door is a postcard of the sea. “It’s a visual cue – a daily reminder that I need more ocean this year,” she says. This is the type of issue Rimel excels at. For seven years, she used to be the director of the School of Life, an organisation that objectives to turn emotional intelligence, and uncover massive questions from philosophy and psychology by way of good frequently problems equivalent to… successfully, taping a postcard in your front door.

Side table by Caroma with Tip of the Tongue brass lamp by Michael Anastassiades.

Side table by way of Caroma with Tip of the Tongue brass lamp by way of Michael Anastassiades. Photograph: Ben Quinton for the Guardian

Rimel left the School of Life 2 years previously and now runs her non-public creative studio, Superculture, operating with producers such for the reason that modernist assets agent the Modern House. In that time, she has moreover grew to become her attention to her personal place of dwelling: a one-bedroom rental occupying the very best flooring of a former Methodist chapel in London. The double-height space used to be first of all remodeled 12 years previously by way of West Architecture; Rimel bought it 5 years previously and worked with the studio to extend the home. After a chronic making plans period – the setting up is locally indexed, which suggests, while no longer of national importance, it’s subject to really extensive conservation considerations – and a year-long assemble, she has just about finished growing what she calls her “personal gallery”.

This monastic home is an educate in over the top minimalism. Aside from a small triangle of exposed brickwork, the walls are white and furniture is scarce. The open-plan kitchen is an uninterrupted run of white cabinets; a kitchen island turns out to hover off the ground. Suspended above is a bushes mezzanine, Rimel’s “nest” and workspace, associated with the main area by way of a steel staircase. This too turns out to flow above the heated grey resin flooring (it’s January and Rimel is barefoot). A flight of 5 plywood stairs takes you out of the main space and up within the course of a brand spanking new dormer extension, Rimel’s mattress room. An L-shaped loo is tucked away off the hallway front.

Morgwn Rimel’s monastic bedroom.

Owner Morgwn Rimel’s monastic mattress room. Photograph: Ben Blossom

There isn’t any sofa: Rimel hasn’t owned 1 for 8 years. “It’s a big commitment,” she says. “There are so few that look good from all angles. Chairs are much more sculptural and easy to move around. A lot of rooms force you to sit down, but there is a lot of movement in here.” There’s a Colombian hammock fairly than a sofa and a Muller van Severen rocking chair as a substitute of one thing static and squishy. During the 2 hours I spend in her company, at no degree are we each and every seated.

Morgwyn Rimel favours a hammock over a sofa.

Rimel favours a hammock over a sofa. Photograph: Ben Quinton for the Guardian

The stuff of frequently existence – laundry, footage, TV, washing-up liquid – is nowhere to be observed. “But it’s not stark,” she says. “It’s about finding the minimum you need to be comfortable.” Rimel, who’s American, has moved house 25 events in her 40 years, which fits some solution to explaining her loss of possessions. Previous houses include an ordinary house in Japan, an commercial loft in Montreal, a shophouse in Singapore, and a pitcher rental overlooking the seashore in Sydney.

Stairs to the bedroom.

Stairs to the mattress room. Photograph: Ben Blossom

Her mattress room is panelled in birch-faced ply. Light and privacy are controlled thru a sliding spruce visual display unit at the back of which frosted glass conceals a jumbled Victorian roofscape. The end result’s what Rimel calls a “sublime experience… It’s a Zen cube, like sleeping in a tomb.” The unheated room is introspective and contemplative. There is just a bed, a Rubn flooring lamp and a small stack of books. “I find the space deeply relaxing, and I need that in London. I have a busy, cluttered mind and this is a space to decompress.” She meditates maximum days, so she is saving up for a Michael Anastassiades marble meditation stool to move throughout the corner. Bespoke garage is built into the eaves to cover her collection of vintage garments – a insurrection of colour close away at the back of the white oiled panels.

Throughout the rental, coherence is created with using humble provides: brick, brass, ply, resin and steel. There will also be mathematical attention to component: the bespoke vertical plywood door handles are the equivalent thickness and length for the reason that treads at the plywood staircase. The exposed edge of the kitchen counter is double that thickness. Even a Rowlett Rutland toaster has been selected for its proportionality. This is for sure the introduction of a perfectionist (Rimel asks to tidy the coat hangers previous than the photographer captures her closet).

Her fastidiousness is tempered by way of hidden layers of that implies. A cream pom-pom bedspread, for example, belonged to her mother when she used to be a toddler; Rimel had it reshaped to fit her bed. In the kitchen, along the painstakingly considered house apparatus (the Sori Yanagi kettle, the white oven) there are concessions to humour, equivalent to a toy smoking banana that sits on high of a plug socket, and a huge plastic lobster that hung in her grandmother’s kitchen for over 50 years.

In the bathroom, she unearths me a “journey jar” made by way of the Welsh ceramicist Adam Buick. It’s a simple stoneware vessel inlaid with a white porcelain “path” inspired by way of a seashore her grandmother once lived on outside Boston. When her grandmother died, Rimel commissioned 3 jars: 1 for her, 1 for sister and 1 for her mother.

The kitchen.

The kitchen. Photograph: Ben Quinton for the Guardian

Though uncannily uncluttered, this can be a space that works for Rimel: a curated space with hidden quirks and critical keepsakes; a place to suppose and not suppose. “There are so many things that give me joy here,” she says. “I find it endlessly entertaining.”

House tips

Minimalist bathroom.

Minimalist loo. Photograph: Ben Blossom

Pet interiors hate Playing it secure.
Your biggest extravagance A skylight over the tub.
Worst decorating mistake A too-harsh suspension delicate: ‘warm’ LED is a misnomer. At least it’s dimmable.
Most valuable ownership Mrs Blood, my life-size plastic lobster.
What would we not at all see in your house? A television.
One issue you’d trade about your home I’d re-pour the resin flooring.
What needs solving? A cracked window pane.
Your worst space conduct Putting dirty dishes throughout the dishwasher in with transparent, then re-running it.
Guiltiest excitement Afternoon naps throughout the hammock.
What would we find to your refrigerator? Blueberries, spinach, carrots, hummus, almond milk, champagne… and wind-up sushi toys (for a laugh).