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Her dark materials: how a designer made her mark on a tiny rented flat11 Feb 1:00am

Her dark materials: how a designer made her mark on a tiny rented flat

The Guardian
A small living space without much light is a challenge. But for the owner of cult brand Darkroom, it just made her more inventive When it comes to creativity, the blank canvas can have a paralysing effect. More often than not, the brain gets going when we’re facing a few restrictions. So it’s no surprise that Rhonda Drakeford’s east London rental flat has ideas by the bucketload, because there has been no shortage of limitations. The interior designer moved here 18 months ago following a change of direction at her cult brand Darkroom, and a relationship break-up. A friend, renting next door from the same landlord, told her about this flat in a former baker’s shop. “It’s not big enough for dinner parties so it is more of a sanctuary, which was very timely and just what I needed,” says Drakeford. “But it was such a hole: small, long and thin, not much light, peeling laminate and cupboards hanging off the wall. On the plus side, it’s on a gorgeous street close to Victoria Park, where I love spending time.” Crucially, the landlord was hands-off and relaxed about Drakeford making her mark – up to a point: “If I owned this place,” she says, “I would gut it and start again, but I’m renting so I have to compromise.” I’m a sentimental maximalist. I love having lots of things on display as they create dialogue in the space
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