On the corner of historic St. John’s Square in London’s Clerkenwell, a must-go neighborhood for any foodie or design lover, stands a beautiful and inviting yellow brick building with large windows facing two directions. A year ago you wouldn’t have thought there was much hope for this house — it used to be a rundown stationers and really wasn’t much to look at. The facade was dirty and dark, and all original features inside were hidden behind metal racks and reams of paper. Despite its tatty appearance, the talented team at British kitchen design company deVOL immediately knew that this house was a diamond in the rough.
Anissa Helou is a London-based food writer concentrating on Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean cooking (check out her In The Kitchen With recipe!). She’s truly had an amazing career. Before Anissa was into food, her life was in the art world, and before she lived in this modern, minimalist two-story loft, she was living in a Victorian home full of 19th century objects, paintings and furniture. She moved into this light, airy, spare space 13 years ago, but despite attempts at minimalism her cookbook collection keeps growing! Anissa also blogs about her travels, the people she meets and shares recipes. Her latest endeavor is an Egyptian street food experience in an elegant ‘hole-in-the-wall’ place in Covent Garden with a group of Egyptian foodie entrepreneurs, and she leads the occasional culinary tour. Anissa also works as a consultant for the National Museum of Qatar, helping them develop a food culture program for their Food Forum. Many thanks, Anissa, and Celia Topping for the beautiful photos!
Image above: I have far too many cookbooks and even though I had a huge bookcase built specially for them, they are spilling out on the floor and in the blocked fireplaces. This said, I would have had space for all of them if I had sold my art books (I was in the art world before moving to food). I wanted [the space] to be white but not a boring white so after I tried all kinds of whites I settled on a very nice one that changes with the light which is called blackened white by Farrow & Ball and the white is mixed with very little purple and even less black.
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