The Earl of East founders have created a modern but cozy home with an understated, down-to-earth cool
We’re all familiar with that hotel-as-lifestyle holistic design aesthetic of establishments like Ace Hotel, with their Instagram-worthy decor, mood lighting, cozy nooks, and rooms appearing less like a bedroom and more like a living and socializing area. Stepping into the East London home of Paul Firmin and Niko Dafkos, cofounders of Earl of East—the travel-inspired fragrance and homewares brand—you instantly get that “put on some vinyl and stretch back out on that daybed” feeling too.
“We’re inspired by the places we stay on our travels, where the entire space makes you feel like you don’t just want to book a room and go, but you want to actually hang out and spend time there,” explains Paul. “We’ve tried to recreate that feeling at home with different zones, so it can function as a bit of everything, and when we walk through our front door, we feel like we’ve left London behind.”
They made the move from a one-bedroom apartment in hipster Hackney to neighboring Leyton, a more leafy suburb of the city, five years ago. “We had been looking for months and finally saw this place, which was a new-build four-bedroom house, and we put an offer in straightaway, as we knew we could never afford to own a place this size in Hackney,” recalls Paul.
Thanks to its good bones, no structural nips and tucks were needed. This freed the couple to focus on cosmetic changes throughout the house, which comprises an open-plan kitchen and dining room, a living room and downstairs bathroom on the ground floor, and the bedrooms, main bathroom, and office on the top floor. “We also use the house as a place to shoot all of our candles, bed, and bath products,” says Paul. “So for the last year or so we’ve been updating the interior not just for us to enjoy, but to use it as a place for content too.”