Chrissie Abbott's DIY chic interior

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Chrissie Abbott is a freelance illustrator - as well as designing artwork for electro-pop star Little Boots, her images have enlivened the pages of The New York Times and Wallpaper magazine, been used in ad campaigns for Virgin, Orange and MTV, and adorned T-shirts for Urban Outfitters, Vans and Jaguar Shoes.



Her work often collages different images: vintage-feel snapshots of birds or teapots are twined together with psychedelic swirls, mushrooms and curling locks of hair. She’s also got a fondness for unusual typefaces, bright colours, and 1970s poster and sleeve art. This pick’n’mix work ethic can also be seen in her home, a Victorian semi-detached house in Hackney, which Abbott and her housemates enliven with retro trinkets.



“The house is divided into two flats, and there are four of us in mine, plus two friends upstairs,” says 27-year-old Abbott. “We’ve all got really similar tastes, and so everyone adds bits in. Everything is from charity shops, vintage shops – there’s nothing new and spangly! It just seems less sterile that way.”



As well as providing a certain DIY chic that you’d only expect of an artist’s shared house in East London, their thrifty ways also make a virtue of a necessity. As Abbott explains "it’s a bit of challenge to buy nice things for nothing.”



Many of her decorations also have a personal element to them. The throws she and her housemates chuck around to make the flat feel homely include a green tartan blanket that belonged to her granddad, while the cheesy drawing of Cliff Richard is an in-joke with her brother writ large. “When we were growing up, we had this postcard of Cliff Richard, and we’d hide it in weird places. It would crop up every few months – you’d find it in the fusebox, or the bathroom cupboard. We haven’t lived with each other for six years now, but Cliff has come back – my brother bought me that picture last Christmas.”



Many of Abbott’s illustrations feature animals, and it’s a fascination that’s reflected in her home, including the new cat-adorned crockery she’s made for Jaguar Shoes. “I do like using animals, it brings in a bit of personality, and Persian cats just look so ridiculous.” Abbott has no desire for a real pet however; sticking their furry faces on a plate is the closest she’ll get to having a cat in her home.



But she does have her collections of animal figurines. “I like collecting things, like my ceramic owls and horses. Me and my friend Fran used to buy each other owls all the time and then we’d paint them – and now other people get them for me too. I do like an owl.”



While the flat features a couple of pieces of her work – mostly to fill gaps, she insists with a hint of embarrassment – Abbott prefers to put up personal photos and old pictures. “It seems a bit weird, looking at my own stuff.”



Abbott does most of her work in her nearby studio, and says she likes to keep her work and home separate. “I used to work from home, and became a weird recluse – I would do my work from my bed and not go out, like some kind of social outcast!”



However, the working from bed hasn’t entirely ceased; Abbott explains she gets a lot of her ideas in the wee small hours: “I do do a lot of work on my laptop, so if I need to I can get up and do things at home in the middle of the night.” Under the watchful eyes of Sir Cliff and the owls, inspiration is surely never too far away …





Chrissie Abbott has designed a limited edition range for Jaguar Shoes, available from No One, 1 Kingsland Rd, Shoreditch, London E2 8AA or online at www.jaguarshoes.com

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit