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

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Suggested Topics
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick