Interiors expert Phil Kind's flat is made for entertaining - so long as the guests don't stand up

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The Independent Online

I can't actually stand up straight on the mezzanine level of my Brixton flat – I'm 6ft 2in and the ceiling height is just 6ft, so it's a bit Alice in Wonderland. Friends told me I was mad to buy this place for precisely that reason, but it makes no difference as I mainly use the floor for entertaining, so I'm either sat at the dining table or lounging in the sofa area on the other side. I've learnt to automatically stoop the rest of the time.

The split-level is what makes this place. It opens up what could otherwise be quite a pokey space and connects the two floors in a sociable way; I can be cooking dinner in the kitchen and carry on a conversation with everyone upstairs. It is made for entertaining really – the cushioned area seats 10 and I designed it myself with built-in side-tables so your glass of wine is never too far from reach.

Except for one wall at the back that is covered in hessian – which I love, as it is so tactile – the colour scheme is almost entirely monochrome throughout the flat.

The interest comes from the furnishings. I like classic pieces jazzed up a little and a bit of random mixing. I'm not worried about pairing things that don't traditionally go together, so I have some quite baroque bits and pieces such as a glass candelabra alongside more contemporary things. I also have pieces I've found randomly – a telephone in the shape of a doughnut and a model of a cow (above). I found that on holiday; I thought it was really heavy and expensive – it's not, but it did appeal to my taste for quirkiness. The overall effect is modern, in a fun way.

I design a lot of my furniture myself and often get out of London to find pieces in reclamation yards and have them remade in more modern ways. I designed a glass-topped coffee table with polystyrene pieces underneath – they give it an interesting textural and visual twist.

I recently found out from a neighbour that this building was an orphanage, which spooked me a little. I've never felt any bad vibes, though.

For more information about Phil Kind's online bespoke and designer homewares company, visit www.sheerhome.co.uk

Get the look: Classic with a twist

Clear winner

Glass Aalto vase. From £96, tel: 020 7837 1900, www.twentytwentyone.com

Comfort zone

Sanderson-print fabric. £35 per metre, tel: 01895 830 044, www.sanderson-uk.com

Timeless treasure

Star clock by George Nelson for Vitra. £183.50, tel: 020 7557 7557, www.aram.co.uk

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