Connie Barton’s South London home feels like an urban jungle

Graphic designer Connie Barton lives in a unique home with a magical, jungle-like garden in South London. She and her husband bought the home after seeing it just once – in the dark – after Connie immediately fell in love with the lush backyard. 

Connie Barton
Connie's home is a Victorian house with a contemporary extension, creating an exciting mix of old and new.

Residents:

Connie Barton, founder and owner of Studio Connie, her husband Tom, and their scruffy dog Gelert. The home is a Victorian house in South London.

The London home boasts a gorgeously lush garden.

ENTERING CONNIE BARTON’S HOME, you are welcomed by beautifully curated colors and warm natural materials, making the space feel truly wholesome and inviting.

As we make our way into the living room, it is as if London has disappeared. In here, we are seated in Connie’s cozy, mustard-colored sofa, where we have the most enchanting view of what can only be described as an urban jungle – their garden.

The home's previous owner built up the height of the garden to bring it to eye level, resulting in a stunning jungle-like view from the living room.
Connie's favorite spot in the home is the living room sofa, looking out through the windows. Gelert the dog surely agrees.
Ferm Living Dry cushion, 50 x 50 cm, sugar kelp - black
The Dry and Shay Quilt cushions on the corner of the living room sofa are both from Ferm Living.

Sitting here enjoying the view, Connie starts telling us about her career with graphic design. Connie’s journey began in New York, where she spent time after university visiting design studios and offering to make them cups of tea in exchange for valuable insights. But while she was in New York, Connie was offered work in London, which later turned into a full-time job.

“I’ve learned through my work how great design plays an important part in everyday life.”

“At my first job, I learned so much about the design process, different materials, the importance of space, and the right furniture and lighting. This job influenced my love of modernist design and taught me how great design plays an important part in everyday life. It also brought me back to England, and I have lived in South London ever since.”

Ferm Living Flow jug, black
In the kitchen, wood tones are contrasted by a white marble table top. The pendant light is from Tom Dixon, and the chairs are Hans J. Wegner's classic Wishbone chairs. The jug on the table is from Ferm Living.
Connie Barton says that it is the world around her that influences and inspires her.
The home's walls are full of art and cherished memories.
The lush greenery of the garden is reflected in the interior in the multitude of house plants and the green shade of the kitchen wall.

In 2013, Connie ventured into creating her own independent design studio, which specializes in graphic design, branding, and art direction. In 2011, her husband Tom opened his very first Honest Burgers site in Brixton.

Connie helped Tom with the brand DNA and design, but as more restaurants followed, juggling this alongside a full-time job proved to be too much, and Studio Connie was born.

Connie explains that it is the world around her that influences and inspires her. Growing up in a large family in idyllic, rural Rutland, Connie spent much of her childhood being creative and escaping into alternate worlds through books and drawings: “I now realize what a luxury childhood boredom was! We had no option but to make up our own fun and create our own worlds to keep us occupied.”

The entry to the home office is decorated with posters and graphic art.
House plants, wall art, and splashes of color on the shelves give the office an inviting look.
Ferm Living Casca tumblers
A lover of modernist design, Connie believes that beautiful design plays an important part in everyday life. The Casca tumblers are from Ferm Living.
Ferm Living  Scenery pinboard, wide, oak
Connie's design studio specializes in graphic design, branding, and art direction. The Scenery pinboard helps Connie keep organized and inspired.

Today, Connie still ventures into new worlds of inspiration through music, photography, interiors, and product design or when she and Tom holiday in the wild Scottish Highlands. Many of her clients also work within the creative industry, and Connie finds it very inspiring to bring their world and ideas to life through her work.

“The most important part of my job is listening and asking the right questions to ensure I can comfortably step into the client’s shoes and really understand their world. Often clients will send me books or visual references – anything that excites them. Like a magpie, I’ll gather all these treasures, words, and references before beginning the design process in my beloved sketchbook.”

Ferm Living Dry cushion, 50 x 50 cm, sugar kelp - black
Connie and her husband bought their home in 2015. The brown Dry cushion next to Gelert the dog is from Ferm Living.
Ferm Living Vuelta table lamp
The dimmable table lamp on the shelf is Ferm Living's Vuelta. Underneath it are books on American artist Donald Judd and German-American artist couple, Anni and Josef Albers.
The many exotic species and the height of the plants give the garden a jungle-like feel.

Moving the conversation to their home, Connie tells us that they bought the house in 2015 after seeing it just once in the dark.

“Tom fell in love with the house, I fell in love with the garden and its gnarly old mulberry tree. When the previous owner dug out the rear extension, they also built up the height of the garden so that you look directly out at the beautiful planting rather than looking down from above. It’s genius. That’s what gives it the jungle-like feel,” Connie tells us.

Being a traditional Victorian house with a contemporary extension, the house is made up of an exciting mix of old and new. With its wooden ceilings and large windows overlooking the wondrous garden, the home feels warm and welcoming, and the light wells, which have been added throughout the house, naturally tie the whole space together.

“My favorite spot is in the living room, sat with a brew on our cozy sofa and looking out through the big windows.”

Feeling so connected to nature whilst sitting in urban South London is truly unique, and over the years, Connie’s love for the garden has not lessened.

“My favorite spot is in the living room, sat with a brew on our cozy sofa and looking out through the big windows. Every season is beautiful in its own way. When the sun hits the pond and reflects light across the ceiling, it’s particularly magical. Especially when it’s warm enough to slide the windows fully open, and the garden and the house become one – that’s when you hear the sounds of running water and birdsong from outside. Our own secret garden in a corner of the city.”

The piano is one of Connie's favorite elements in her home. She likes to play it for her own pleasure but also to get her creative juices flowing.
Ferm Living Calm cushion, 50 x 50 cm, camel - black
The Eames lounge chair of the reading nook is accompanied by subtle and rustic Calm cushion.

One of Connie’s favorite pieces in their home is her piano. Playing it, Connie transcends into another world, where she can find renewed energy and inspiration.

“While working from home during the pandemic, I found myself drawn to sit down and play when I felt stuck in my work or was struggling with a creative project. I find it fascinating that, having played for my own pleasure for years, playing can now support my creativity and my work. It tunes in to a different part of my brain, allowing me to switch off and disappear for a while.”

Ferm Living Calm cushion, 40 x 90 cm, camel - black
The atmosphere in the bedroom is cozy yet joyful thanks to the splashes of yellow and playful details like the pile of books on the wall or the extra-long Calm cushion on the bed.
Ferm Living  Ripple drinking glasses, 4 pcs, clear
A small stool functions as a bedside table. The fluted Ripple tumbler is from Ferm Living.

Quoting Ilse Crawford, Connie has prioritized decorating those spaces where she spends most of her time – only inviting things she genuinely enjoys into her home. When asked what home means to her, Connie explains that she is drawn to spaces that feel personal and authentic and that her home is full of cherished memories.

“Our home here has slowly become a private gallery all of our own.”

“Home is where my loved ones are. Our home here has slowly become a private gallery all of our own. Our shared interests, lessons, and adventures as we’ve grown up together are all here, from the art hanging on the walls and the stacks of books to the pebbles collected at our favorite beaches that I use as paperweights.”

Get inspired

Ferm Living
Vuelta lamp
Carl Hansen & Søn
CH24 chair
Ferm Living
Calm cushion
Ferm Living
Flow jug
Ferm Living
Scenery pinboard
Vitra
Eames Lounge Chair
Ferm Living
Dry cushion
Ferm Living
Ripple glasses

See also:

All products from Ferm Living >
New arrivals at Finnish Design Shop >

Edit: Emmi Ratilainen Images: Kensington Leverne Production: Ferm Living

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