Lisa started Born & Bred Studio as she felt there was a gap in the service industry for lived-in ‘homey’ design inspired by London living…

Born & BredWhy the name?

‘Our name was inspired by the amount of friends who are genuinely shocked when they meet a genuine born-and-bred Londoner. The saying also resonates with a feeling of home and belonging.’

Describe your style and services…

‘Interior design services have a reputation for being expensive and out of reach for most and the designs seem formal with symmetry that wouldn’t be out of place in a hotel rather than a regular family home. Beige and symmetry are two things that do not sum up our aesthetic…  We serve the whole of London, but being based in NW10 our focus is NW6, NW2 and NW10.’

bornTips when looking for a designer or tradesman?

‘After establishing you like the company’s website – such as which shows some of our finished projects and testimonials – a rapport is essential. Trust is key in this relationship, in order for both parties to achieve the best results. After establishing a look you agree on, in most cases the client might not need to have any other input apart from when they get the final ‘reveal’.’

What should be on our wish list for this time of year?

‘In the new year, most of us have plans from cleaning the cupboards to major house projects. Start with the small victories like the kitchen drawer – I have no idea why, but it feels so cleansing! Be mindful as to what you actually need. Clutter makes our homes individual but it needs an edit from time to time to get clarity. Write a list, room by room. Establish what’s achievable with your time frame and resources. If you need help, do your research and get free consultations and quotes. Set time frames on how soon your plans can become a reality.’

Great sources of inspiration?

‘Pinterest is a one-stop shop for inspirational finds. We ask all our clients to select three images of rooms/looks that both partners agree on. Think about your favourite bar/restaurant/hotel the reason why you like it and how you can recreate that feeling in your home.  See (see screen grab, below). Once you start to analyse your ideal space, you can pick out the key points that are realistic to create in your home. This also encourages you to focus on what you actually want. It’s surprising how many people who want a new home have no idea about how to stamp their personality on it.’


Key interiors and homeware trends for 2015

50 shades of grey – in terms of colour, grey is here to stay, in all its hues. It’s the new magnolia and with so many tones it can work in all aspects of your space. Navy and rich midnights are also key trends. Beautiful rich classic colour that encompass a homely cocoony feeling (see Pinterest board, above).

Tainted love – in recent years we’ve seen copper shine through as the metal of choice. The beauty of interiors is the trends move a lot slower than fashion. Copper will still be around but in a burnished way, with metallic accents such as in hand-worked pottery. The less showy and polished, the more earthy, homey and chic right now.

Broken in – the move away from formal and polished looks continues (think high-gloss and Corian of the Noughties) to a more lived-in environment, with a focusing on the simple things. Materials from the earth such as wood, marble, stone, both new or reclaimed. We still have a fascination with used homewares that have a patina or a story to tell. It’s these pieces that make a spaces truly unique, which are often easier on the budget too and, gratefully, on the environment.

Whether you want to breathe new life into one room or have the whole house revived, Born & Bred loves designing spaces that are personal to you and yours. Get in touch about arranging a free 45-minute consultation; email or ring Lisa on 07732 605003;


Maciej GrossIt’s still only January – you have plenty of time to action that new year resolution to get fit. But if you really want to be the best version of you, sometimes you need to invest in time and professional help of a personal trainer. All the better if they’re someone you enjoy hanging out with… 

Maciej Gross’s light-flooded Locomotive Personal Training studio in the Tay Building in the heart of Kensal Rise, near Queen’s Park could be where you need to be. A specialist in fat loss and body conditioning and a commitment to each client’s individual diet and fitness goals means that this man means business. (portrait photo: Lydia Evans Photography)

Locomotive personal trainerI always thought personal trainers were the preserve of the rich and famous, until a signed up for a batch of his one-to-one sessions. Maciej’s bespoke wellness plans, lifestyle tips teamed with his tailored training programme have not only get better in shape, and look and feel fitter, but I feel like it’s been a necessary investment in my health – my back feels stronger, my lungs feel fuller, and my life feels like it might end up just that little bit longer! He makes me hit the Schwinn Airdyne exercise bike for some blood-pumping cardio action, his flexes his kettlebell qualifications to get me boosting strength, and he makes me laugh during our sessions which is the best bit!

Tay BuildingFor a no-obligation consultation or taster session, Maciej says give him ring or drop him a text on 07946 705498 any time, or email

Locomotive Personal Training Studio is in Unit 10, Tay Building, 2a Wrentham Avenue, London NW10 3HA. On Twitter follow Maciej – pronounced Mah-cheh – at @LocoMaciej. On Facebook, go to Locomotive London




Jam packed with potential and well loved by locals for its village vibe and distinct atmosphere, the Golborne Road is experiencing a new lease of life and a shot at London-wide fame with the arrival of no less than four fabulous restaurants in only a few months – here Jodie Tice tells all…


Already a mecca for the discerning foodie with its eclectic mix of international food stalls, delicatessens and cafés, Golborne Road now plays host to the epitome of Scandi chic, Danish deli Snaps & Rye (from Kell and Jacqueline Skött, pictured) at number 93, alongside just-opened classic Austrian coffeehouse Kipferl at 95 and venison and craft ale specialists John Doe at number 46. The latest venture from the dynamic Beach Blanket Babylon team, W36 at number 36 will complete the quartet when it takes up residence in the ex-Earl of Portobello.

Snaps & Rye

To accommodate what we predict to be a stampede and looking to encourage the influx of new businesses, the borough council – Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – has submitted plans to widen pedestrian footways, which they hope will allow for increased footfall. Not to mention the added bonus of restaurants expanding outside in a charming continental fashion. The road’s eponymous market traders would also receive an upgrade with the proposed changes to the market area meaning that it will be widened and heightened and new streetlamps and trees will also enhance the appeal of this neighbourhood.


Completing the Golborne Road revolution is the residential regeneration, a considerable contributor to which is the Portobello Square ‘village’ development (pictured above), where the first phase of construction provides 141 apartments and townhouses, along with six retail units. The trend does not stop at new developments, however, as the Grade II listed Trellick Tower has seen an upsurge in young designers, entrepreneurs and restaurateurs such as Catherine Salway setting up shop, and home, in Ernö Goldfinger’s Brutalist tower block – you could say it’s a suitably dramatic book end to a very vibrant stretch. Good one, Golborne.
Photo credit: @julietkinsman  


Open sesame

October 17, 2014

Pop-up brunch restaurant Tahini opens this weekend at The Shop, 75 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3ND and will be in residence until the end of October… Local boy, Josh Talmud, will be debuting his travel-inspired food business with a two-week pop-up at The Shop. After eight years of managing high-end foodie heaven Melrose & Morgan in Primrose Hill, [...]

More life in the park

Reiki: touched by the hand of Katie Light

October 7, 2014

We have a very special health-improving retreat right in our midst that many of you probably don’t even know about. Wakeman Road was opened by Emma Sinclair and Richard Lamballe in 2013 with the mission of making us all healthier. As autumn is upon us, it’s the most important time of year to invest in [...]

More life in the park

The storytellers

September 19, 2014

Wondering if you should be capturing and documenting your family’s life stories from ageing loved ones, before it’s too late? It’s hard to know where to start or how to do it. A locally launched innovative new service is here to help immortalise those tales… Love Your Stories, a Kensal Rise-based start-up, has assembled a crack [...]

More life in the park

Charlotte Packe lights up our lives

September 16, 2014

In Queen’s Park Design District during London Design Festival, Charlotte will be showing her lights at 9 Lonsdale Road NW6… Lighting designer Charlotte Packe lives in Queens Park and and runs her lighting studio here. Her long-term collaborations are with our favourite stylish places to stay, Firmdale Hotels has seen her designing and fabricating custom lights [...]

More life in the park

Lexi makeover: new bar, same magic

September 11, 2014

With its arty lights and peanut-butter (!) popcorn, we didn’t think our local cinema could get much better. But the innovations of architect Laura Clark and artist Jesse Wolpert have spruced up our spellbinding, social-enterprising Lexi into a gallery, library and bar too… Laura specialises in creativity within small spaces as well as sustainable building practice, exemplified [...]

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Queens Park Design District in #LDF14

September 5, 2014

This year’s London Design Festival (15–20 September) sees the spotlight on Queen’s Park Design District… Thanks to a collection of local creatives and designers led by Bill Amberg, a district has been created within the London Design Festival right on our home turf. Those in the know recognise the area as a long-established hub of creativity, but now [...]

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He’s coming home, he’s coming home: Mark Twain’s coming home

September 4, 2014

It’s always seemed slightly surreal that Mark Twain, America’s greatest literary figure, should have taken time out of his busy schedule knocking off classics such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to cut the ribbon on little Kensal Rise Library in 1900. But he did, and now, in a sense, the unofficial patron saint of the library is [...]

More life in the park