My House: Make-up artist Laura Pye, whose portfolio includes working backstage at the BAFTAs, talks about her converted church in Stepney

 
Steve Dinneen
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Laura Pye contemplating whether to pour coffee all over her boyfriend's rug

The flat is in a converted church, so it has loads of funny architectural quirks where the developers had to work around existing features. My favourite part is the beautiful stained glass windows, which let in loads of natural light. I’m a make-up artist so that’s really important; it means I can invite people round for make-up and bridal trials.

The light is great all day but it’s especially good in the morning, which is perfect for getting my make-up done before I leave the house; it doesn’t look very good when you’re a make-up artist if you turn up for a shoot with your eyeliner all smudged from trying to do it on the Underground.

The flat’s in a three-storey building and we have the second floor, but because of the way the church is designed, we don’t have anyone above us. It means we get the full height of the windows, which start downstairs, disappear through the ceiling and end upstairs in the bedroom with these amazing arches that only come up to your waist.

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It’s the kind of thing no architect would deliberately plan, but it means the flat is unlike any I’ve seen before. There’s a weird little space half-way up the stairs that we call the study, even though it’s only big enough to fit a child-size desk and a small chair in it. Other original features include a big archway over the landing, which I bash my head against at least once a month, and lovely columns that rise up in unlikely places; there’s even one tucked away inside a cupboard.

As the flat itself is quite striking, we keep the decor fairly neutral. All of the furniture is mis-matched, although not by design, we just pick things up when we see them – a side table here and a foot-stool there. Even the dining chairs don’t match. We have the TV and stereo stacked up on old apple crates, which looks cool and is really economical within the space. The flat is pretty small, so finding ways of hiding all our clutter is a constant work in progress.

One statement item we have is a rug my boyfriend ordered from the States: it’s got the same pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel in The Shining, which he’s very proud of. He even has a jumper to match.

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