A huge chunk of my time is spent browsing magazines and websites admiring and referencing beautiful spaces. It’s my porn!

More often than not though, I’m blown away by how creative and interesting my friends and acquaintances homes are. So, instead of looking online and raiding Pinterest, I thought I’d look at real life instead (there’s a novel thought!) and bring you a series of snoops into my friends’ homes. And where better to begin than with the Ladyland ladies?

It’s no surprise really that Selina, our resident lifestyle guru, has such a beautiful home. Her South London flat is petite, much like she is, but a giant glass lantern roof in her basement kitchen floods the space with light, illuminating a beautifully curated selection of crockery and enamelware that would have Anthropologie visual merchandisers literally wetting their pants.

Originally from Sydney, London is now her adopted home, but there’s nothing transient or temporary about this space, which serves as nursery for two young boys, a home office for her freelance writing and perhaps most tellingly, one of Ladyland’s busiest test kitchens. I’ve always wondered just quite how she does it!

Like the lady herself, the vibe in Selina’s home, a two-bedroom flat in a period townhouse, is welcoming and calm. Vintage Ercol furniture (much cheaper to buy in the UK than Australia, she assures me) nestles next to a 1960s G Plan sideboard she snapped up for a steal on Gumtree (“I’d fill a shipping container with mid-century pieces from here if I could,” she sighs). And all the while, she is absolutely the perfect host. On the day of our shoot, she rustles up a snack of sunset pink papaya, with freshly squeezed lime, in the time it would take me to open a packet of Bourbons. It all adds to this relaxed space packed with intriguing finds and junk shop buys you could literally spend hours examining….

Ladyland friends with great places Selina kitchen details

SELINA: “I love, love, love this vintage cabinet – it came with the flat but I’d sneak it home to Australia one day if I could. It’s where I stash my fancy plate collection – I’ve managed to keep my obsession under control, but couldn’t resist this vintage jadeite number I spotted on Etsy. It was in Ireland, so I figure the vintage plate miles aren’t too bad. I’m also shamelessly addicted to Anthropologie kitchenware. The rolling pin was a birthday pressie from Ladyland’s Emma!”

Ladyland friends with great places Selina2

SELINA: “One of my prize possessions is my vintage Le Creuset pot, which I found in my local charity shop – I love the idea that this trusty old casserole has served up so many family feasts. I got a little overexcited smashing spices recently, so had to replace my pestle – and found this Victorian-era apothecary piece on Etsy. The vintage trivet and enamelware is from a little shop down the road, which is run by two hairdressers who turned their salon into a brocante. It’s pretty dangerous: I keep popping out ‘for the newspaper’ and coming home with vintage kitchenalia!”

Ladyland friends with great places Selina6

SELINA: “I can’t walk past old silverware without having a rummage. My favourite finds are a serving spoon monogrammed with an M – which is the closest I’ll ever come to using my married name – and a little shell-shaped teaspoon I use every day to stir my Earl Grey. I’ve completely embraced the British obsession with tea. Oh, alright then: it’s just an excuse to buy more vintage teaspoons and pretty mismatched tea cups.”
Ladyland friends with great places Selina3

SELINA: “I spent a good year hunting down my turquoise mid-century pitcher by Dansk. I once saw a picture of a food editor’s kitchen with shelves stacked high with brightly coloured Dansk enamelware and it actually made me swoon.

Regular Ladyland readers will have guessed I’m a bit food obsessed and enjoy a spot of procrastibaking. My vintage Tower scales are a hand-me-down (thanks again, Emma!) and I’m a big fan of the retro Tala Cook’s Measure, which is perfect for when I’m too lazy to get the scales down. The chalkboard jars are from Anthropologie.”

Ladyland friends with great places Selina kitchen details2

SELINA: “I actually like that there’s no built-in storage in this kitchen – so everything’s out on display. I’m embracing the chaos.”

Ladyland friends with great places Maxton's room

SELINA: “I love the look of traditional wooden and tin toys, and am happy to give pre-loved treasures like this rainbow top and London-in-a-Bag by Muji a good home. The Rodrigo el Fuerte print is by local artist Catalina Echeverri, and our boys are London born and bred, so a bit of British design was in order for their room: hence the Matt Pugh owl. I picked up the Songs for Children vinyl at Spitalfields for a fiver – although our record player is back in Sydney, so for now it’s for display purposes only!”

Ladyland friends with great places Selina11

SELINA: “We’ve spent so many summer nights out in our courtyard eating al fresco – it’s a tiny green oasis. And even though it’s toxic, I have a real soft spot for the Oleander, with its powder-pink blooms – my rather glam landlady tells me it’s from a cutting she brought with her from Rome some 30 years ago, and it’s from her grandmother’s plant!”

Ladyland friends with great places Selina garden

SELINA: “Mama and mini-me-sized watering cans. In my fantasy life, we use them to tend to our flourishing herb garden and cherry tomato vine. A girl can dream!”

We love sharing our sanctuaries with you, why not tell us about the little things that make your home special? 

Photography: Kate Berry
Styling: Selina Altomonte