Inside your homes: Lisa Mistry
Lisa Mistry’s beautiful Manchester loft has been getting a lot of love on Instagram. A home that cleverly uses organic forms, warming tones and cosy textures to contrast against the industrial backdrop - join us to discover more about Lisa’s layered style.
Lisa and her husband have been documenting their latest renovation project on Instagram @loft208 – and we’ve loved seeing the progress. They have transformed their loft in a converted cardboard factory into a restful and tactile home that’s full of texture. We virtually caught up with Lisa to find out more about how she chooses pieces for her home, what inspires her style and her tips for creating a home that looks after you.
Hi Lisa, could you begin by telling us a bit about you and what sparked your interest in interiors?
Even though my day job isn’t one in the creative industries, I have always had an interest in interiors. I think it started with travelling and wanting to bring back the feeling of a holiday into our home.
We’ve spent the last 10 years renovating and living in buildings with a history behind them. It gives me a sense of pride when we have managed to restore a space that has had so much history in it. Our very first apartment was in an old cotton mill, we spent six months renovating it ourselves and my love for interiors really began here. I think for me interiors is a form of escapism and something I have really enjoyed doing that is completely different to my day job.
You have spent the past few years documenting the renovation of your loft. Have you faced any particular challenges during your renovation? And where do you begin with a project like this?
The biggest challenge that we faced during this renovation was actually to plan and decorate a space all at once. It can seem really overwhelming to take big decisions and make the ‘right’ choice, so the worry of a costly mistake isn’t going to haunt you as you’re living in it.
The other challenge that we faced (like most do) are those ‘hidden’ faults that a full survey wouldn’t have picked up. When you start to strip back all the walls and realise there is more work to be done that you initially thought. For us, it just meant that we had to re-jig our budget to allow for more structural work to be done and wait to then furnish our home with the pieces we really wanted.
To start a project, it’s always best to understand and to plan what purpose each space will be used for. I feel then you can start to map out a realistic budget for each area and decide what you want to splash out on as your key features, and where you need to carefully budget.
Your home features a collection of carefully selected designs, with a sculptural feel. When choosing timeless furniture for your home, what qualities do you look for?
My style is constantly evolving but what I have always loved is the clean lines of Scandinavian design, paired with rustic décor pieces. It is important to me that any piece of furniture that we now acquire should be able to be taken with us to our next place. After we renovated, we spent a long time living with hardly any furniture and that’s because it’s important to me not to impulse buy, but to buy only the items that will truly make our house a home and suit our needs.
What’s your favourite item in your home, and why?
Oooo that is such a hard question and to choose only one! There are so many pieces that I love, some of which have taken a while to find. I would say my favourite area of my home would be my dining space - the table was one of our very first purchases. It’s by Bodhal Mobler with a whitewashed oak top and giant industrial iron X-legs. Not everything has to be brand new and I recently found some unloved bentwood style rattan chairs which I upcycled to pair with the table.
Finally, the new Petite Friture Vertigo Light I purchased from Nest. I love how the whole space has come together with a mixture of new pieces and old. I can’t wait for when the day arrives to invite friends & family over to have dinner again.
After curating your home, how does the space and living within it make you feel?
It makes me feel so proud that we have come all this way and have managed to finally curate a space that we are truly happy with. It has taken us a long time to live in the space and get a feel for it before we have finally started to finish most of the rooms and make them feel more like home.
I’m not sure the loft will be our forever home, but I love that we have been able to now invest in some forever pieces of furniture, which if we ever decide to move, we will take with us along with our memories.
What does home mean to you?
For me, it’s a place where we can truly relax, unwind and have as our safe space to be happy and healthy. We live so close to where we work, so it was really important for us to be able to separate the two once we walk through the door. Saying that, in the current climate our home has become our working space, so it’s more important than ever for us to have spaces where we can feel safe and separate our work and home life. We are really lucky that we can do that here with the space that we created for ourselves.
We think it’s really important to create spaces that are positive for your mental and physical health, especially now that many of us are spending more and more time at home. Have you got any tips for creating a home that helps to look after you?
I would say to choose pieces of furniture that not only look aesthetically pleasing but have real functionality for your own comfort. This past year I don’t think we could have got through lockdown without having a truly comfortable sofa or a really comfortable bed, which has enabled us to get the best night’s sleep.
Also having a range of textures in your home helps with the ‘hygge’ vibe in a space, we have a range of rugs, soft furnishings, candles and zoned areas in our space to help with our mental wellbeing.
What’s your go-to place for inspiration? Are there any people, places or brands that never fail to inspire you?
I am heavily influenced by travel when it comes to decorating our home, and after we completed the initial renovation, we did spend some time travelling again which has really helped how we’ve now curated our home.
Some of places that never fail to inspire me are Copenhagen, Tulum and Bali. There are so many brands that I love such as Hay, Menu, Bauwerk and Nordstjerne as well as some incredible high street brands too. Some people that have really inspired me are Jake Arnold, Athena Calderone and Viktoria from @tthese_beautiful_thingss.
You live in Manchester, a city that’s at the heart of the creative industries in the North (and not far from our beloved Sheffield either!) Can you give us any insider tips on the best spots for design lovers in the city?
Manchester is such a creative city with so many historic, architectural buildings along with a different mix of neighbourhoods and cultures. What I love about Manchester is waking up on a Sunday to walk along the canal to the Northern Quarter for some brunch. Manchester has so many incredible coffee houses and restaurants that not only serve incredible food and drink but the décor for design lovers is stunning. Foundation Coffee House, Seed & Cherry and Takk have to be my favourite, as they feel like you’ve been transported to Copenhagen.
I can’t wait for there to be a time to do these things again, to get out and re-explore the city.
You can see more from Lisa on her Instagram account @loft208
Do you have an inspirational interior? Share your home with us over Instagram by tagging us @nest_co_uk. Looking for your own piece of forever furniture? Browse Nest today to discover thousands of everlasting designs.