Discover what the home of a BBC interior design master looks like as Paul Andrews makes his Shoreditch home for sale.
“Finding my home in Dawson Street was frankly a bit of a happy accident,” says Paul Andrews, creative visual designer and now well-known Interior Designer thanks to his successful appearance on Interior Design Masters. Paul was a very close runner-up on the 2022 show, an experience he loved. It brought together so many of his skills and knowledge and allowed him to bring a lot of fun to the show through his natural comedy timing and quick-witted humour.
“Back when I was a Senior Visual Merchandiser at Selfridges, I was heading home from work on the bus, and I saw a tiny ad in the evening paper for an old parcel shop dating back to 1850 for sale in the East End. When I went to see it, there was something about the place that drew me in. The semi-industrial heritage, the location, and maybe the sheer awfulness of it at that time. I just knew that I could do something extraordinary with it.”
Over the course of the past 20 years, that’s just what Paul has done. He’s created a unique, welcoming and beautiful place to live, and we’re delighted to offer his Shoreditch home for sale. And he’s buying through us as well, with a new project that he’s incredibly excited about in Margate.
“If you’re creative, it’s about how it makes you feel when you create something. It’s important to understand how a room and environment can change your mood and, in so many ways, how and where you live can change everything about your life. In many ways, I’m sad to be letting go of my lovely home in Dawson Street, but it’s time to hand it over to someone else to enjoy. And I’m ready for a challenge, something new in life. And right now, that means leaving London.”
Paul’s life has changed considerably in twenty years. His awareness of how functionality informs design has always been at the core of his design work: “I’ve always been unafraid to pick up the tools and to work incredibly hard to find the materials, fabrics and finishes and just get on with things so that I can achieve the correct end results.” He’s got a very hands-on vision for his designs and a way of “seeing” ways of changing things around completely, which might leave most people gasping.
When Paul first came to Dawson Street, there were big graffiti-covered garage doors at the back of the property, with a small door within the gates for people to step through. Paul saw the potential to spin the property around and create an entrance at the back, so you arrive through the small door within a giant door, creating something of the magic of Alice in Wonderland.
This “secret door” brings you into a now-lovely courtyard filled with greenery largely sourced from nearby Columbia Road Flower Market. The front entrance was then blocked, and the internal layout was completely altered to bring a front-to-back sense of space, light and flow. Ten years later, Paul had the vision to take out half of the garage to create an extension, and he added a glass lantern atrium to bring in even more light.
In 2006, Paul took on a high-level strategic and visual consulting role with major European retail brands, helping them to realise the potential of their environments. He worked with the famed design agency FOUR IV, which meant he usually travelled from Monday to Friday on most weeks. His home in Dawson Street became a haven and a retreat from this incredibly demanding work.
When he changed his job in 2015, Paul was still travelling a lot around the UK but had the budget to transform the old coal store under his home into a glorious bedroom. This meant the space had to be tanked, underpinned and given a staircase. While he was at it, he created a wet room, completely refurbished the kitchen, and installed underfloor heating to make the space warm and incredibly efficient.
“I’m a pragmatic designer”, explains Paul. “When I was a part of Interior Design Masters with the BBC, I produced seven complete projects in 7 months – a schedule no professional interior designer would ever take on. Although I wanted every project to be wonderful and right for each client situation, I also had to be incredibly efficient in terms of time and money.”
Paul brings that smart and effective aesthetic to all of his design work, sourcing well and being resourceful with fixtures, finishes and materials.
He’s now taking on a larger and possibly even more challenging project for his next home in Margate – a town which excites him with its cool vibe, interesting people and unique architecture. “I feel excited to be making this move and not only to be looking forward to creating a new home, but also a new life for myself by the sea.”