One-half of Shootfactory, one whole 47 Avenue and a sprinkle of comic genius – Michael Minns makes for one finely tuned interior and design blogger. There’s nothing we love more than progress pics of a beautiful home, and Michaels blog, 47 Park Avenue, totally delivers. After first falling in love with his home via Instagram and laughing out loud at his blog, we tracked down the man behind that sofa and the bathroom of our dreams.
1.Michael, what made you choose this house?
At first – a feeling! I knew it was the one as soon as I walked the front door and into the hall. The light and traditional features of the house are beautiful. I love the original sash windows, the high ceilings and mouldings.
2. People may be surprised to discover that your home is in East Yorkshire. It looks like it should belong somewhere like Brooklyn. It really goes to show how you can guide your interior style and create any look, anywhere. How would you describe your home to someone who hasn’t been there before?
I would describe it as an all consuming nightmare! But, I was looking for a project and a place that was the polar opposite to the house in London. I was also looking for a space in which to have an outlet for my creativity and to have a place to express my thoughts and ideas.
3. We’ve seen from the before and after pics that there’s been a huge transformation. The house has come such a long way from the pastel wallpapers and beige floors you started with, did you begin with one style goal in mind?
No – I didn’t have a style goal in mind. At the beginning, my first and overriding intention was to scrape out all of the pale chintz and strip the house back to a blank canvas. I wanted black and white. I wanted to reveal the features. That was as far as it went really, as aesthetics go. Structurally, and in terms of configuration, I knew that the house’s five bedrooms would need to be transformed and adapted into useable spaces to suit my lifestyle. From there the house itself influenced me. It did and still does speak to me.
4. Which room did you start with?
I didn’t really start with a room, I looked at the house as one space. I wanted a blank canvas in which I could work from. This style of interior design isn’t for the faint-hearted or those looking for a quick fix. As with most collections…they take years to select, organise and acquire!
5. Which room was the hardest to style?
There really isn’t a room which I’ve found difficult to style – the house is still very much a work in progress. I just buy the things I love and they seem to find a natural place within the house. It may also have something to do with the 15 years working as an art director, my eyes have been trained over the years to see the beauty within things.
6. We have to ask you about the George Smith sofa. Was it love at first sight?
Yes! I first came across the sofa in Shoreditch House. When looking into it, I drove to the George Smith factory near Newcastle as they had one in storage…I caught a glimpse of it though 2 sets of swinging doors, and from about 40ft away and knew that I had to have it.
7. What items in your home hold particularly sentimental value?
I don’t have anything that I can think of that holds sentimental value – its just stuff and things at the end of the day! It’s very nice to have and I’ve worked very hard for it! But – if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything!
8. It’s easy to be inspired by other beautiful interiors, but do you look to other places for inspiration and ideas?
I’m always on the look out. Collecting images, taking pictures – my work is another great source of inspiration.
9. Do you have a favourite room in the house? Ours has got to be that bathroom.
I would have to say my dressingroom – I love the Edwardian dentist’s cabinet. Its gone from holding all the tools needed to be a dentist to holding all the tools needed to keep me looking youthful.
10. The big question: would you do it again?
Yes – I would, this is the second renovation I’ve done, the first been the house in London. But – I have to confess…I’ve stared to have ideas of starting 47ParkAvenue over again?!?!?!
11. What advice can you give to others who are thinking of taking on a property that needs a lot of work?
Don’t do it! Walk away while you can…leave it for someone else that has deeper pockets and more time on there hands.
Finally, a few quick-fire questions!
I’m happiest when I’m: Spending time with my dogs.
My biggest guilty pleasure is: Justin Bieber – Purpose ( I hate myself for it )
My favourite magazine is: Apartamento
If money was no object I would: Be dead within a week!
My best skill is: Not too sure I have one.
My personal motto is: Everything happens for a reason.
In 5 years I’d like to: Far – far away from here…
…And we would like to be somewhere like 47 Park Avenue in 5 years! Michael’s other muse and main business, Shootfactory, is going under a transformation of its own with a new website and updated locations. To see more of Michael and the transformation of the house you can follow the blog and his Instagram.