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The Interior Life Of: Amy Bannerman

If you’ve been waiting for a sign to ditch the concrete metropolis and move to the coast, let Amy Bannerman’s story persuade you. After almost a decade living in a ‘pea-sized’ flat off London’s Brick Lane and an eight-year-long renovation of a house in Leytonstone, the fashion stylist uprooted herself, her three-year-old son Alfie and their au pair to the cliffs of Hastings last July. ‘I’m a very instinctive person. I got this incredible feeling,’ she says, recalling the first viewing of her coastal sanctuary.

Convinced she wanted to purchase a Victorian property with an abundance of space and high ceilings, Bannerman admits she ‘almost didn’t bother’ going to see the Grade II-listed building. ‘It looked so small from the outside,’ she says of the former guesthouse, which once hosted the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal (the model for John Everett Millais’ Ophelia). To her surprise, the house’s façade – painted in the exact same shade (Mouse’s Back by Farrow & Ball) as her previous home – concealed a Tardis-like cavern. ‘It just kind of keeps going. I found the layout interesting.’

Divided over three floors with two narrow staircases, the house is made up of five bedrooms and opens out onto a gated, two-tiered garden leading to a road towards the shore. ‘In the summer, we can be at the beach in five minutes,’ Bannerman notes of its fairy-tale-like location. Given her ‘hatred’ of suburbia, a sense of community was a priority. Situated on the town’s historic high street, the house is within walking distance of antique shops, Judges Bakery and the First In Last Out pub (‘it has an open fire in the middle of the room’).

While renovations inside the property are off the cards due to strict building regulations, Bannerman is flexing her construction prowess in the garden, and plans to build an office for her archival vintage clothes and a miniature house for Alfie. With a Pinterest board overflowing with photos of marble- topped kitchens (‘I’ve always wanted one’), the eco-conscious stylist is also set on adding conservation rooflights in the attic and investing in an InSinkErator. ‘I love the idea of minimising waste,’ she says.

amy bannerman interiors of

Serena Brown

In May 2023, eBay appointed Bannerman as its pre-loved style director, a role that involves her sourcing and styling the market- place’s fashion-related campaigns and key talent, as well as working as a merchandising consultant and spokesperson. She has almost a quarter of a century’s experience of buying and shopping on the site, and her favourite finds include a small statue of a naked woman ‘holding her boobs’ on the breakfast room’s mantelpiece, a £30 flower-shaped footstool (‘Pandora Sykes had it replicated for her house’) and a denim-toned Charles sofa by Ligne Roset. ‘I love eBay for those completely random things,’ she says. Her best investment, however, is her B&B Italia bed, which she has reupholstered in a flecked bouclé from the same brand: ‘I’ll never get another.’

In the summer, we can be at the beach in five minutes

The antithesis of Zara Home and the White Company’s neutral aesthetic, Bannerman – today dressed in green Crocs and vintage paisley-print pyjama bottoms – prefers to embrace colour and contrast. ‘I don’t like being all one thing. I like unexpected touches,’ she explains, referencing the wired Florence Knoll chair and bright Dyke & Dean and Tekla towels in her ‘traditional’ bathroom. Unpredictable pairings also include a lacquered tray and William Gerrard table with faux-bamboo legs in the lounge, and a bespoke, 100% recycled checkerboard-covered bench by Colours of Arley in the breakfast room. ‘There’s a go-karting track on Hastings’ seafront near my house,’ Bannerman says of the pattern’s inspiration.

amy bannerman interiors ofSerena Brown

The importance of family is instilled into every corner of Rossetti House, as are Bannerman’s memories of growing up sur- rounded by nature near Tunbridge Wells. ‘It was very homely, comfortable and cosy,’ she says of her childhood home, with its ‘eclectic’ interiors and ‘mishmash’ of her artist mother’s vintage finds. Inspired by her aunt and uncle’s zebra-print Howard Keith sofa that she coveted as a child, Bannerman spent years searching eBay to find a similar striped set, which now sits in her lounge. ‘It brings me continuous joy,’ she says. The stylist’s love of meaningful interiors recently saw her ‘pimp’ a handmade bunk bed (bought on eBay, of course) for Alfie with Little Greene’s Royal Navy paint and Beata Heuman’s latest jewel-toned parchment fabrics.

I love eBay for those completely random things

amy bannerman interiors ofSerena Brown
amy bannerman interiors ofSerena Brown

Bannerman’s most cherished artworks include a Girl with a Pearl Earring-esque painting (a moving-in gift from her parents), a Hayden Kays vagina print (‘it’s amazing how many people ask if it’s of me’), a print by Studio Lenca and a charcoal nude by her mother. The most heartfelt is undeniably a work in the lounge by her friend Chiara Perano, of one of Alfie’s favourite phrases if they’re apart: ‘Why do we miss each other? Because we love together.’

Her home may be full of pre-loved treasures, but Bannerman is most proud that it’s hers. ‘I’m a single mum and I’ve managed to do it all on my own,’ she says. ‘Moving from London with Alfie was a huge decision, but this feels like the place we should be.’