Interiors: How to rock a home detox
Calming colours, comfy furniture, lots of plants… for Detox Kitchen founder Lily Simpson the feel-good factor extends to her cosy maisonette
THE FAMILY Lily Simpson, founder of Detox Kitchen, her husband Ed, their four-year-old son Fin and daughter Eva, one, live in a Victorian maisonette in West London.
Lily with her dog Rudy. ‘These doors are all about bringing the outside in,’ she says. ‘Even in autumn, our living space feels connected to the garden’
Lily’s Detox Kitchen deli in Kingly Street, London W1
‘Our home came alive when we added the colour green,’ says Lily Simpson. But she didn’t plan it that way. ‘I’m not one to slavishly follow colour trends,’ she says. Instead, like her business, Lily’s home style evolved naturally.
It began when she and husband Ed installed full-height doors from their kitchen into the garden ‘to bring the outside in’. But after Lily also added a sofa in emerald velvet, glossy verdant metro tiles and cascades of leafy plants, she realised they had succumbed to the appeal of green. ‘What sealed the deal was when my mother came to stay just after our daughter Eva was born. She’s a keen gardener and almost every day she brought in a new plant. Being surrounded by greenery felt incredibly relaxing, so we continued what she had started,’ Lily says.
Naturally, the kitchen is the most important room. ‘I kept it simple and super-practical, with no wall-hung cupboards but lots of work surfaces,’ Lily says. The kitchen and pendant lights are by Devol (devolkitchens.co.uk)
Leafy plants are displayed on a vintage Ladderax shelving system, alongside quirky ceramics. Everything But The Dog (everythingbutthedog.eu) sells Ladderax shelves, Oka (oka.com) has a similar Chinese barrel seat and Home Barn (homebarnshop.co.uk) sells rustic stools
In Lily’s home, almost every object, ornament and picture has a story just like this. ‘We both love art but we only buy pieces that remind us of a particular time or place,’ she says. Paintings of sun-drenched fields or a tropical swimming pool hark back to favourite holidays. ‘It means when I look around our living room, it’s all very personal.’
Even her two indigo-dyed side chairs come with fond memories. ‘I had just moved to London and didn’t have much money but I saw these chairs and decided I had to have them in my life,’ she says. ‘The fact that I still love them is proof that it’s good to go with your instinct.’
‘I love looking at our gallery wall – it instantly makes me feel relaxed,’ says Lily. The side chairs are from Anthropologie (anthropologie.com)
In rare moments of downtime, Lily heads straight for her velvet sofa from Made (made.com). ‘I sit here and take in all the things in our living room. Everything here tells a story,’ she says
The glam Sara Pope (sarapopeart.com) lips artwork was a present from Ed to Lily after Eva was born: ‘It brings a contemporary edge to our otherwise quite trad bedroom,’ says Lily
LILY’S RULES FOR A LIFESTYLE REBOOT
1 Find time to do more of the things that bring you joy. For instance, I love cooking, reading thrillers and walking, so I cook every day, try to read a book once a month and go for a walk whenever possible.
2 Eat more fruit and veg. If I’m having a rubbish week, there is a 90 per cent chance the days leading up to the crash were fuelled with sugar and too much wine. Not only does cutting out processed food have a positive impact on our health, eating fruit and vegetables has also been shown to make us feel happier.
3 If something is on your mind, get it out – whether it is writing it or sharing it. List all the things that are getting you down then share them with friends.
4 Remember, we all have our own issues. It is easy to look at the glossy lives of others on social media and think they never have a bad day. But I promise you, we all do. Don’t ever feel you are alone.
Lily likes acting on a hunch: 11 years ago she switched careers from property to catering and went on to launch Detox Kitchen, initially a healthy meal delivery service, in 2012. Success followed with early fans including Elle Macpherson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sophie Dahl.
Detox Kitchen has now flourished to encompass two London delis and two cookbooks but Lily’s (reassuringly unfaddy) mission remains the same – to get more people eating and enjoying healthy food. ‘When meals are bold, delicious and fresh, you feel energised naturally,’ she says. As you might expect, the kitchen is the hub of Lily’s home life, whether she is devising new recipes or cooking for family and friends. ‘We both love entertaining, although our gatherings have calmed down since we had children,’ she smiles. ‘That said, we had 20 over for dinner recently. We all sat at a long table in the garden – it was bliss.’
Even as her parties move indoors for autumn and winter, it’s guaranteed the mood will remain serenely green.
- Lily’s new book, Detox Kitchen Vegetables, is published by Bloomsbury, price £26. To order a copy for £20.80 (a 20 per cent discount) until 14 October, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15
SHOP THE LOOK Get Lily’s laid-back vintage style with distressed textures, crushed velvets and a verdant palette
PLANT, £19.99, hortology.co.uk
VELVET CUSHION, £6.99, hm.com
Styling: Charlotte Page