Home makeover: 'I wanted each room to have a different feel'
Take a look around Dodo's impressive Edinburgh flat, transformed from Victorian formality to reflect her quirky style
Using original artwork and a mix of high street and vintage buys, Dodo Flügge has decorated her first home - a Victorian flat in the heart of Edinburgh - in her own unique style.
Here, she tells us all about her home makeover experience...
This is the first place that I’ve ever owned. I lived in a rented flat before buying and always dreamt of doing up a home of my own exactly how I’d like. I was very lucky to find somewhere that was in such good condition with original features.
The neutral décor was the perfect blank canvas for me to add my own personality with lots of colour, my own artwork and vintage finds that I love to collect.
Welcome to my home...A bit about me I’m Dodo Flügge, 41, a multidisciplinary artist. You can find me on Instagram @diedododa. I live here with my partner, Mark, 35, creative director of a signage branding consultancy and our cat, Udon.
Where I live My home is a one-bedroom Victorian apartment in the centre of Edinburgh. We moved in a year and a half ago.
What I wanted to change The flat lacked character and was a bit too formal for me, so I wanted to make it a more liveable, cosy space.
My plan was to fill the flat with lots of clashing patterned wallpapers, but I lived with the space for a while before going against that idea. Instead, I went for large-scale patterns, which I think work better in small spaces.
I honestly thought I was a maximalist, but I’ve realised I need a calmer environment than I first thought. It might have been due to the stress of lockdown and the pandemic, but I think my style changed a little along the way.
A bit more about my home...How I made it my own The flat was in good condition, so I only needed to make decorative changes. I started by zoning the living room by painting it in two distinctive colours, and then I decorated throughout, adding my own murals and artworks.
My favourite part The kitchen – I love the view from the window. The Habitat cabinets and the gorgeous red Smeg appliances were already here when we moved in and I’ve used the red as a starting point for the rest of the décor in here.
I have a work studio in Edinburgh where I print and produce my artwork, but I do a lot of designing here, at home, so the flat has to function as a workspace as well, which it does brilliantly.
I love multi-purpose rooms where I feel comfortable switching from working to relaxing throughout the day. My work as an artist is definitely not nine-to-five so I need my home to have that flexibility, which it definitely does.
‘The moment we walked into the living room I realised it could be two separate spaces. I set about creating a mock-up on Procreate, an art and design software I use for my artwork that’s also great for doing interior mock-ups. Happy with the results, I painted the room in two different colours to zone the two spaces. One end, with the rug from Matalan and corner sofa, is perfect for chilling out and watching films.
‘Mark works at the dining table, as he loves to watch the world go by while he’s working and it’s light and bright by the window. I matched the skirting boards with the ceiling for a cohesive look, a technique I learnt from the designer Abigail Ahern, whose work I love.
I find that white ceilings in rooms painted in strong colours distract from the artwork on display. I want the artwork to be the star of the room, so I decided to match the ceiling to the wall.’
‘I love the view from the kitchen window. With no building directly opposite, you can see straight across. I highlighted the view by painting the skirting and the window frame white, which really pops against the dark grey walls.
‘For a bit of colour and pattern, I added vibrant wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct in the little room off the kitchen, where we do the washing up. I’ve added colourful accessories, including the vibrant Rwandan rope baskets from the Fairtrade section at TK Maxx and patterned tableware, which I’ve displayed on open shelving.
‘I wanted this to be a multi-purpose space where we could work, cook and eat together and it definitely works on all fronts.’
Dodo has gone for two shades of deep blue to complement her hand-drawn mural inspired by the view outside.
‘I love the fact that I can enjoy the greenery even in winter when the tree is bare,’ she says of her work.
Painting the ceiling dark teal has given the room a cocooning, almost underwater feel. Dodo has added a bright splash of colour to the Terrence bed from Wayfair with a printed blanket and rug, both her own designs.
The off-centre ceiling pendant lights up the vintage desk that Dodo uses as a dressing table, while extendable wall lights from MADE.com are useful for bedtime reading.
‘The bathroom is very typical of Edinburgh tenements; long and narrow but with lots of natural light and gorgeous traditional features.
‘I wanted to keep it pretty simple and clean but painting the woodwork and an arch around the door has cheered the space up.
‘It’s the only room I want to change in the future as neither of us are bath people. Adding a walk-in shower where the toilet currently is would make the overall space feel more open.’
Feature Alison Gibb. Photos Douglas Gibb.