Ten minutes with Winnie Tam from fourteen a.m.

We chat to Winnie Tam, the founder of interior design studio fourteen a.m., about creating a sanctuary in the city.

Ten minutes with Winnie Tam from fourteen a.m.
Wave Residence is a city dwelling with a difference.

Where noise, light and space are so often an issue for urban terraced properties, this home boasts rooms flooded with natural light and a tangible sense of calm.

We caught up with owner Winnie Tam to hear more about the project.

'My partner Dave and I both love and hate city living in equal measure. It offers a great deal of opportunities and enjoyment, but it can also bring about its fair share of stress,’ Winnie explains.

'Before the renovation, we were longing for a way to live in a pocket of calm in the heart of lively Islington. 

‘Plenty of people living in cities, just like us, yearn for restorative spaces. So, I decided to use the project as a way of showcasing what a city sanctuary can be.'
Winnie’s vision prioritised simplicity and the healing power of nature.

‘Typically, London homes divided into flats are narrow and dark – especially basement sorts – so it was my aim to address this and turn our property into one with plenty of outward views and natural light.

‘I wanted Wave Residence to be a place for slower living; a place for reflection; a place for appreciation. And nature and natural materials were key to that.

Today, clay plaster, terracotta tiles and jute rugs cover the walls and floors, while iroko timber has been used for joinery throughout the property.

Reconfiguring the layout and flow of the house took a lot of careful consideration and time, but the smaller details were just as important to Winnie.
'The overall look of the house isn’t at all showy, so every single small detail is important – I believe it’s where the essence of the design ethos is captured.

'And that's particularly true of essentials like switches and sockets.

'Putting a cheap plastic switch on the wall of a beautifully designed interior can really detract from the space. Wall art and other decorative touches can be easily added and updated, but without the right high-quality essentials, your interiors just won’t work properly.

'I discovered Corston at the Surface Design Show in London. I go every year looking for inspiration and suppliers. The simple elegance of Corston’s products aligns perfectly with my design philosophy.'

It was, above all, our Bronze finish that caught Winnie’s eye for its understated matt look.
‘The tones I’ve used in the house are quite muted – and definitely not shiny – so that was crucial. The aesthetic of the Bronze finish felt pared back and sophisticated. And as it’s a Victorian property, the aging process that it will undergo feels fitting too. 

‘I love that the solid brass is such good quality, and the screwless assembly for the toggle switch front plates is so well-thought-out.  

‘Ultimately, switches and sockets should shine through in a room – but in a subtle way. I want people to feel the need to look a little closer and really engage with the designs to truly appreciate the quality.’     

Quick-fire round 
The project in three words? 
‘Sanctuary. City. Nature.’ 

Favourite room? 
‘The Tea Room.’ 

Favourite Corston product? 
‘Undoubtedly, the Bronze toggle switches.’  

fourteen a.m., https://www.fourteen-am.com/ 
Photography: @edvinasbruzas https://edvinasbruzas.com/