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Check out this amazing home in Hackney Wick

Welcome to the house that eBay built: Cecilia and Konrad's picture-perfect home has been fitted out on the cheap

By Cath Clarke
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It’s impossible to walk into the mid-century-perfect home that Swedish couple Cecilia Hammarborg and Konrad Lindholm share with their son Albert without covetously stroking the furniture. What’s even more sickening is that they have decorated their rented flat in Hackney Wick on a shoestring thrifty budget.

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

When Konrad moved in ten years ago the flat was an empty shell. ‘In those days Hackney Wick was totally empty. Now the rent is twice as much.’ 

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

The huge white table was inherited from a neighbour who was moving out the building. 

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Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

Konrad made the shelves out of scaffolding planks. ‘I picked them up for £3 each. There’s a safety measure that scaffolding planks can only be two-years-old, then they have to get rid of them and get new ones. So you can pick them up cheaply.'

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

A chef and ex model, Konrad is the owner of Floyd’s restaurant in Dalston (a side of salmon is curing in smoker on the roof). Cecilia is fashion designer whose coats are as enviable as the flat. 

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Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

The home is packed with Ebay steals, design hacks and canny car boot sale finds. Any tips? 'Don’t search for ‘vintage’. Search for ‘old’. If someone’s selling a vintage sofa the price will be higher.'

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

Like all renters, there is a limit to how much they want to spend on making someone’s house worth more money. ‘We’ve definitely spent more effort than money on the flat,’ says Konrad. 

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Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

Konrad grew up around boats in Sweden and has a thing about winches. So that shelf holding plants under the window can be hoisted up and down using ropes from an old navy ship

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

'The kitchen is ’50s. I bought it for £120, but I’ve seen them on Ebay for over £1,000 nowaday. It’s old and I could do with tightening everything up, but it’s working pretty well. When we move we’ll take it with us,' Konrad explains.

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Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

Their biggest decorating challenge was the wood flooring – Victorian teak parquet snapped up for £50 on Ebay and DIY installed.

Apartment of Cicilia Hammarborg and Konrad
Britta Jaschinski

'When you buy something old you can get top-of-the-line. Things that we couldn’t afford the modern version of,' says Konrad.

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