Ben & Hayley………………………….

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Who are you? Benjamin. Hayley, and Caspar of Junk Deluxe fame.

Why Ramsgate?  A great sense of community.  It’s lovely to know all the neighbours, and not being able to walk up the road without seeing people you know.

How would you describe your style?  Eclectic.

If you were an animal, what would you be?  Benjamin: a duck-billed platypus, Hayley: A chaffinch, Caspar: A dinosaur, sometimes he really thinks he already is.

Best and worst thing about your move to Ramsgate?  Benjamin: I was delighted to return to the area, after growing up in Margate.  I’d spent a few years in London, and found it really unfriendly.  Worst thing – nothing yet.  Hayley: Best thing; the cheap property allowed us to buy a nice house, rather than a grotty flat with our meagre budget.  Worst thing at the time was leaving a network of friends behind in London, but since coming here, I’ve met so many lovely people that it’s really not a problem.

How much work have you had to do to your home to make it your own?  We toyed with buying a house as a project, that needed everything doing, but ended up with a place that we thought was pretty much good to go.  However, we’ve ended up doing quite a lot, the biggest things being re-instating wooden sashes, and re-doing the bathroom from scratch.  The next big project is the kitchen, when the bank balance allows.

If you could go back and live in another era from a design point of view, when, where & why?  From a design point of view, 1950s west coast USA; architecture, furniture, and lighting design, working hand in hand, breaking new ground with exciting new forms, materials, and colours, to construct extra-ordinary interiors.  They influenced almost everything that has come since.

Object of desire for your house? Benjamin: my standard answer would be a Hans Wegner Papa Bear chair, but they look best in wool, and would be ruined by Caspar’s vomit, so I’ll opt for a Finn Juhl Chieftan chair in leather please. Hayley: An old Jean Prouve standard chair industrial design at it’s best. Caspar:  An Ettore Sottsass Carlton Sideboard; we imagine he loved the memphis group’s daring use of clashing colour.

If you could change one thing about your house what would it be? A bigger, nicer kitchen.

Who are your heroes? Caspar: Mike the Knight, and the Wottingers; the underestimated neighbours to the Pontipines. Benjamin: Marcel Breuer. Hayley: Too many to list; anyone who succeeds in their own way in the face of adversity, without a chip on their shoulder.

What inspires you?  Benjamin: People who can successfully do things their own way. Caspar: Chocolate lollypops. Hayley: Possibility.

Most recent item purchased for your home? A vintage mirror, recently acid etched with the words ‘find your own way out’ and a big finger.

What do you collect?  We love to acquire wonderful ‘stuff’ but Benjamin’s strict ‘one in, one out’ rule restricts too much collecting, as does the size of our property!  However, there are multiple deer related items scattered throughout our home, which is my (Hayley) particular penchant, much to Benjamin’s despair, as he fears I may turn into a crazy old deer lady.

If you were Mayor for a day, what would you do?  Introduce a meet your neighbours day, every street should be like Hatfield Road!

If you were given three wishes, what would they be? We’ll take one each: Benjamin: Health and happiness for all those who deserve it. Hayley: To have an extra day each week. Caspar: A chocolate lollipop.

What couldn’t you live without?  Each other.

Most unusual item to come through your door. 4ft high green incredible hulk foot.

Best advice you’ve been given?  Look after your customers, and they’ll look after you.

In 10 years time where will you be?  Whizzing around on jetpacks, collecting old furniture to be teleported back to Junk Deluxe towers, and exported to Mars.

What are your goals for the rest of the year?  To keep on keeping on.

ROUND-UP: Ben & Hayley’s home is full of mid-century finds giving this late Victorian Terrace a contemporary feel, with bursts of retro colours & classic mid-century pieces such as the Bertoia Side Chair from 1952 & an array of vintage lighting, furniture & homewares. The retro feel continues into the newly decorated monochrome bathroom with bold chequerboard tiles throughout with great pieces on display such as the lido café sign. Ben, Hayley & Caspar’s home is ‘Junk Deluxe’ at its best.

RECOMMENDATIONS:  Junk Deluxe, The Old Ice Works, Bath Place, Margate, CT9 2BN.

Window shutters supplied & fitted by Drake Blinds, 43 King Street, Ramsgate, CT11 8NP.

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All images ©Jo Willis

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