It’s always a strange sensation when you’ve been in someone’s house before meeting them. Well, that was the sensation as I sat down next to Zoe Chan, one half of the architecture and design company Chan & Eayrs. Four years ago I carried some hefty pieces of furniture to the top floor of her Shoreditch home (The Beldi). This was not on Zoe’s instruction; it was part of a shoot that we were doing for House & Garden. So I spent two days in Zoe’s home, with neither her nor her husband Merlin (the other half of Chan & Eayrs). It’s a home that doesn’t quickly leave your mind. The colours, textures, form, and the unmissable care put into those four walls were something to behold.


As we sat next to each other, we discussed the process of creating a home such as The Beldi. She told us how she and Merlin had camped out in the space and slowly built it up around them—working out the light and the feel for the place. To me, this is a novel idea. I dream of being a considered, patient person, but for Zoe it would seem that it’s sewn into her DNA. Indeed, the first place she was taken as a newborn was a site that her parents were planning on buying to develop; I mean, literally wet behind the ears and already doing site visits. This unconventional introduction to architecture has seen her tread her own path in her career: ‘I studied architecture, a long course, and mid-way through school, desperate to build a physical project, I designed and built my first home in London. I sold it and used the proceeds to buy a couple of empty sites to be able to design and make my next projects upon finishing my education’. I can tell you what I was doing mid-way through my education. Not much. But this passion for architecture and design is evident when you look at the buildings that Chan & Eayrs have created, each carrying their considered, well balanced and tasteful signature. It was a pleasure to meet Zoe, and now to have her take part in Tete a Tat, I am delighted!

 

Best Moment in your career so far?


I am hoping it will be the moment we move into our new home in Hampstead after five years in the making. I'm counting every day we get closer.


Favourite Day? (eg mine was my sister's wedding)


The day we move back home :)


Top Destination in the UK?


We love our holiday home in Gillan on the Helford River in Cornwall. We can walk to a little private beach and swim in the sea, or take a boat down the creek or the Helford River, walk in fields of wild flowers or head to Helford village, it's magical and an undiscovered pocket.


Any good advice? Who gave it to you?


You have no friends you have no enemies you only have teachers. - Merlin


Do not give your pearls to the pigs- my therapist!


Every day is a style day- A friend, Tanya Ling


Favourite Smell?


My children's hair. The smell of the Woods, the smell of salty sea air.


Where would you land if you could be a fly on the wall?


My daughter's words immediately popped into my head...(she would say a poo..flies love a good poo.)


A song that can always make your foot tap?


I currently dance around the living room with my five-year-old to the Sing 2 soundtrack....


Do you believe in Karma?


Absolutely. Or at least energies. Positive energy attracts positive energy and negative, negative. Whenever I'm in a rut I visualise a positive outcome and will it into fruition. I'm positive it works! (excuse the pun :) )


Favourite piece of furniture? (you don't have to own it, perhaps one you admire)


My bed. We spent most of our lives in it after all.

Bedroom at The Beldi

 

A huge thank you to Zoe! To see Chan & Eayrs projects click here and to follow them click here.