Open House Festival

In partnership
with Airbnb


Eryka Isaak, Deep Space

Situated on a quiet mews in Brockley, Deep Space is an artist’s workshop-come-home, that showcases the rewards of living and working in one space. From the outside, the front door appears almost impenetrable, but once inside, the Polaroid picture-adorned hallway hints at all the guests who have visited. On the ground floor, the artist’s studio gives an insight into the complex creative processes involved in making Eryka’s glasswork. Across the hall, the guest studio — which Eryka lists on Airbnb — creates another pocket for living. The kitchen, bedroom and living area are seamlessly connected to the outside with sliding doors. Upstairs, the ink-black tones of the living area create a dramatic aesthetic, a space where Eryka and her husband love to host. We spoke to Eryka about how she prepares the space for visitors and how this self-build project came to fruition.

Can you tell us a bit about your studio and home on Ashby Mews?

My husband Sam and I bought the derelict warehouse in 2011 and spent five and a half years obtaining planning permission, mains water and drainage before we were able to realise the space of our dreams.

Living and working in the same space is something many people have experienced over the last few years. How do you find sharing your home and your workspace?

I love working from home — or more living where I work — because it means I can stop for lovely lunches and suppers with my husband as he’s self-employed too. The only thing I don’t like is feeling at the mercy of the washing machine.

The home was designed by Charles Coull and was featured on Channel 4’s ‘Building the Dream’. How long did the build take to come to life?

We hired three architects before we engaged Charles. The first one fell very ill. The second got pregnant and the third left us for Australia. We’re delighted this all happened in hindsight as we had a brilliant working relationship with Charles.

This will be your first year opening up the studio for the Open House Festival. What made you decide to be an Open House Contributor?

I’ve wanted to for years but have been away at the time of Open House.

What’s it like to be part of the community of Ashby Mews?

I absolutely love it here in the mews. It’s filled with creative people doing amazing things. Theatre design, documentary filmmaking, set building, craft selling, printmaking, carpentry, furniture restoration.

I absolutely love it here in the mews. It’s filled with creative people doing amazing things

I love hosting guests from all over the world and learning what their itinerary is. The choices they’ve made inspire me to explore London

As well as the studio, you also have a guest studio which is available on Airbnb. What moment did you realise you could open up the studio? What made you decide to do this?

Charlie Luxton reconfigured our ground floor spaces which suddenly enabled half of the ground floor to be locked off. Massive budget oversights led to a larger mortgage than we anticipated. We realised the guest studio could be an Airbnb to help with the additional costs and bills.

What’s your experience of opening up your home to guests?

At first, I was genuinely apprehensive but I love curating the space to make it extra special. I love meeting people from all over the world and many of my guests are art and architecture lovers who really appreciate the space.

How does hosting fit in with your work life as an artist? Do your Airbnb guests explore your artist’s workshop?

I open up the studio for less than a third of the year, which actually suits my schedule perfectly; it works well to have guests from time to time. I invite all my guests to look around my studio. I’ve sold artwork to them! I do all the cleaning and maintenance myself.

What do you enjoy most about hosting Airbnb guests?

I love hosting guests from all over the world and learning what their itinerary is. The choices they’ve made inspire me to explore London and I also love giving them hints and tips.

How does the studio impact your creative process?

I’m fully inspired by the space I now have, and love being able to have four or five projects going on at the same time. I’ve been practising for over 30 years now and I can’t describe to you the daily joy I feel of having a space like this. It represents an enormous amount of hard work and risk-taking over the years and I’m so grateful it’s paid off.

Do you have a favourite London building you’ve visited during Open House Festival?

I visited Richard Rogers’ Neo Bankside and that was amazing. I couldn’t believe the attention to detail in every part of the apartment.

What are you looking forward to most as an Open House Contributor?

I’m excited to show people our upstairs space as it’s quite different to a lot of people’s living space. The choices we have made are very individual and unique to us.

What would you say to anyone thinking of sharing their space and opening up their home to visitors for the Open House Festival?

I believe if you have a strong visual look and something different to share with the general public that they may be inspired by, I think go for it! I want people to be inspired by the architecture and the bold choices we’ve made. I also see my whole house as an art gallery. Art doesn’t need to be expensive. It can be created by friends and family it just needs to be given space and time to contemplate.

Are there similarities between how you open your home for Airbnb guests and how you do it for the festival?

Yes absolutely, I like to curate the space so I change the artworks and showcase the work in the guest space which I don’t have room for in other parts of the house. I have an eye for making enough space for people to walk around between the furniture in order to take in the artworks — so that will be key when I open up for the festival. It helps to have minimalist surroundings so the artwork can stand out. I really love hosting people, so I can’t wait!

Festival homes on Airbnb

These homes are open for the Open House Festival and are available to stay in throughout the year, on Airbnb.

Hosting on Airbnb

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