At home with Studio Yaya

This Sunday 13th October we welcome Studio Yaya to Midcentury East.



Photography credit:  Morgane Lay and Jonny Cochrane 

Brainchild of Daniel Smith, a fashion commerce manager for streetwear brand Supreme and Les Beaux Arts fine art graduate and psychology major Marine Edith Crosta, Studio Yaya evolved after the partners took the leap and purchased a small house in the South of France last year which they called Yaya, a nickname commonly given to loved ones in France. “I had a cousin Yaya. Yaya was my friend’s granny’s nickname and another friend’s family dog name. Everyone knows a Yaya. We called our new house in France ‘Yaya’ and the studio in London ‘Studio Yaya’ as they both started simultaneously, but with the same DNA and aesthetics at heart.” says Crosta.

While refurbishing ‘Yaya’ they sharpened their dealers’ eye selecting vintage pieces from France and Italy in local markets with particular attention to uniqueness, patina, quality of the design and the materials – rosewood, parchment, natural stone, solid brass – “an exhaustive exploration but an enjoyable one as well” according to Crosta. “We spent the summer getting up at 6am, driving to small quaint villages hosting minuscule flea markets, and driving back to jump in our dungarees and get on with the building work.” Danny, who originally hails from Nottingham, collected antiques, vintage clothes, records and pottery from a very young age. A perfect coupling, “We both love beautiful things and skilfully crafted objects,” says Crosta who also worked in retail, costume design and fashion. 

‘Studio Yaya’ couldn’t be further away from the sunflowers and beaches of the South of France. Based in the heart of Clapton, in East London, the studio is surrounded by run down storage units slowly being converted into work spaces, showrooms and music studios in a yard with skips full of scrap metal and containers full of furniture on its way to Ghana. Crosta paints and draws here. 

She has a home fragrance lab here too. Giving the hybrid space an identity through smell as much as the furniture, glass, ceramics, lighting and stunning art on view is important to her. “You will find artworks painted on site, as well as travertine tables, unique objects in carved wood and floor lamps signed by Mathieu Mategot or Jacques Adnet, all perfumed with June, the studio’s signature home fragrance,” explains Crosta.

A few minutes walk from the studio, the couple’s flat reflects the same attention to detail. Marine wasn’t initially convinced by the orange tinted pine wood cabinets in the sitting room, nor by the tiny proportions of the property, but Daniel saw the potential when he spotted the stained glass windows and original floorboards.

The converted victorian one bedroom flat turned out to be extremely cosy and inviting. Here you will find a large two tiered Jean Charles coffee table in chrome and brass placed on an oversized white rug sourced in Tangier. The buttery Maralunga sofa ‘was meant to be beige’, but the charming blush colour turned out to be perfect for the room paired with a Jacques Adnet ajustable floor lamp and a giant wooden seashell that the pair fell in love with in a small brocante in France.

Now back in London, Marine and Daniel will be exhibiting selected pieces from their latest travels at Midcentury East, Modern Shows® our midcentury fair of 55 dealers at Erno Goldfinger’s Haggerston School on Sunday 13th of October. We look forward to seeing you there. There are still some free tickets for the last hour. Come at 3 leave at 4. If you would prefer to pay we have two options online. £9 from 10am and 2 for £10 from 1pm or come and pay £10 on the day all day on the door. Offers are online only.


Midcentury East, Modern Shows® 

at Erno Goldfinger’s Haggerston School E28LS

Sunday 13th of October

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