There’s nothing bolder than a house that embraces the cosiness of a dark wall and floor alongside colour and panache, and that’s exactly why I asked Kelly, owner of Folk Public Relations in Bristol, to share her amazing home.
Kelly moved with her family to the west country from London three years ago and has truly placed her bright-slash-modern-slash-midcentury-slash-Scandi influences on her new house. It’s an absolute feast for the eyes: from the neon light to the gorgeous sofa (I’m thinking of starting an unusually-coloured sofa fan club ;) to the incredible wallpaper and beautiful artwork.
I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves for this one… over to you, Kelly!
First off, who lives in your lovely home and how long have you been there? I live with my two fairly cute and highly cheeky children, Liberty (Bertie) and Rafferty, our cat Horse and my occasionally grumpy husband Henry. We moved to South Bristol in January 2014, when Raf was only 6 months old because we would never have been able to buy in London and the childcare costs in South West London (the highest in the western world apparently) eclipsed my earnings somewhat and we just couldn’t operate on one salary. We lived in Putney (and London in general) for a decade but in the end it just wasn’t workable for us. And you know what? I don’t really miss it at all.
What’s the situation in your house? When was it built, how many bedrooms are there, etc? Our house is your fairly standard Edwardian end of terrace. It was built around 1913ish and has the typical Bristol and Bath stone exterior of the area. It has three pretty large bedrooms, two living rooms and a large (and long) Kitchen diner. Only the one bathroom though – which can lead to stressful mornings. We’re on the top of a hill so it gets quite windy and we almost have great views of Bristol. Almost.
What about your home works well for your family life? Open plan living is obviously a fairly established part of modern family life and since we extended our kitchen last year I can certainly see why. We spend about 95% of our time in this room as a family. And The fact my kids can see me when I’m doing all the boring stuff, like cooking and cleaning means they whine less – which is a big bonus for me.
It gets the afternoon sun so always feels like a happy place. The doors open straight out to the garden and it really feels like part of the house so it was the best thing we spent money on when we did our second stage of renovations last year. We’ve basically been renovating since we moved in – the house had been pretty neglected for probably about 20 years. You’ll notice there are no pictures of the actual kitchen and that’s because we haven’t done it yet. And also because it’s always a mess. The rest of the house is usually as tidy as you see in these pictures but the kitchen is where all the mess ends up.
We use our front room as an ‘adult only space’ which in reality means we never use it. Probably not the best use of the space and it is a lovely south facing room. The bathroom is obviously my pride and joy. We did it last year and it ran massively over budget! We took a chunk out of the back bedroom so we could have a large walk-in shower for my tall husband so pirouette or whatever he does, in there. It means we can also have this awesome roll top – never believe anyone if they say you can live without a bath. It is a lie! And if you have children, even more so.
The community is amazing here. Super friendly and arty. And loads of young families – my kids are always in and out of our next door neighbours which is lovely. I work from home and to have an actual office is a luxury
How would you describe your interiors aesthetic? Eclectic – a little but quirky, a little bit scandi, a little bit mid-century and a little bit industrial all mashed together like some weird kind of ice cream sundae. I like to think I don’t follow trends but I’m probably kidding myself. It’s also pretty limited by our non-existent budget. Almost everything in the house is vintage (read second hand from eBay or free!) although this does make me strangely proud of my scavenging nature. And I do love things to have a bit of history. There isn’t much Ikea in our house.
What’s your favourite thing about your home? The light; the high ceilings. You put up with quite high cost of maintenance in an older home but it’s worth it for those two things.
What are you most proud of in your home? I love my architect’s chest which serves as a coffee table in the living room. I got it from the actual architectural practice which bought it new in 1949. I’m pretty proud that we have furnished the house for so little – both of the chesterfields in our front room were bought for £50! We moved from a tiny London mews house and this place was basically empty when we moved in. It isn’t now, though, of course!
If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be? I keep wondering if we should knock all the living spaces together an go totally open plan… but I think I would miss closing the doors to the whining! And maybe another loo… but I’m working on that. A third stage of renvation is (hopefully) starting in the autumn – where we will decorate the master bedroom (the biggest room in the house – and the biggest dump!), put a new swanky kitchen in, french doors in the study and renovate the bath stone outside.
Thank you so much, Kelly! Do follow her for more home beauty on Instagram.