Sometimes I see these rules floating around the internet about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to decorating. There are rules on everything from frame size, to how may objects should be grouped together, to buying the correct-sized rug. Generally, they are helpful guidelines, but sometimes I feel stuck or even wrong if the rules don’t seem to work for my spaces. Creating a space that is unique, beautiful and personal takes some rule breaking. Lou and Dan have made their home whimsical, cheery and lovely – and without sticking to a formula.
Lou Archell, lifestyle writer and blogger, and Dan Taylor, painter, decorator and craftsman, moved into their 1890s Victorian home 10 years ago. Since then, they’ve had two children, Charlie (9) and Rufus (7), and have renovated every room in the house. Finding the home was simplified by knowing what area in which they wanted to live. “Our neighborhood, to me, is one [of] the best places to live in Bristol. It is full of independent shops and cafes and has a great community buzz to it. After renting in this area for many years prior to buying this house, we knew this neighborhood was for us,” Lou says. “We chose this house as it lives on a small, quiet street. It was in a poor condition and needed modernization to make it a liveable family home. The price, of course, reflected this and we bought a bargain.” Lou and Dan didn’t just restore this house – in the end, the transformation reflects their family and their creative vision in every room.
The bright accents, vintage pieces and playful arrangement of artwork and decor makes every corner, shelf and wall come alive. “Ten years on, we have completely gutted and renovated every room in the house. I wouldn’t say our home is finished, as there are always projects on the go,” Lou says. “I love decorating, changing rooms around and rethinking spaces. Decorating our home had to reflect our personalities. Dan and I love handcrafted items, furniture, ceramics and also natural elements. Our space has evolved over time.” This eclectic, welcoming home isn’t by-the-book and it is a lovely example of the power of intuition. —Lauren
Photography by Laura Pashby