Interiorssneak peeks

Florist Anna Potter’s Sheffield Home

by Grace Bonney

Growing up, I was never one of those girls who longed to live in the English countryside and feel like I was part of a Jane Austen novel. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it was just never my style or aesthetic. But then I discovered Anna Potter of Swallows of Damsons and my long-hidden desire to run away to the English moors appeared. Anna’s Instagram feed is a treasure trove of beautiful photos (and flowers) from her life and work in Sheffield, England and, after getting a peek inside her romantic studio and shop, I found myself wanting to see more and more of the gorgeous spaces she inhabits. Thankfully Anna and her husband Dan, an illustrator, were kind enough to share their home with us here today.

Anna and Dan moved into their Victorian-style Sheffield home 10 years ago. Along with their two sons, George and Albert, Anna and Dan loved the location of their house. Perched at the top of a steep hill between Sheffield’s city center and the English moors, their house felt like “the perfect place to raise a family and start a business”, Anna explained. While the family likes to spend as much time outdoors exploring the countryside, they wanted to create a space indoors that had character, but enough simplicity to let the things they love, mostly inherited and antique, shine. While their space looks as if it was always this put together and lovely, Anna says they made a few design “mistakes” along the way, including a questionable 70s orange paint color, but she’s accepted that the process of creating their home never stops ad is always evolving. I’m so enchanted by the current evolution of this family’s beautiful space and am so honored to share it here today. Thank you to Anna, Dan, George and Albert for welcoming us into their home. xo, grace

Photographs by India Hobson

Anna and Dan's master bedroom showcases a beautiful vintage wall map. It details a holiday location in the French Alps, Lake Annecy, that's near and dear to their hearts. The 1950’s Jielde lamp was a 30th birthday gift to Anna from Dan.
The bedroom's walls are painted 'Lamp Room Grey' by Ralph Lauren Paints. Anna loves that it acts as a great base color to display the detail, color and pattern in the map and their Persian rug. "It provides a sense of calm amongst the busy nature of all our collected items, and our busy lives!", Anna explained.
This chest of drawers was passed down through Dan’s family and Ann was overjoyed to own such a beautiful inherited item. The two wooden sculptures on top were purchased on the couple's honeymoon in Sri Lanka from an sweet older man in town.
The copper terrarium on the bedroom dresser adds a sense of life and greenery to the room.
On the opposite wall in the bedroom is an antique collectors cabinet that houses Dan’s illustrations. The framed artwork above, ‘Patience and Discipline’ is a collaboration between artists Xavier Casalta and Rémy Boiré. The crow illustration was done by Dan.
Anna that it's been a "long struggle" to make their tiny bathroom work. "I had an obsession with cast iron roll top baths and made it my personal mission to find one that would fit in the space. After a long drive to a farm in the middle of nowhere to pick up the bath, after years of calling plumbers and while I was 8 months pregnant with Albert, it’s one of the best-loved rooms in the house. The boys call this room ‘The Jungle'".
Anna's bathroom has an enviable collection of beautiful plants. "The only place I remember to water the plants", she says.
Anna's "current favorite" succulent plant. "The upper side of the leaves look like they’ve been sprayed with copper paint. Perfect with the navy tiles."
The infamous cast-iron tub that took years to find.
The living room is the brightest space in Anna and Dan's home, it was the only space Anna says she could get away with bringing in a darker tone on the walls. "The dark grey also acts as a nice backdrop to ALL the children’s toys that find their way in here!", she explained.
Every picture tells a story, and this old photo of a bus crash on the family's wall is Anna's favorite. "The bus collided into the hedge of my Dad’s house when he was 12. Amazingly my Mum, only 8 at the time, was on that bus and ran home terrified!"
A beautiful flower arrangement in the living room alcove.
Anna and Dan say the dining room is the heart of their house. "So much goes on around this table. We kept a lighter shade of grey/blue on all walls to reflect light and there is generally some sort of oversized flower arrangement on the table obstructing everyone's view."
The dining room's framed pictures are by English book illustrator Arthur Rackham, and were found in an amazing bookshop across from York Minster Cathedral.
In what may be one of the most modern captions ever, this is where Anna takes most of her Instagram photos. "The light in this corner of the house is so incredibly beautiful and painterly", she says.
The dining room's vintage wine cabinet is the first item of furniture Anna and Dan bought together, from a junk shop just a few doors away from their flower shop. They carried it home in a taxi and noticed fleas and mites jumping all over the place. After SEVERAL good scrubs, it took its place in their home. Boris, the deer skull, was a Valentine's present from Dan. Anna says that, "skulls are a much more welcome sight than flowers to a florist on Valentine's Day." Albert, their son, on his third apple of the day, runs in front.
The view from the dining room into the kitchen.
Anna working in the kitchen.
The kitchen holds Anna's collection of blue and white china. She collects and gathers it from charity shops, her grandparents and travels in France.
A detail from Anna's kitchen work surface.
Peppercorns about to make their way to dinner, in Anna's Grandparents' old measuring spoon.

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  • I love that there is color on the walls! It adds such coziness and a bit of drama. So many people are opting for all white, and I’m getting a bit bored with that!

    • Painted deep green-gray to contrast with the lighter (bright) color color of the flowers, it feels vintage and perhaps even original to the house.

  • The loveliest home I’ve seen in a long time, and in Sheffield too! Feel proud! From a fellow Yorkshire woman.

  • Brunswick Green and pink is my favorite color combination of the moment, and this tour is one of my favorites of all time. So happy we snagged it.

  • One of my most favorite Sneak Peeks! So beautiful. Would you mind sharing the paint colors in your home? Thanks!

  • This is the most interesting home to appear on Design*Sponge in ages – a lovely break from white walls! And India Hobson’s photos are fantastic, such lovely combinations of light and shadow.

  • I love that succulent next to the copper leaf one (to the left), does anyone know what that is called? Thanks!

  • Unmade bed! Love! And where’s that dining room pendent from? It’d be perfect for our dining room!

  • This house is wonderful. I too would like to know the name of the living room paint color.

  • Stunning and so incredibly warm. The photography of the home is amazing as well. Love it all.

  • Agreed, fantastic home. It feels cosy but serene at the same time. I love the colours on the wall and would love to know what they are.

  • Could I possibly ask where the candle-holder that looks like it is planted in the middle (3rd image, on the chest of drawers) is from?

    A beautiful home. Thank you for sharing.

  • I love this house tour. Such beautiful colors. The dining room paint reminds me of plaster. Very pretty. Could she name the colors she used? Such a nice break from all white interiors, I agree.

  • So happy to see a home featured here that isn’t all white walls! Beautiful photography.

  • Tex, the giant map is an old map of Switzerland (“Schweiz” written across the top is the german word for the country); this type used to hang in classrooms around here (here being Switzerland).

    • Jennifer; you made me laugh – that was the first thing I thought….. I so know those ‘Schweizer Landkarten’…. :) Then I re-read and I thought, well just MAYBE – because Lac d’Annecy is so close – it is…., they got the ‘next closest’ map they found. But of course, you are right! Where about in Switzerland do you live?

  • I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beautiful flower arrangements. Completely ethereal yet realistic and still life-ish. Amazing. Love the house – but would have love to have seen some views from the windows too! Thank you.

  • With the exception of a few objects on the walls, this is my idea of perfection. So very beautiful and inspiring.

  • Oh my, I love this! So beautiful and cozy. Especially loved the paint colors and all the plants. My favorite tour that I’ve seen on any site in awhile!

  • Yep. Pretty much perfect. I love all the greens and all the lovely artwork. Looks like a place I would illustrate my next book. :)

  • Would anyone be able to tell me the paint color in the dining room? It is LOVELY! Many thanks!

  • What a beautiful home. Does anyone know what kind of plant is in the copper pot in the bathroom pictures (6/7)?

    • It’s a copper spoon or kalancho orygalis. (Just bought one today because I’ve loved them since seeing this post!)

  • I would be so happy to know the names of the various wall colors used in this beautiful home. Love the greens! Any answers???
    Thank you

  • I adore this home. I too would love to know what paint colors are used throughout the house. So many lovely greens and grays.

  • Please share thr paint colors used? I already have Lamp Room Gray from Ralph Lauren but the others used would be lovely to know.

  • Today is a day I needed a respite from the news of the day. Anna and Dan’s home is the perfect antidote. So beautiful. I especially appreciate the Be Kind banner, it actually made me choke up a bit.

  • This is beyond beautiful – don’t know why it didn’t hit my inbox when posted…. I am SO glad I was guided to it by your gorgeous flower arrangement on the other post (on blueish/grayish colours) – Thank you Anna and family to let us have a glimpse into your home. You obviously ARE kind…. :)
    I’m totally enamoured with all the details, the wonderful, wonderful ‘pictures’, the sculptures, the bathroom (although if I had some spare money, I’d probably exchange the toilet with something a bit more modern, as is seen first thing when you open the door – but as I know from own experience – these ‘minor’ things are very expensive), the flowers & plants, their kid running into the picture, every take oozes love, dedication, well-being, the freshness and joie-de-vivre.
    (And of course my thanks to Grace!)

    • Hi Kate,
      The dining room paint color is Borrowed Light by Farrow and Ball!

      – Sofia

  • Please tell me where you got the pendant light!! I’ve been looking for one just like that and can’t find one. Thanks.

    • Okay, so I’ve also been desperate to know for months now. We have it confirmed that the dining room paint colour is Farrow and Ball, so I got wondering if maybe the living room is, too. Check out Studio Green by them. Think it’s possible?

  • Gorgeous home and photos. I would love to know where they found their black kitchen chairs. They seem perfect for wobbly toddlers! Thanks!

  • I love the swans everywhere along with the meaningful beauty of age and simplicity. It all looks so cozy and radiates such beauty.