An Eclectic Home in Bristol

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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


Paint color: Lamp Room Grey by Farrow & Ball
Bed Linen: Secret Linen Store
Kantha Throw: Ines Cole
Paintings: Flea Markets
Kantha Robe: Toast
Light fittings: Vintage Danish copper sconces from Ebay

Paint Colour: Pavilion Grey by Farrow & Ball
Mirror: Flea Market
Pictures: Flea Market
Cabinet: Junk Shop
Shelves: Scaffold Planks
Decal on Mirror: Shanna Murray

Dining Room
Wallpaper: William Morris, Willow Boughs print from Fashion Wallpaper
Mirror: Flea Market
Cabinet: Gumtree
Butterfly print: Stanfords Maps
Gold R: 19 Alexandra Road
Lamp Shade: Lane by Post
Lamp pendant:
Sideboard: Ebay
Chairs: Ebay
Blue wall: Blues Blue by the Paint & Paper Library

Shelves & peg board: made by Dan Taylor
Kitchen & worktops: Ikea
Ceramics: Flea market finds
Vase: Midgely Green
Picture frame: Decorators Notebook

Sitting Room
Sofa: Ikea
Sofa covers: Saustarkdesign
Cushions on sofa: Donna Wilson, Jo Waterhouse and Skinny Laminx
Arm chair: WestElm
Rug: Etsy
Yellow Print: Bold and Noble
Cabinet: Junk Shop
Cabinet painted in: Stiffkey blue by Farrow & Ball
Shelves: Made by Dan Taylor

  1. Zoe says:

    Beautiful. Would love to know what the paint color of that grey in the bedroom!

    1. Gail says:

      Lamp Room Grey by Farrow and Ball

  2. Very lovely home. I love how you’ve arranged your treasures throughout your home, creating interesting groupings that reflect the personal style of you and your family.

  3. Aisha says:

    Beautiful house… I’m in love with the bathroom mirror !

  4. Nancy says:

    Beautifully done! What is that plant in slide 5? A stunner!

    1. linda says:

      if it is not a faux plant it looks like a white peony

  5. Danielle says:

    What a beautiful home! I met my husband in Bristol and this city has such a special place in my heart. I know just what they mean about the lovely shops and galleries. We try and go back now every two years. Lovely, lovely home. Thank you for the tour.

  6. Katie says:

    I love this family home, what a lovely style and beautiful colours.

  7. Jacqueline says:

    I love everything about this house – it feels so genuine, welcoming, and a very happy place to live in. Made my day! :)

  8. sarah says:

    what type of round leaf flatfaced plant is that? a friend gave me one but i don’t know what it is called.

  9. Cliodhna says:

    One of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen. Now to go back and savour the pictures for the fifth time.

  10. Amanda says:

    What’s the name of the blue paint color in the kitchen? I’m in love!


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