Interiors

A Gorgeous Georgian Home in Bristol

by Annie Werbler

The decorative antique dealers and interior stylists behind Dig HaΓΌshizzle, a Bristol, UK-based vintage decor store, have a burning love for art and oddities. “It’s fair to say we bring our work home,” joke Cassandra and Edward Nicholas, the proprietors of the business. When looking for a place together five years ago, the main criteria were the period of the building, big windows, high ceilings, and history. They found their 1725 Georgian Grade II star-listed parlor floor flat, and have been working on updating it slowly as they understand how to best use the space and highlight its unique features. For example, after stripping the living room alcove finish, the couple was excited to find original Georgian paint beneath in beautiful patterns. Looking for just the right fixtures has also turned into an overabundance of options. “As people who generally buy for a living, we have seen a lot of lights,” the homeowners admit, “But after five years of waiting, they now have to be perfect.” For the time being, lamps made from old science lab clamps make many appearances both at home and in the shop.

An experiment of their style together, the flat changes when Cassandra and Edd have new ideas. It allows them to grow their interior tastes. Luckily for the couple, they usually want to try the same things and tend to come to the same conclusions about their decor. The backdrop of original Georgian features, like the elegant marble fireplaces, make it an ideal setting for their particular type of research. And, to be brief custodians of a historic home makes all the work worthwhile. β€”Annie

Photography by Matt Somerville

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The original, marble-clad fireplace in the parlor-floor apartment of Edward and Cassandra Nicholas in Bristol, UK, set off by contrasting dark walls.
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Edd and Cassandra chatting over breakfast at a table purchased while delivering a piece to a shop client. "A classic moment of selling pieces and leaving a house with more than you dropped off," Cassandra jokes.
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The living room windows pour light into the rich, dark space. A vibrant rug pulls the room together and breaks up darker tones.
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Beecher Friedel the Boston Terrier was named after a Manchester-based hardcore band, and a retired American goalkeeper.
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The coffee table is full of original letterpress blocks, making it extremely heavy; it has held together through moves with lots of extra metal braces.
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Gold Vivienne Westwood shoes are Cassandra's favorites, and they dangle over a 1928 silk banner from the Hotel Negresco in Nice. "We have never been there, but it's an extra reason to go one day," Cassandra reasons.
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The overflowing living room bookcase allows for color and an in-house reference library.
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A mirrored science flask, next to the leather club chair in the window, bounces light around the room.
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The handmade kitchen designed and built by Lee Jennings. "It took us ages to pick the most used wood and contrasting colors," Cassandra notes.
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The blackboard-painted fridge - rather than being drawn on - has ended up covered in photos.
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"Not quite a bar cart - the bar tray!" Lamps made from science lab clamps can be seen throughout the space.
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Classic red and white Zoffany wallpaper in the hallway enlarges the space and adds drama. The printer press print from the Bristol Post building was found by the couple on a stock buying trip - something else intended for the shop that made its way home.
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A Victorian bamboo hall stand with a mirror and places for hanging.
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In the bedroom, shelves make use of vertical storage potential.
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Artwork and shoes stand out in the bedroom against white-painted walls. Edd bought the Ria Hill piece above the mantel as a gift to Cassandra years ago, and it has made many moves.
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Cassandra's oldest and most-loved stuffed toy is kept safely by her bedside in a glass dome. "He seems to have always sat by my bed," Cassandra shares. "Now he still does, but in a more glamorous way, as his stuffing is hanging out of his butt!" She and Edd made the bedside lamps from old science lab clamps.
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"What we love most about our home is that it is ours to experiment in, and just always do whatever we like!" - Cassandra and Edward Nicholas
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The layout of the efficiently-arranged, three-room apartment.

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