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Zesty Patterns Mix Up a Historic Home in a Village Outside York

by Garrett Fleming

Zesty Patterns Mix Up a Historic Home in York, Design*Sponge

Interior stylist and blogger Lisa Dawson is a determined gal with her hands in many pots. Not only has she made a name for herself through her wildly popular Instagram tag #myhomevibe, but the monthly styling workshops she holds all across England have garnered her a sizable fan base. Focused on how tossing out the rulebook results in truly enviable design, these events (paired with her blog and current client load) keep this creative type running around nonstop. No matter how hectic her schedule becomes, though, she always finds time to reset at home with her husband Joe and her children on their property in Gate Helmsley, a village outside of York.

One of the most interesting details about the family plot has to be its history. Completed in 1759, the Georgian-style house has been deemed a “Grade II” property by the local government. What’s that mean? In essence, the village has declared the home to be of historical importance worth preserving. That being said, its iron gates, structure and original details are not only intact but extremely difficult to tweak, even by those who own it. As many of us have seen, this last little detail can sometimes seal a historic home’s fate as the complexity of permits for upgrades and new finishes can slowly but surely make a notable space uninhabitable. Luckily for Lisa and Joe, their particular storied space was in great shape thanks to a rehab by the previous owners. It left the Dawsons with a blank canvas primed and begging to be peppered with Lisa’s colorful and pattern-filled finds.

From the living and dining rooms to the bedrooms, it’s not hard to see that part of the motivation for creating such a zesty space was Lisa’s love for every hue in the rainbow. One could easily pass this off as simply a stylist’s personal aesthetic, but Lisa’s vision goes deeper with some strategic thinking. Throughout the design development, she kept the idea of a home’s power at the forefront of her mind, never forgetting that a space’s look can affect the happiness of those who live in it. This mantra kept her yearning for more color, more pattern and more textiles that she says keep the space full of laughter and cheer. Not only that, it’s made it onto of my all-time favorite homes list. Click through to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett

Photography by Lisa Dawson

Image Above: Popping into a shop, picking a look and buying an entire set of matching furnishings is one way to approach decorating, but that’s not in Lisa’s nature. Ninety percent of her home’s decorations are secondhand finds, making the fact that she’s been able to piece together a cohesive look even more admirable. The family room, for example, houses cushions from Singapore, a vintage sofa and art from all over the place.

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This corner of the family room is chockfull of Lisa's loves: music, picture ledges featuring artwork and the family cat Molly (hidden in the sheepskin).
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When she isn't running workshops teaching design fans how to style their homes, Lisa is blogging and working as a stylist herself. She is also the mastermind behind #myhomevibe, a booming Instagram tag with over 65,000 posts.
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This very popular corner of the family room existed when Lisa and Joe moved in, but it was far from exuberant. Once they took over, the pair updated it with punchy wallpaper, greenery and texture to give it a dose of tropical (almost tiki-like) personality.
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The entryway's in-your-face pink pattern sets the mood for the rest of the zippy Dawson home. The dining room's buffet (right) is Lisa's favorite possession and only cost her a little over $10 at a charity sale.
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The dining room is Lisa's favorite place in the house because "it's light, bright and filled with color." The cactus that sits on the table is 25 years old!
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IKEA shelving that's been painted gold holds the dining room's collection of colorful secondhand glassware.
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The fireplace has been here since the home was completed in 1759 but bright, kitschy accessories keep it feeling fresh.
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The kitchen got a monumental overhaul once Joe and Lisa officially became owners of the historic property. Along with removing the upper cabinetry in favor of open shelving, they also snagged a new light fixture and hardware for the space. "The neon sign above the oven is in memory of my Dad. He was a mad Pink Floyd fan, and the neon says, 'Shine on you crazy diamond.'"
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The living room -- the family's go-to hangout spot -- highlights Lisa's love for layering and its ability to infuse coziness into any design. It also features another of the house's original 18th-century fireplaces.
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More muted in color than the rest of their home, Joe and Lisa's bedroom serves as their calm from the storm that is kids, the chaos that comes with them, and the collection of mixed prints the rest of the home harbors.
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"As my children get older, they are such brilliant company, and it's so interesting to watch the adults that they are becoming. Our favorite times are when we are together as a family, whether at home or on holiday," Lisa says. The bathroom she shares with her husband Joe exudes luxury on par with any hotel thanks to its floor-to-ceiling tile.
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Lisa and Joe's daughter Ella's room is filled with sparkles every time light glints off of her disco balls.
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The family’s Georgian house was built in 1759 and is considered a building of historical importance worth preserving. Many of its original details — such as the fireplaces, iron gates and original cornicing — are protected under law.

Source List

Entryway

Wallpaper – Farrow & Ball “Deco Palm”

Print – “POP” by Quirk & Rescue

Rug – Kukoon

Tea trolley – vintage

Pineapple vase – Rockett St George

Lamp – Habitat

 

Dining Room

Table – IKEA

Wallpaper – The Loft & Us “Feuilles De Luxe”

Sideboard, cats, “Tina” print, Chinese print, chair & glassware – vintage

Bamboo lamp – Homesense

Candlestick – JRW Metal

Butterfly print – The Curious Department

Balloon dog – The Range

Cushion – Singapore

Typography print – Jody Barton

Bust & flamingos – Rockett St George

Resin bugs – The Imaginarium

 

Family Room

Wallpaper – Farrow & Ball “Bamboo”

Picture ledges – IKEA

Mirrors, lamp and ice bucket – vintage

Print – Stella Vine

Bar stools – eBay

Head plant pot & Letterboard – Violet & Thistle

Print – Slim Aaron Hotel Du Cap D’Roc from Surface View

Monstera art – Style Print London

Kate Moss print – Stella Vine

Anchorman Print – Achica

Sheepskins – Cowboy Kate

Furniture – vintage

Cushions – Matalan, Primark

 

Ella’s Bedroom

Wall color – Farrow & Ball “Plummet” & “Pavilion Gray”

Fairy lights – John Lewis

Bedspread – Darbeida Moroccan Living

Print – Ginger & Fraggle

Lamp – Homesense

Discoballs – vintage & eBay

Fur throw – Primark

Cushion – The Range

 

Kitchen

Cabinetry color – Farrow & Ball “Hague Blue”

Rug – eBay

Shelves – Handmade

Chandelier – The British Home Store

Neon Light – Light Up North

Marble canisters – Homeplace

Stools – Cult Furniture

Carboy bottle and art on shelves – Vintage

Portrait Trays – Tin Design

 

Bathroom

Plant basket – Aubeterre Blue

Print – Bianca Hall London

 

Master Bedroom

Bed linens – Piglet In Bed

Throw – Darbeida Moroccan Living

Rug – Heartisania

Plant basket – Aubeterre Blue

Print above fireplace – Shaylene Reynolds

Light – IKEA Maskros

Side lamps – Homesense

Bed – Feather & Black

Side tables – Vintage

 

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