space craft

Glam­orous fur­nish­ings show off the im­pres­sive pro­por­tions of this Grade Ii-listed town­house in Bris­tol


Find­ing the right house in a prime location is about tim­ing, as Sarah Bai­ley dis­cov­ered in 2015, when a lo­cal agent found her the per­fect prop­erty in the heart of Bris­tol. This his­toric building, for­merly used as of­fices and in a ne­glected state, was in the process of be­ing ren­o­vated.

For­tu­nately, Sarah could see past the building site and her in­ter­est was sparked. ‘I fell in love with it im­me­di­ately,’ she says, ‘par­tic­u­larly the long sweep­ing en­trance hall lead­ing to a beau­ti­ful stair­case with a wind­ing handrail. All of the rooms were spa­cious and well pro­por­tioned with orig­i­nal fea­tures, too. I knew I could turn this place into a fam­ily home for me and my daugh­ters, Mor­gan, now 19, and Freya, 16.’

Sarah has an in­te­rior de­sign busi­ness, SJP In­te­rior De­sign, in Bris­tol, and her cre­ative flair and pas­sion for beau­ti­ful fur­ni­ture is ev­i­dent through­out her home. Al­though fi­nan­cial con­straints have been her big­gest frus­tra­tion right from the start, with pa­tience and cre­ativ­ity, she has man­aged to trans­form pieces within her bud­get. ‘I’m a per­fec­tion­ist and wanted to cre­ate the ideal in­te­rior,’ says Sarah. ‘But as this is a large four-storey house, it needed a lot of fur­ni­ture to make it feel com­plete, so it took a while.’

The for­mal sit­ting room has two zones – a re­lax­ing area with a fire­place

and a din­ing space. Sarah re­uphol­stered her château-style din­ing chairs us­ing brightly coloured damask ma­te­rial, which adds strik­ing pops of colour and com­ple­ments the flo­ral wall­pa­per. ‘We got through a lot of wall­pa­per,’ re­calls Sarah, ‘ but I wanted to paper the whole space rather than just a fea­ture wall and I found that a sub­tle print works well.’

In the kitchen, Sarah updated the old cab­i­nets by re­plac­ing dark han­dles with sil­ver ones, and a white stone sur­face was fit­ted for a con­tem­po­rary feel. She then cre­ated a break­fast bar by re­plac­ing the orig­i­nal is­land work­top with an over­hang­ing de­sign. The unit now ac­com­mo­dates seat­ing for six peo­ple, and in­dus­trial-style stools in­tro­duce a touch of urban chic. The floor­boards were re­painted in a bright white to suit the light, airy space.

Choos­ing the right light­ing helped to en­hance the over­all look and feel of the prop­erty’s gen­er­ous rooms, and Sarah’s love of grand chan­de­liers has re­sulted in an op­u­lent fin­ish. State­ment mir­rors have been hung wher­ever pos­si­ble, too, to chan­nel more light into a space. ‘The gen­eral tone is all about light, colour and tex­ture,’ ex­plains Sarah.

‘This house was quite an as­pi­ra­tional buy for me,’ she con­tin­ues, ‘and I feel very for­tu­nate to be able to live in such a grand and beau­ti­ful his­toric home.’

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