~ Phoebe and Atticus ~
Minutes from the beautifully renowned Roundhay Park, Phoebe’s characterful home is situated just north of Leeds within this popular Yorkshire city. Moving here in springtime last year, Phoebe explains that, together with husband Michael and miniature schnauzer, Atticus, they were searching for the perfect home for more than three years. “We had started to give up hope, so much so, that we took our house off the market and re-did the kitchen. We’ll call it fate/serendipity that this house came on the market. It was everything we had been looking for, so we booked a look round.”
A beautiful coach house with more than 300 years of history, Phoebe reveals she has always been drawn to houses with history and character. “I love that this coach house has views to the big house it used to serve. It’s surrounded by little mews cottages that were for the workmen of the time, and we keep hearing stories about what our property has been used for.”
Admittedly, Phoebe reveals it was her husband who first believed they had found the perfect house – “I wasn’t too sure! I loved it but didn’t really know the area and worried it was too far from my old neighbours and friends. Once I stepped out onto the roof terrace though, I knew we had to have it.”
~ The Roof Terrace ~
As you step through the front door and into the long hallway, this beautiful old coach house opens up into a light, bright open-plan home. One that has been tastefully restored and decorated with a modern and elegant touch. It is minimal yet welcoming and wonderfully cosy with tempting reading nooks dotted throughout.
“At first glance the house was perfect, it had a new kitchen put in about 3 years ago, the bathroom is old but functional, all the character was still there. It was just very pink and lacking personality. It wasn’t until we moved in that we realised that the roof, electrics, pointing, boiler and mysterious leaks all needed looking at much sooner than we had planned for. The first changes that we made were to get rid of some of the pink paint, especially in the kitchen and bathroom. Next was to get wardrobes installed as there was no storage space in any of the rooms, so we turned the second bedroom into a dressing room/office space with beautifully bespoke wooden desks. Whilst our joiner was here he also added panelling to the master bedroom which is one of my favourite features so far.”
~ Our elegant Malmesbury Painted Bedsides complement the dark walls and velvet mustard headboard beautifully ~
Phoebe confesses that there is still much to be done on their home, but, in a world surrounded by inspiration-filled platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, we wanted to know how she makes an informed decision – and where her interiors inspiration comes from.
“I haven’t really got going on this house yet but I would say a lot of inspiration comes from magazines and Instagram. I like finding ideas then figuring out if they could work in my own space and how I can make it my own. I don’t want my home to look like a carbon copy and I rarely buy what’s trendy. I go for the ‘buy things I like and hope it works’ approach. My style is quite relaxed, I love dark walls but this house doesn’t really lend itself to them without looking cavernous, so I have had to reign myself in. I would say my decor style is luxury modern country. Is that a thing? It is now!”
“My favourite corner is definitely the pink love seat under that beautiful beam. The living room hasn’t even been touched yet but I know I want to do something amazing to that little corner.”
~ Our Chester Grey Kitchen Collection is a near perfect match to Phoebe’s beautifully elegant kitchen ~
Instagram, for many of us, provides a wealth of inspiration. We enjoy following accounts that show us how to navigate awkward spaces or perhaps offer advice on which colours work well in particular rooms or in different lights. Those that invite us to try new brands or smaller companies and discover new furniture or accessories for our home. While her Loaf Love Chaise armchair is amongst her most popular posts, Phoebe reveals she loves to get creative: “I love moving things around my home to fill up a little corner for a photo, or getting the dog involved, and being creative. For interior inspiration I like really calm vibes, so accounts such as @edenhallnorfolk are a dream to look through for inspiration. I like brand accounts like @devolkitchens, not only for kitchen inspiration but colour palettes; and @homeiswherethepackis and @hillhousevintage for day-to-day inspiration.”
~ Our contemporary Light Oak Coffee Table in Charcoal is a terrific alternative for Phoebe’s upholstered coffee table seen here ~
Always on the lookout for one-off or antique pieces, Phoebe tells us she discovered paint company – Fenwick and Tilbrook – via Instagram and enthuses, “They’re an amazing small company and the paint is the best I’ve used.” Recently decorating their cosy snug under the stairs, Phoebe explains the bathroom is next on their to-do list. “We have a leak from the bathroom down into the kitchen lights. We always intended to do the bathroom but not for a while. This job has been bumped up though and will probably be the biggest job we do. Walls are being knocked down, electrics rewired, new plumbing and then decor wise, we’re thinking a brass bathtub, marble tiles and the most sumptuous dark green walls. Smaller projects on the list are the guest room, panelling and new floorings, before painting the living room and then the hallway.”
~ Phoebe’s latest project was this cosy corner under the stairs ~
As we enter into the warmer months of spring with its longer, brighter evenings, Phoebe tells us the roof terrace – the feature that really sold the house to them – is where she spends most of her time. “In the summer I spend all of my sunshine hours on the terrace. I read, listen to podcasts, work and socialise up there until the sun goes down. As the terrace leads to the bedroom I would say I spend a lot of my time there too.” Phoebe explains that following a difficult 18 months, creating a sanctuary is her priority. Her honesty surrounding a number of difficult topics – available to read over on her blog, Simply Weekend – is humbling and beautifully written; and only serves to highlight the importance of creating a home that is inviting, cosy and relaxing.
~ Our Burford Painted Bedroom range is a simple and classic alternative to our Malmesbury Painted collection seen in Phoebe & Michael’s bedroom ~
“It was so important for me to get the bedroom looking calm and relaxing too. I am obsessed with TV and film so to have that comfy super king bed and wall mounted TV on a down day makes the world of difference to me. When my anxiety gets bad, I seek 3 things; comfort, quiet and cosiness and that makes a home for me. It’s that feeling of warmth and safety that I think you always look for when buying a house but I have realised it can be created too. I like to think people feel that when they come here.”
When it comes to decorating then, Phoebe has some valuable advice: “I think it is so important to do what you want and try not to be led by trends. We don’t want 2000s Changing Rooms vibes in a few years time!” With hints of blush pink, elegant greys and pops of mustard and green in sumptuous velvets, Phoebe follows her own advice when it comes to choosing colour for her home too: “I have never swatched paint in any of the houses we have had. I just choose either online or in the little swatch books and go for it. If I’m picking colours and fabrics I like, I just feel it can never go wrong because I decorate for us and not for anybody else.”
A staunch supporter for maintaining a “tidy and calm home”, Phoebe tells us scent and lighting are important too. As we venture into spring then, in addition to “changing a few cushions and decor bits for more pastels and lighter tones”, Phoebe reveals she’s been getting into gardening. With a pretty front garden that leads off the kitchen, she explains: “I have never really had a garden. Victorian back to backs have a sort of front space that doubles as a front and back garden and ours was nearly all patio, but I love flowers. I see so many beautiful bouquets through work (Phoebe is founder and editor of popular wedding blog, So You’re Getting Married) and want to recreate them so I have been getting into gardening this spring.”
We’d like to say a big thank you to Phoebe and Atticus for welcoming us so warmly into their home!