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Interiorssneak peeks

Inside a Florist’s 1850s-Era English Cottage

by Garrett Fleming

Inside a Florist's 1850s-Era English Cottage, Design*Droits-Humains

In West Yorkshire, 10 miles from where the Brontë sisters wrote their books, a charming stone cottage pokes out of a hillside. When the plot was first developed in the 1850s it housed a row of small flats and a barn, but at some point the individual units were combined to make way for a larger, more-robust home. Since 2008, florist  and her husband Brian have taken care of the house and the grounds that envelop it.

After purchasing the house, the couple updated the English property here and there to better reflect their respective styles: traditional touches for Fiona and contemporary finds for Brian. A new glass bannister, for example, stands in striking contrast to the stone fireplace sitting across from it, and a partially-updated kitchen blends the pair’s individual POVs to create a room equal parts 2000s and 1800s.

While undeniably pretty inside, the family says the cottage’s greatest asset is the plot it sits on. The land surrounding the home boasts fertile soil protected by the area’s harsh winds, a greenhouse perfect for Fiona’s “plant babies,” and a large garden she loves fiddling around in. Scroll down to tour it all, and enjoy!

Photography by

Image above: The home’s two fireplaces and quirky nooks are some of Fiona’s favorite aspects of her house’s design.

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The couple nearly got rid of this dining table when they moved in because its dark stain just wasn’t working with the space. Instead of pitching the dining set, they sanded the whole thing down and painted its legs and chairs cream. “It works for now,” Fiona says.

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Fiona’s home is not only decorated with her floral creations – like the wreath on the back wall above – but with other natural textures. The dining room houses sticks she found on a trip to Scotland.

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The dining room’s armchair is Fiona’s favorite reading spot.

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When Fiona and Brian enter the front door, they’re greeted by “three very excitable and bouncy dogs.” When they lick and snuggle up to Fiona, she says all the problems of the day melt away.

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A glass banister adds the touch of contemporary style Brian is always looking to instill in his and Fiona’s home. “When we moved in, the staircase was completely open without bannisters at all. While this looked beautiful, it really wasn’t safe so we asked our local builders to design a minimal staircase with oak and glass,” the couple tells us.

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The lounge as seen from the kitchen.

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When she first looked at this house, Fiona didn’t immediately think it was a fit. The property stuck with her, however, and she eventually realized it had major potential.

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The side table is from a local salvage fair.

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“The reason I love my home is… there is always someone to snuggle up with.” – Fiona Pickles

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The pair aren’t always on the same page when it comes to interior design as Brian is more contemporary and Fiona prefers traditional touches. More than any other room in the home, the kitchen represents the magic that can happen when two styles seamlessly blend together.

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“A mash-up of old beams, super-contemporary Corian work surfaces… and glass [backsplashes]” keeps the home feeling equal parts rustic and modern.

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Soft linen bedding is found in one of the home’s bedrooms.

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“A simple chair from a salvage fair doubles as a very effective bedside table,” Fiona notes.

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The house’s floor plan illustrated on top of a floral arrangement by Fiona.

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A peek at the grounds of the property.

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The home is nestled into the south-facing side of a hill, so its grounds are perfect for growing all manner of greens. Brian had the builders add this greenhouse to the existing shed so Fiona could grow all types of annuals.

 

If I have been away for a few days, the first thing I do is rush to the greenhouse to see what has happened to all my precious little ‘babies.’

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In her previous home, Fiona was running her floral business out of the kitchen. Her need for a dedicated workspace was one of the reasons she and Brian moved into this stone cottage 11 years ago.

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Fiona’s vintage finds give her workspace’s IKEA shelving a whole new look.

SOURCE LIST

Living Room
Wall paint – Farrow & Ball “Powder Blue”
Trim paint – Farrow & Ball “Dimity”
Brown chair – Heals
Bag on floor – The Future Kept
Table lamp – Hannah Nunn
Pillar candles – Neptune
Wooden side table – Barker and Stonehouse
Blue table – salvaged
Small vases – Rebecca Callis

Kitchen
Tile – In-Toto Kitchens
Tea towels – Baileys Home
Ceramic spoons – Suev Pryke
Stove – Aga Living
Wooden boards – Wild and Wood, Nkuku
Floral Prints – The Linen Garden
Cups – Toast
Teapot – Harrods
Kettle, pink bowels – John Lewis

Dining Room
Wall paint – Little Greene Company “French Grey”
Handmade staircase – O. & W. Crawshaw Ltd.
Stove in stone fireplace – B. D. Brooks Fireplaces
Wreath, hanging table florals – made by Fiona
Hanging beeswax candles – The Future Kept
Metal Candle holder, lanterns on stairs – Nkuku
Planter on stairs – Neptune
Wooden chest – family heirloom
Whippet print on wall – Kettle of Fish Designs
Side table – Designers Guild
Armchair – John Lewis
Floor lamp – Hannah Nunn
Ceramic bottles, candle holders – Brocante Decorative Living
Vase – Sarah Jerath

Bedroom
Side table paint – Farrow & Ball “Dimity”
Floor paint – Little Greene Company “Dark Lead”
Wall and trim paint – Little Greene Company “Portland Stone”
Shutters – Brocante Decorative Living

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Comments

  • Lovely feature , the grounds are perfection ! You should also know that Fiona Pickles is not only wildly talented but she’s also one of the originators of a movement in the floral industry to design foam – free ( floral foam is a non biodegradable carcinogenic and single – use plastic) as well as teach other designers eco friendly alternatives .. which is actually HUGE ! I’m surprised DS didn’t pick up on that as its such important work .

  • The house is gorgeous, and super high-five to the photographer for capturing the moody lighting in such an enchanting way

  • It’s 1:33 a.m. Very loud thunder, along with a driving rain bouncing in and out of my ‘20’s Tudor’s metal gutters, woke me up. What else should one do in this situation, but grab one’s ‘phone, and go to DS. As the storm continues, it’s as if I’m next door to, or down the lane from Fiona and Brian’s incredibly charming West Yorkshire home, and about to walk into Fiona’s perfect workspace/cutting room. Thank you to Fiona, Brian, and Garrett for a great piece, and thank you to you, Grace, for all of the years that your content has given us a beautiful home that we can imagine ourselves walking into, or a snug and cozy spot within a home to stop and sit. We’ll all miss Design Droits-Humains, and we look forward to seeing what’s next.

    • Hi Patrick,

      Thank you so so much for your kind words. I’m really happy you enjoyed the feature.

      The final months are upon us, and these last few tours are bittersweet.

      – Garrett

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