For salvage and vintage furniture enthusiast Lisa Waldron, moving to Suffolk with her husband Tom and their five children presented her with the perfect opportunity to indulge her passion for interiors. The couple had left London in search of more space and a slower pace of life, both of which they found in abundance in their seven-bedroom Queen Anne home.
Built in 1707, and expanded during the early Edwardian period, the house, with its period charm and sense of light and space, proved to be perfect for much of the reclaimed and vintage furniture and decorative items that she had already accumulated over many years.
Lisa loves looking for one-off vintage pieces rather than buying new, preferring the character that comes with age. ‘They all have a story to tell,’ she says. ‘It’s important to me to reuse things where possible and I get a buzz from rescuing something that may otherwise have ended up in landfill.’
Lisa describes her style as ‘eclectic’ and says it is heavily influenced by time spent in Denmark and Sweden on holidays many years ago. This aesthetic has guided her through the creation of her home, which is decorated in warm neutral shades that provide a timeless backdrop for a stylish mix of vintage and antique pieces.
But for all its Scandi stylishness, the house is also incredibly practical, and Lisa has given just as much thought to what will help a household of seven run smoothly, as she has to the overall aesthetic. For example, she has used many of her vintage finds to create brilliant storage solutions.
All around the house, large zinc containers, salvaged from factories, have been upcycled into attractive storage for the many toys, shoes, books, blankets and clothes that all families tend to accumulate. She is drawn to the texture of traditional materials like galvanised metal, wood, ceramic and sisal. ‘They’re beautiful, but also brilliantly durable,’ she explains. In the snug, an old merchant’s chest serves as both a coffee table and somewhere to hide away unwanted clutter.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, old tin containers on racks above the kitchen units provide the ideal space to store all the family’s recycling, while also being attractive and in keeping with the look of the home. In the twins’ bedroom, a collection of old wooden crates has been secured to the wall to provide storage for the girls’ picture books, while also forming an attractive wall display.
The family were lucky enough to inherit the original wooden parquet flooring in the property, however a rainstorm during building work sadly destroyed the floor in the sitting room, which had to be replaced. Lisa scoured reclamation and salvage yards until she found the perfect match, and you would never know the difference unless you were told the story. To add comfort underfoot and soften the wooden floors, she has used different natural rugs, including large cowhides bought at a local market and knotted wool rugs.
Besides her love of rugs, Lisa is a self-confessed chair addict, and she has amassed an impressive collection of benches, vintage chaise longues and antique chairs, which she has had reupholstered. A row of flip-down cinema seats provides useful extra seating in the big kitchen/diner, for whenever friends and family drop by.
The neutral, Scandinavian-inspired colour scheme of warm greys that runs throughout the house is punctuated here and there with pops of colour from vintage signs. And although the house is filled with hard, industrial pieces and lots of wood and metal, Lisa has softened the rooms by using plenty of texture.
‘I love sheepskins and have lost count of how many we now have,’ she laughs. Her favourite ones are the Icelandic long-haired rugs that adorn many of the vintage chairs, benches and sofas around the house. ‘Everyone strokes them when they come to visit and the children love to curl up on them.’
Although there is little variation in colour in her home, Lisa’s knack for layering texture has ensured that it feels warm and welcoming, as well as aesthetically pleasing. A nature-lover, she always keeps an eye out for things made from enduring natural materials such as earthy pottery, woven baskets and woollen blankets. She also enjoys collecting foraged finds on her walks with the family’s dogs. Vases and vintage pots are filled with seasonal greenery and cuttings from the garden, allowing this stylish home to reflect its calming rural surroundings.