A Dark, Moody, Vintage-Filled Victorian in the UK

updated Apr 30, 2019

A Dark, Moody, Vintage-Filled Victorian in the UK

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Name: Nicola Broughton
Location: Leeds, UK
Size: 3000 square feet
Years lived in: 13 years, owned

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Dark charcoal grays, velvety emerald greens and rich, earthy browns enliven the walls and furnishings of the big Victorian just north of Leeds that Nicola Broughton shares with her husband and kids. But it’s not just the liberal use of dramatic and moody colors that makes this home so marvelous — it’s Nicola’s collection of art, furniture, salvaged finds and the deft way she’s mixed it all together.

Nicola and her husband were wooed by a neighborhood full of amentities, like a big park, a local school, a friendly village and even a deli at the end of their street. And it was the history of the house that made them choose it as a home.

“We fell in love with the light coming through the stained glass windows and the homely atmosphere that you get the minute you walk in the front door,” explains Nicola. “Of course we have done extensive work and decorated throughout, but those things remain.”

Nicola is inspired by designers like Abigail Ahern, and a dark and moody color palette is just the right complement to historical Victorian architecture.

“My style has evolved over the years we have lived here, but the main constant is my love of vintage treasures, which I have collected over many years. I have chosen dark colours that provide — to me — a cosy atmosphere and allow my vintage treasures to stand out.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Dark, cosy, colourful, eclectic, maximalist. I have been renovating thrifted furniture for years, which I mix with new finds, lots of art, colour and wallpaper. I love searching out and finding old treasures that can fit into my home.

Inspiration: A wide mix of styles. Abigail Ahern, Rockett St George. Instagram is a huge source of inspiration, including fleamarketfab, cowboykate_, artynads, _lisa_dawson_, liz_kamarul. Emily Henson, and her books: Life Unstyled, and Modern Rustic.

Favorite Element: My home is full of Victorian period features, such as fireplaces, cove molding and stained glass. My favourite rooms are the main bedroom and my living room. Our velvet sofa by MADE is large enough for us all to snuggle down and watch movies from and we always have an open fire in the winter.

Biggest Challenge: Our kitchen dining room knock-through. Because this is a Victorian house, the floors were different heights, and the walls are not straight, making fitting and decorating very tricky.

What Friends Say: How do you find time to do this as well as you day job? I am an investment director investing in and managing high tech companies.

Biggest Embarrassment: I’m a great believer that homes can be lived in by young kids and still look stylish. Of course, young kids bring sticky fingers and mess, just don’t look too closely!

Proudest DIY: I do all my own decorating but making my own soft furnishings and tiling are my biggest achievements, and those I find the hardest.

Biggest Indulgence: My luxury bathroom. This was dead space in the eaves of the house until we opened it up. Once we saw the space we went for a roll-top bathtub and expensive tiling to give it a luxury feel.

Best Advice: Decorate to please you and no-one else, go with you gut.


Living room
Walls — Downpipe by Farrow and Ball
Bedroom — Farrow and Ball paint in Railings

Fireplace Pictures — by Pati Robins, Nickie Kelly, others by Ian Treherne and www.tindesign.co.uk
Faux cacti plants — Abigail Ahern
Ceiling Light — Rockett St George
Faux Flowers — Abigail Ahern
Ercol Chair — eBay
Beni Rug — Covet Ilkley
Cowhide Stool — Rockett St George
Sofa — DFS
Wedding blanket — Rockett St George
Mirror — Laura Ashley
Wooden panel wallpaper — Wallpaper Direct
Cushions — greyseptemberstore Essence of Morocco, Etsy, The curious department
All foliage — faux and from Abigail Ahern
Light — Rockett St George
Scott Sofa — MADE
Yellow blanket — Orla Kiley
Wooden crates — Bailey’s home
Cushions — covet ilkley, house of fraser
Wall cabinet — eBay
Letters, signs — various salvage such as the vintage wall
Faux cacti — cox and cox
Flowers — Abigail Ahern
Curtains — made by me with Harlequin fabric

Wallpaper — Moorish circles, Neisha Crosland in Yellow.
Vintage trunk — salvage
Icealandic sheepskin — Cowboykate
Faux flowers, cacti — Abigail Ahern
Vintage drawers — Cox and Cox
Vintage Telephone, — salvage
Lamp — covet ilkley
Lola Large Print — Rockett St George
Ceiling chandelier — Laura Ashley, Ibride Tray
Dream light — Violet and Thistle

Mud Bead Chandelier — Graham and Green
Wallpaper — Rockett St George
Mirror — RE found objects
Oval mirror — REfound objects
Wallpaper — before.
Vintage mudcloth — DKrenewal, Instagram

Cole and Son — Wallpaper
Curtains — H&M UK
Art Print — Hilary and Flo
Poodle Dog lamp — Abigail Ahern
Faux Flowers and plants — Abigail Ahern
Rug and sheepskin on the bed — Covet Ilkley
Ceiling Chandelier — eBay
Oversized Wall bulb — Rockett St George
Cast Iron Bed — Feather and Black
Rug and sheepskin — Covet Ilkley
Blanket — Anthropologie
Chandelier — eBay
Art — eBay, weramused, Instagram, Rocket St George, Hilary and flo, Henley vintage, Doug Frittock, Etsy
Study Desk and desk chair — Covet Ilkley
Sofa Bed — DFS
Ballon Dog — eBay
Faux Flowers — Sia Home
Gold Glasses — Abigail Ahern
Rug — Ikea
Sheepskin — Cowboykate

Tiles, Floor — Fired Earth
Tiles, Walls — B&Q. Vintage cabinet — upcycled by me
Rolltop bath

Thanks, Nicola!

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