Penny & Mark’s Charming Family Home

published Apr 8, 2011
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Name: Penny, Mark, Minnie & Charlie Leaver Green & cat Fynn
Location: Kingsdown — Bristol, UK
Size: 1500 square feet
Years lived in: 3 — owned

Textile artist Penny Leaver Green knows how to make the most of her historic 1850 home. She’s graciously kept the many of the home’s distinguished elements while adding a touch of sophistication. This looks like a fantastic home for Penny and her husband to raise their two children.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Penny & Mark’s home looks like something out of a catalog. Each room is impecable and is styled perfectly. It looks exactly how I would hope a traditional English home to appear. Not only was this home built in 1850, it was also built in an area which is now designated for conservation. Because of this home’s history and location, Penny is limited to what she can do structurally and aesthetically.

The home features a perfect array of vintage decor, with each room full of amazing historic pieces. Although the kitchen has been seriously revamped, it still has an understated quality in keeping with the other rooms in the home. Penny just finished work on her new studio space. It’s a new build by John Tinney in the adjacent lot!

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Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, vintage, classic.

Inspiration: The world around me but also my parents’ home.

Favorite Element: I love the ground floor of our home- it works practically and aesthetically while each room works with the next and you feel connected with people in different rooms, they each have a separate feel. I love the wallpaper in our sitting room it was a house warming present from my mother. Cole and Sons Humming birds.

Biggest Challenge: The kitchen is dark – we raised the ceiling and put in a large mirror which makes it brighter.

What Friends Say: They like the wallpaper and ask us who did our bookshelves!

Biggest Embarrassment: The chaos inside drawers and behind cupboard doors.

Proudest DIY: Turning a 1940s egg incubator into a piece of furniture to house a stereo- it fitted perfectly!

Biggest Indulgence: My studio in the garden- we never spend much on furniture or objects as we rarely have any spare cash and I feel a particular pride when I have managed to buy something really cheaply- I recently bought a cupboard for my fabric store for £15.

Best Advice: Buy what you like not what you think other people will like and try to edit/ change objects around periodically.

Dream Sources: Always an auction.

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Resources of Note:




    • Wallpaper: Cole and Son
    • Dolls house: made by my Mother
    • Library steps: Ebay
    • Shelves: made by excellent local craftsman


    • Lotus pedal car: Auction
    • Tonka toys various: Ebay
    • Cinema seats: Reclamation yard
    • Ladybird books: Charity shops


    • Enamel sign: Auction
    • Ebony mirrors: would like a collection- £5 from e bay and carboot sale
    • Bathtub: £350 reclamation yard – re enameled in situ £320
    • Wall paper: Cole and Son
    • Book: first edition of The Portrait of a Tortoise – Gilbert White naturalist
    • Doll: Car boot
    • Star fish: Beach Norfolk


    • Card file: Made by a friend
    • Fabric Cabinet: From a chocolate factory
    • Chairs: From a dump
    • Enamel sign: Auction

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks, Penny & Mark!

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