This Textile Designer’s Home on a Busy Street Inspired Her to Start a Creative Business
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Name: Rhiannon Southwell, her husband, and their two sons
Location: Bishopston, Bristol
Size: 1450 square feet
Years Lived In: Owned for 6 years
Imagine you’re decorating your home and you have an exact vision in your head. Every detail is thought of, and there’s something specific you’d like to get. You spend hours looking and looking, but you just can’t find it anywhere.
That’s exactly what happened to textile designer Rhiannon Southwell. After 10 years living and working in London, Rhiannon and her husband left their small apartment in the capital with their two sons and moved into this lovely terrace Victorian house in Bristol, close to independent shops and a great school for their children. Being on a pretty busy road, Rhiannon wanted to get some net curtains for her bay windows that would provide privacy as well as let in plenty of light. But after searching and searching, she couldn’t find anything she liked. So she took a paintbrush, some ink, and painted a folk-inspired design onto the inside of her windows.
The next day, people started walking past and strangers would ring her doorbell to ask where she’d got her window treatment from. When enough people kept asking, she thought there might be something in this. So she created a design, found a place locally that would print them onto window films, and her window film business Blossom & Brush was born.
Rhiannon’s energy doesn’t stop at the windows. From the bespoke lampshade she created by reusing the material of an old skirt, to reupholstering a 1930s sofa she found in a junk shop, to painstakingly hand painting a chest of drawers. Her love for creativity is all over the house, which is what truly makes this space their own.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Traditional made modern through color.
Inspiration: A little bit of everything—textiles, art, my Welsh heritage, my time spent in Sweden as a graduate, and my love of color.
Favorite Element: The kitchen. It really is the heart of the home now—it’s where we all congregate to cook, eat, catch up, and play.
Biggest Challenge: Maintaining a consistent look and feel with so many inspirations.
What Friends Say: They always say it’s very “us.” A real mix of different things, but stylish and still very homey.
Biggest Embarrassment: Open any cupboard, and everything comes pouring out. Our house is only tidy on the surface.
Proudest DIY: The windows, the original Blossom & Brush design that became the basis for my business.
Biggest Indulgence: The range. We love cooking and I had been coveting this one for a couple of years. It was worth it.
Best Advice: Stick to your own style. Don’t be afraid to mix prints and colours.
- Little Green – French grey – hallway, boys bedrooms.
- Little Green – Celestial Blue – Boys bedrooms.
- Dulux – Blossom White – bathroom
- All other colours I mixed myself.
- Dining chairs are a mix of vintage by Ercol. We inherited two and then collected four more over the years to match.
- Monogrammed brush pot – Birdie Hall
- Print on wall — Vladimir Tretchikoff
- Everything else is vintage picked up at car boot sales and flea markets.