House speaks clearly of both old and new
This is a house for explorers, for people-watchers and nosy parkers.
It's a place filled with all kinds of furniture, pictures and objects galore that speak silently, but clearly, about the occupants, past and present.
It's a surprise to learn, therefore, that specialist neurology nurse Suzanne Waldon-Smith and her travel consultant husband Michael have lived in this three-storey Victorian semi in Bristol for less than five years. It feels as though the house has been absorbing them, in a friendly sort of way, for decades.
I find out that this house had special appeal for Suzanne and Michael. With a downstairs cloakroom and three reception rooms, there was room enough for Michael's father to live on the ground floor. After Ted's death, the couple came to realise that the spaciousness was rather unnecessary, so they will be looking for something smaller.
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The couple bought the property from a reverend and they quickly set about replastering and redecorating.
Often dark colours combine with the eclectic mix of furniture to sit comfortably with the character of the house. For example, a soft green paint highlights the inside of the front door and the wood panelling in the hall, which is lit by a Moroccan- style coloured glass pendant light.
Original bay sash windows remain in the main living room and Victorian-style cast iron fireplaces can be found in four of the five bedrooms. In the two biggest reception rooms are tiled open fireplaces. There are dado and picture rails, coving and ceiling roses throughout the house.
A tiled fireplace with gas fire is in the third reception room, which has a solid wooden floor and is next to an extension housing the kitchen. A half-glazed door opens to the south-east-facing patio, which can also be accessed via French doors in the next door reception room.
Modern, cream-coloured units are fitted in the kitchen. The bathroom, with a white suite, including a roll-top, claw-foot bath, is on the first floor with three double bedrooms, while the two bedrooms in the top floor loft conversion share a little shower room.
Original boundary walls remain front and back, while trees and shrubs in the sloping rear garden attract lots of birds.