Homes and Gardens: My Place: Crossways
Jess Connett, July 4, 2017
Tucked away in an idyllic lane, full of shrubs bursting into flower on a sunny morning, is Crossways: a Victorian home, built for the carpenter who kept Ashton Court mansion spic and span, with a gate from the garden into the grounds so he could get to work.
Just a stone’s throw from Bedminster, and with beguiling views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge from the driveway, it’s in a location which is hard to beat.
“It’s a great spot – you’re just 10 minutes’ walk over to North Street. It feels like living in the country, but it’s so easy to get into town,” Lisa Hosier says as she opens the door to the house she and her partner have crafted into a home over the past 12 years, and live in with son.
The house is bright and spacious: sunlight streams through the big windows at the front, into the open plan living/dining room and kitchen, with its dramatic contemporary plate-glass conservatory.
“We didn’t want to obstruct the views – we wanted it all open,” Lisa explains, and it’s easy to see why: the doors open out into the verdant garden, with only a dry-stone wall separating them from the grounds of Ashton Court and its deer park. “When the balloon fiesta is on, you see all the balloons come over,” Lisa says.
“It’s a lived-in home, as much as I like to keep it tidy, which is nice,” she continues. “We all love to sit in the kitchen or the conservatory and have breakfast in the sunshine.”
Turning back to the comfortable sofas at the other end of the room, Lisa motions to the dramatic dark wallpaper she’s used to cover two of the walls, creating a sense of separation in this open-plan space.
“The wallpaper is a London designer, Witch and Watchman. I’ve always picked up what I like –I’ll search through samples until I think, ‘Yes! That’s it!’. I like things that are different from the norm. In Bristol, I love Dig Haushizzle’s shop.”
The floating wicker chair, covered with a sheepskin rug, is another interesting piece. ‘That’s one of my favourites,” Lisa says. “I bought it off Gumtree!”
Lisa has done a huge amount of work to the house and garden to bring it up to the standard that it is now. “It was in an awful state when we bought it,” Lisa says. “It was full to the ceiling with old books and magazines, and the garden was all overgrown.
“Essentially it needed gutting – you just couldn’t see the beauty of the house then. It took us a long time to do it up, and we still have little bits left to do now.”
The quality of the finish and little luxurious touches throughout are no doubt due to Lisa’s eye for design details and flair for dressing the space with fascinating, quirky pieces.
The piece-de-resistance is the downstairs bathroom, complete with jacuzzi bath and an enormous floor-ceiling window. The glass turns from opaque to translucent at the touch of a button, so bathers can choose whether they prefer some privacy, or want to soak up the gorgeous views of the garden while they relax.
“It’s my little bit of luxury!” says Lisa. It’s clear that she has real passion for her home, and won’t be giving up charming Crossways any time soon.
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