Given its array of independent stores and vintage shops, Southville has been the perfect home for self-confessed retro-loving family, the Quinns. We meet multi-award-winning blogger Fritha and her husband Tom at their beautifully designed Southville terrace.
“I was born in Stokes Croft, but my parents moved away to Wales when I was younger, so I always had something pulling me back to Bristol. Tom is originally from Bridport in Dorset, and so whilst we both wanted a bit of the city life, we also ideally wanted to live by the waterfront, and so Bristol was the obvious choice!”, explains Fritha.
Having lived in Easton for a few years whilst starting their now family of four, the couple went in search of more space south of the water.
“We’d visited Southville a few times, and had some friends living there already who did a great job at selling us the lifestyle we could have, one filled with Wapping Wharf walks and days spent shopping on North Street. We found this house and fell in love with the home we knew we could make.
I find that these beautifully grand Victorian homes lend themselves to any style, but for us, the deep, rich colours work so well in these large rooms and perfectly suit our retro, vintage style. North Street, and Rhubarb Jumble, in particular, are a go-to of mine for most of our homewares, furniture pieces, and I love their clothes! The home over the past four years has been a work in progress, which has been great as our family adapted and evolved to our change in lifestyle over the past year or two. The way in which we style the house reflects this as well, with lots of trinkets and accessories we've collected over the years adding character in a really personal way. Bristol lends itself to a more sustainable lifestyle, we love its creativity and independence, which is something we champion in our family and in our home”, Fritha adds.
And what a home they’ve created. Filled with fun artwork, bold prints and statement colours, the couple have enjoyed putting their stamp on Upper Perry Hill over the years.
“I studied Graphic Design at university, but I chose to be productive during my lockdown time (when we weren’t homeschooling the kids) and so I got a diploma in Interior Design, which is something I absolutely love and have a real passion for. We’ve both always been attracted to a more vintage, retro style, which I think is a result of Tom and I watching too many Wes Anderson films! I’ve always been drawn to the 60s and 70s era, not just with my interior design, but in my personal style too. I love combining nostalgic designs with mid-century modern, adding Scandi touches.”
But a diploma in Interior Design wasn’t the only productive change for the Quinns during lockdown.
“I know this wasn’t the case for many, but we loved homeschooling during the lockdowns, and it’s actually changed the way we approached our children’s education, and have made the decision to homeschool going forward. Having the freedom to teach Wilf and Mabli in a way that works for them as individuals is an absolute pleasure for us as parents. It’s given us the gift of time with our children and allows them to discover the best way for them to learn, as well as understand their interests. Also, we have the benefit of no school drop-offs or commutes!”
With a successful blog, a hugely popular Instagram page, and homeschooling on the cards, the family are now looking for the next adventure.
“Instagram is such an amazing visual platform, and I feel really fortunate to interact with like-minded people around Bristol and beyond. It’s something that the whole family get involved with, and both Tom and I also support other businesses with their content; collaborating and helping others is amazing. Home for us is so important, it intertwines with our everyday life, even more so now, and so making our home work for us has been, and will continue to play a key role in all that we do.”