You may have walked past a ‘dream’ house in Bristol
Full of fun, surprises and some wonderful stories, Laurie and Seb Pritchard-Lewin’s beautiful Bristol home has risen from the ashes to become a 21st century Georgian masterpiece complete with one of the city’s most distinctive annexed spaces. Located in Bristol’s historic Queen Square, this impressive Grade II* listed house has been the Welsh couple’s home since 2018.
Having been renovated more than once, the gorgeous five-bedroom townhouse offers five floors of accommodation and a stunning mix of modern and classic Georgian architecture that Laurie, 31, says she and Seb, 38, fell in love with instantly. “We had to push ourselves for a long time after we moved, and we felt so lucky to live here. We still do,” she said.
If walls could talk, this amazing property would have you on the edge of your seat. “The original house was burned down in the Bristol riots of 1831, so even the Georgian part is fairly new construction!” Lowry said.
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The property later became a solicitor’s office and the original Georgian features, including marble fireplaces, were painted. The property became quite run-down until it came into the hands of a previous owner who began its transformation into the dream home it is today.
“When previous owner Francis took over the house, he lovingly returned it to its beginnings, restoring the original features and adding the modern extension,” Lowry said. “He has lived here for 20 years and has sensitively restored the property to its former elegance, explaining that the ‘architecture’ in the square is the best in Its category.
Following a traditional Georgian plan, the property features impressive painted Harlequin flooring in the entrance hall, a first floor drawing room with covered verandah, an impressive kitchen extension with oversized glazed doors, a mezzanine dining room and an impressive internal courtyard garden. Lowry called the city “a secluded paradise in the heart of Bristol”.
“Before our extension was built, there was a single-storey extension in the 1970s,” she said. Although we don’t have much background, I can’t imagine the choice (granting permission) was difficult for the planners. Our extension has allowed this period Georgian house to evolve with the times. Thanks to this progressive planning mentality, No.2 Queen Square has been made a more eclectic and practical place to live.
“Everyone falls in love with the house straight away, but when they see the modern extension, the real magic happens because they are so surprised. “It’s not what you expect when you walk into what on the surface looks like a traditional Georgian townhouse.
During their ownership, Laurie said preserving the home’s assets was as important to them as it was to No. 2’s previous trustee. When purchasing the property, Laurie and Seb, who now share their home with their eight-month-old son Mabon and dog Griff, followed an application made by the owner the previous.
“Francis told us not to change anything until we lived here for a year, and that’s exactly what we did,” Lowry said. “A hot pink kitchen isn’t something we’d normally choose, and to be honest, I was dying to paint on it. But the more we lived in the space, the more we realized how much fun the color scheme brought into the home. Who wants to make a home less fun? So the pink stayed Like many things.
We threw ourselves into it instead. For example, the drawing room in the basement already had a green rug and green walls, so we exaggerated that even further, with lots of green furniture and plants. It really helps bring nature into the yard and into the inner courtyard.”
Inspired by the estate’s Georgian design and beautiful setting, with the square to the front and the roofs of Old Bristol to the rear of the house, and channeling British designer Elsie Crawford’s lessons on the importance of a tangible home, civil servant Laurie and the property developer Seb continued to mix old and new using a classic Georgian color palette and combination Eclectic mix of antique and modern furniture. They’ve also discovered a penchant for wooden chairs.
“The tables and sofas are all very bulky and very ordinary shapes. There’s not a lot of variety, while the chairs are very elegant, and come in all shapes and sizes. We found most of our chairs at a local reclamation yard and on Ebay – and we loved the deal, in fact most of our furniture was purchased this way.
Another great addition for the couple is the concealed door created by Seb in the master bedroom which leads to a fantastic en-suite bathroom and shower room. “The way homes are designed can be very practical and serious, and it’s nice to have a little fun and the secret door does that,” Lowry said.
The couple has also focused on preserving the house since purchasing No. 2, including a complete renovation of the first-floor covered porch, a renovation project that has not only given the house an income-generating asset, but given lucky guests the opportunity to “sleepwalk.” History of Bristol.
“We are especially proud of the renovated vaulted cellar,” Lowry said. “It survived the riots, so it’s the oldest part of the house. Seb designed and secured the layout of the space and I designed and designed the interior based on the neutral color palette of the original Raystone.
“When we started the works, the basement was just dirt, a stone cellar and an incredibly heavy iron door. Our amazing construction team dug and carried tons of heavy, wet soil out to the vault against the house. We unearthed lots of old smoking pipes and cattle bones, So we really felt like we were connecting the least authentic part of the house’s history in the most interesting way.
“We also salvaged the iron door that had been used when the property was a law firm. Because we wanted to preserve the entire history of the property, we also wanted this to influence the design so that the bathroom tiles give a ‘cellar’-like atmosphere.”
“We sourced a custom rust dining table that reflects the look of old metal, while highlighting the red in the stone. The walnut furniture was handcrafted by our good friend Loz @Lozmakes. The result is seamless.” With its stunning stone ceiling, the vault is now an exciting Airbnb rental called The Vault, which Lowri and Seb’s guests have told them is a unique space.
As Laurie and Seb look forward to their next property project – building a “family estate” where they and their families can live together – No. 2 Queen Square is now on the market with Robert Oliver Estate Agents with a guide price of £1,650,000.
“There are very few houses within this postcode in Bristol, which makes us feel really lucky to live here, close to the historic park and the harbour,” Lowry said. “The house has had many lives and has evolved over time. Although at the moment, it is Ready to enjoy.
This article has been taken from Amazing Westcountry Homes magazine, which is available to buy in selected newsagents and supermarkets in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, or to order online via www.reachshops.co.uk/awch.