Instagram’s interiors world has exploded over the last couple of years, with perfectly staged imagery, beautifully presented properties and thrifty tips popping up all over everyone’s explore feeds.
The best news? It turns out many of the popular accounts are Bristol-based, so we step inside to discover more.
Over the next few months, we’re going to be featuring some of the best Instagram houses in Bristol, from humble accounts to accounts with over 46,000 followers, all showing us the best of interiors across the city.
With rentals and new-builds covered, and period properties galore, there will be tips, tricks and insight to inspire you whatever your taste.
In the first part of our new series, we take a look over the threshold of Jessica and Elliot Cresswell’s home @fourfromtwoterrace, a mid-Edwardian property just off Gloucester Road.
Although only a fairly new account on the Instagram scene, over the last couple of months the couple have built up a following of over 1000 while documenting their extensive renovations of the property.
And it’s easy to see why. With painstaking attention to detail and a Scandinavian simplicity, the house has been utterly transformed from a two bed terrace to a four bed home.
Jess clearly has an eye for interiors and styling, and we can see this account going from strength to strength as the property is slowly finished and lived in.
Tell us about yourselves and how you came to set up an interior Instagram?
We’ve lived in Bristol for over a decade, so knew when settling down that it was the place for us.
We bought our home just off Gloucester Road several years ago but knew we couldn’t afford to turn it into the home we dreamed of without a bit of patience, so we saved enough to extend it from two bedrooms to four (hence the name) and make it more future proof.
It was nearly four years to the day from when we bought to the day the builders moved in.
As for Instagram, we wanted a way to document the before and after. Anyone who has embarked on any kind of renovating or building project will tell you just how many decisions there are involved.
Instagram has an incredible community of renovators and it’s been an incredibly useful tool for pulling our ideas together.
If we can do the same for other homeowners to help their renovations run smoother then it’ll be lovely to give that back and continue the cycle.
Can you talk a little more about your renovation journey?
We first got in touch with our fantastic architect 18 months after buying the house, knowing it may take a few tweaks to get the plans just right.
Of course, Covid-19 hit just at the point we were getting ready to finally get builders on site!
It was in hindsight really beneficial to have the extra time on our hands to mull over any ideas and make sure we would get the most out of the spaces.
In fact, it helped us hone in on the priorities and what we really wanted from our home.
One of the major changes we made was moving the kitchen from the rear to the front bay living room in order to create one large space stepping down into a sunken garden living room housed in the former kitchen.
Have you always loved interiors and design? I did an art foundation post sixth form with a view to go into something architectural but ended up in planning for a bit.
Buildings and their environments and interiors are always on my radar and have been since a young age - I love visiting new towns and cities to discover quirky buildings (we are so fortunate in Bristol to have lots of these!).
Elliot will tell you that we can’t go out to dinner or stay in a hotel without me ogling the finishes and making a mental note for the future!
I am a complete novice when it comes to interiors and can’t confess to knowing what I’m doing, but loving the process and putting your heart into the research and execution is a big part of it, and I hope that shows in what we’ve managed to create.
How would you sum up your interiors style?
Scandinavian simplicity, with a little artistic license!
We went to Stockholm a few years ago and I couldn’t get enough of how beautiful some of the interiors were there and they’ve been providing inspiration ever since.
I also always find myself getting stuck on places like beautiful Parisian apartments and Brooklyn townhouses in magazines too, and no doubt a few details from those creep in somewhere!
Where do you get your inspiration from? Everywhere I can! From great examples of architecture, from others’ homes who have got it just right and also places we’ve been fortunate enough to call home in the past.
In terms of the details like lighting, tiling and fabrics, hotels are my go-to and I can’t ever go on holiday without bringing back a tip or two!
I’m also a big, big fan of using natural light and the garden to its best advantage, which often is great inspiration for where to place things when planning a space.
Your home is beautiful, what are your tips and tricks for balancing colours and textures?
I would definitely recommend looking at your home as a whole rather than decorating room by room - even if you embark on separate rooms or elements years apart you always need a central thread pulling it together.
Really think about what materials, textures and colours you are particularly drawn to, pick your key few and repeat these throughout to keep it cohesive.
Light is crucial, too - Instagram is fantastic at inspiring but be warned that what works on someone’s southwest facing walls often will look totally out of place in a northeast facing room (a lesson we’ve learnt ourselves many times over!).
Do you have a favourite room in your house and why? The kitchen/dining space and the garden living room with snug has turned out better than either of us imagined (I often describe them as the ‘marmite’ decision of the whole project as some people really couldn’t visualise why we were switching things about!)
Do you have any other favourite house accounts on Instagram?A few I revisit a lot for their take on neutral design with a personal touch are @arle_house, @little_georgian, @twentytwo_theterrace, @this_bright_house, @jamesstreethouse, @no7cheltenham.
What opportunities have come from putting your house out on Instagram?
I think the best thing about it has been finding other people at different stages of renovating or simply styling up their homes, who have opened our eyes to different practical ideas we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.
What do you love most about living in Bristol? Does the city inspire you?
Absolutely! We both went to school in Bath and often comment that, whilst it’s a beautiful city, Bristol definitely has more depth of character and heart to it, as well as just as much history.
I love that there are lots of different neighbourhoods to get to know, all with their own things to offer.
What are your favourite places in your local area?
We are so lucky to step out of our front door and be steps from Gloucester Road.
We are spoiled for choice for so many amazing independent retailers and places to eat and drink along there.
Do you have any favourite places to shop for your home in Bristol?
What’s next for you with your home?
The DIY list is never- ending, but our current project is sorting out the garden. My husband has tasked himself with setting a herringbone brick terrace with Cotswold clay pavers and I’m on the garden design and planting up!