English Cottages

Living Life on Her Own Terms: Lisa Piddington Showed Her Unusual Vintage-Filled Home

Photos of this house have been featured in many interior design magazines. And it’s no wonder – it stands out sharply against the backdrop of mundane interiors. Every corner of the space is occupied by vintage items – paintings hang everywhere, figurines stand, and rugs lie. And all this against the backdrop of gloomy wallpaper and dark walls.

lisa piddington vintage house 1
© Lisa Piddington

That’s how the house we’ll visit today looks. At first glance – cute and tidy.

The owner of this magnificence is 53-year-old Englishwoman Lisa Piddington. Formerly a journalist, she wrote articles for local newspapers and magazines for over 20 years. Now she only writes for her blog dedicated to her unique home and has a column about interiors in one of Birmingham’s publications, the second most populous city in the UK.

Lisa has been living in the village of Bournville (a suburb of Birmingham) for many years. In the early 2000s, she bought a small old house here and has been constantly improving it ever since. Over time, Lisa’s passion for interior design turned into a full-fledged job.

Many don’t like the interior of this country house. People on social media write, “it looks like a flea market,” “it’s like a museum of a hoarder,” “it’s so gloomy.” But there are also those who admire Lisa’s living conditions (it’s no coincidence that her blog has 125,000 followers). I haven’t met anyone indifferent yet. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of emotions when looking at the photos too.

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© Lisa Piddington

Ready to take a peek inside this unusual house? And a small clarification: don’t be surprised that the door in this photo is green, while in the previous one it’s blue. The hostess repainted the door last winter, just before Christmas.

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© Lisa Piddington

Lisa in the kitchen of her beloved home. She lives here alone. Her family – her daughter and college-student grandson – live nearby in Birmingham and often visit.

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© Lisa Piddington

Let’s start the house tour with the living room, which really looks like a vintage museum.

When Lisa and her husband (they’re now divorced) moved into this house, the fireplace was bricked up. Dismantling the masonry and restoring the fireplace was the new homeowner’s first interior challenge.

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© Lisa Piddington

One of Lisa’s favorite items in this room is an antique French candlestick, standing to the left of the fireplace.

“Guests admire this candlestick. And they’re surprised when they find out that I won it in a poker game about 25 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday: we were sitting in a friend’s garden, playing cards. It was a very boozy evening. But I got lucky: after a couple of aces, I took this candlestick home in a taxi,” writes Lisa on her social media page.

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© Lisa Piddington

A real mix of patterns, ornaments, and items… There’s no doubt that the hostess has been collecting this vintage for decades.

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© Lisa Piddington

Any visit to Lisa’s house is sure to turn into an exciting tour.

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© Lisa Piddington

Another corner of the living room.

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© Lisa Piddington

Over the years of living here, the interior has changed many times. Lisa was constantly changing things, searching for her style. In the photo on the right – this is how the living room looked until the hostess became fond of dark colors.

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© Lisa Piddington

And this is what Lisa’s kitchen looks like (it’s combined with a small dining area). There’s really not a single free spot here! Everything is cluttered with useful and not so useful items.

“I’ve been collecting vintage items for my home for over 30 years, so I have a huge amount of various accessories,” admits Lisa.

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© Lisa Piddington

The same kitchen, but 23 years ago. Lisa’s family had just moved into this house.

“It’s hard to believe that I once lived in a house that wasn’t filled to the brim with useless stuff,” writes Lisa under these two before/after photos. “I like watching how my home evolves over time, how collections grow, and how I accumulate things I love. It’s amazing what you can do without money.”

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© Lisa Piddington

What a variety you can find in this kitchen’s interior. How about the Jesus figurines, for example?

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© Lisa Piddington

This is what the dining area looks like. An old table with peeling paint, different wooden chairs (each with its own story), display cabinets for storing dishes, a collection of pitchers – for some, it may look like “junk,” but for Lisa, it’s real wealth.

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© Lisa Piddington

Look at how cleverly the hostess arranged things: the background in the cupboard is decorated with the same wallpaper as the kitchen walls.

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© Lisa Piddington

Religious themes also found their reflection in the bedroom. Lisa turned the headboard of her bed into a kind of iconostasis (not just for decor).

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© Lisa Piddington

Lisa accidentally found this luxurious vintage rug in a charity shop. It cost her £4 (about $5.50 in today’s money).

“When I saw this rug, I realized it was made for my bedroom,” shares the hostess.

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© Lisa Piddington

And this is another part of the living room. Accent wallpaper (although there are already plenty of accents), a wardrobe for storing clothes (and not just one, there’s another identical wardrobe to the right), and a working fireplace.

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© Lisa Piddington

The bathroom is also special – with a window overlooking the closed backyard and a glass partition instead of a curtain.

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© Lisa Piddington

Lisa decorated one of the walls with wallpaper.

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© Lisa Piddington

That’s where I finish the tour of Lisa’s house. I’ll show you what’s outside.

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© Lisa Piddington

There’s an improvised terrace in the backyard (you can access it directly from the kitchen).

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© Lisa Piddington

It’s such a secluded spot, away from prying eyes.

What do you think of this unusual house filled with vintage items? Did you like it? Or did it scare you off? I’ll be glad to hear any feedback – it’s interesting to see how opinions differ…

If you found this interesting, check out our “English Cottages” section.

Qualified interior designer and article author specializing in home and residential interiors since 2021. My favorite topics include Scandinavian design, reviews of English cottages, as well as simple and light ideas for apartment decoration.

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