A compact 1930s house in Bath has become a colourful canvas for showcasing art

pale pink living room with cream sofa and picture ledge covered with framed oil paintings
A 1930s home in Bath alive with art and colourJames Balston

'Nothing is displayed behind glass here – I love oil paintings, particularly those with texture,’ says art dealer Annalise Holasz (@annalise.at.number.9) of the compact house in Bath she shares with her husband Pete Mosley and their young daughter. Every inch of wall space here draws the eye, covered with eclectic and engaging artworks gathered from Ebay, Instagram and Etsy.

When Annalise and Pete first viewed the property, they knew instantly that it was right for them. ‘I’ll always remember how positive I felt when I walked in,’ explains Annalise. ‘I especially liked the open fireplaces – I grew up with one and have wanted my own ever since. Plus, all the rooms were light with plenty of character. The house is
in a good location too, as we can walk into Bath along the canal and have the shops of Larkhall nearby, which has a nice village feel.’

round white table in dining area of open plan kitchen with a gallery wall
white light pared back kitchen with island and wooden floor

Once they’d moved in, the couple threw themselves into decorating and DIY: ‘It’s the quickest way to make a house feel like home,’ enthuses Annalise. Their tasks involved painting the front and garage doors in a vintage-style green-blue, making radiator covers and upcycling furniture. Pete also installed the shutters.

deep green living room with an open fire and in built alcove shelving and sofas in off white

The first project they tackled was the lounge. ‘It’s the only room that isn’t open plan, so it was the easiest. We opted for dark green walls, adding cupboards and shelving in the alcoves – great for styling and storage,’ Annalise says. The fireplace was painted in a soft pink, and they added sofas in a neutral shade. Cushions and decorative lamps added texture and pattern. ‘Finally, I curated a gallery wall above the sofa using a mix of original paintings – antique, vintage and contemporary – displayed in mismatched frames that I love almost as much as the art itself!’ she says. Of the two living rooms – the other a snug across the hallway – it’s the more formal and is used in the evenings for watching TV beside the fire.

main bedroom painted in soft red with rattan bedframe and floral bedspread

Once the lounge was complete, Annalise and Pete redecorated their bedroom, then followed with the rest of the house. ‘I really enjoyed seeing everything come together and my design choices became more confident as my taste evolved,’ Annalise says. With
a hint of a Moroccan souk, the bedroom evokes an escapist feel, bringing together soft pink and light blue to great effect. ‘The colours are warm and cheerful,’ Annalise says, ‘perfect for a room for relaxing and dreaming in. But it’s important to balance style and comfort and make sure a space is functional.’

orange bedroom with pale blue bedside table and paisley bedspread
‘I intended to use the soft red wall colour in conjunction with navy, but then I saw the contrast of a light blue in one of my vintage paintings, and it seemed like such a happy pairing!’ says Annalise.James Balston

Back downstairs, the hall was next on the to-do list. Painting the walls a warm yellow shade helped brighten and lighten it all up, while providing the backdrop to another gallery wall. ‘Our homemade rattan radiator cover doubles as a handy shelf for displaying trinkets and treasures,’ Annalise says. ‘There’s an antique map of Bath too, which I find is a good talking point by the door!’

a soft pink living room with a blue sofa and built in alcove shelving showcasing art and trinkets

Turning their attention to the snug, which the couple use for cosy evenings and hosting friends, they decided on a pale decorating scheme to suit the room’s light-filled, south-facing aspect. ‘We used a warm neutral that has a lot of pink in it,’ says Annalise. A beautiful Suzani wall hanging is displayed behind the sofa, while blankets, sheepskins and cushions ramp up the comfort factor. Antique glassware, vintage wall sconces and artwork add plenty of character in a quirky bar area. More curated artworks feature in the kitchen which, like the bathroom, is yet to be tackled.

a tray loaded with glassware, spirits and decanters for a playful bar area in an alcove
In one of the snug’s alcoves, Annalise has fashioned a playful bar area decorated with her collected artworkJames Balston

Back upstairs, the spare bedroom has become a home office for Annalise’s business, Wallflower: ‘When we moved here, I started buying artwork for the house – it turns out it’s quite addictive! – so I set up an Etsy shop and learnt as I went along. Eighteen months later, I left my job in HR to work as a full-time art dealer.’ In addition to being a study, this space needed to work as a showroom where her customers can browse: ‘I didn’t want it to feel like a stockroom.’

a bathroom with a sink and a window
The bathroom is the next project Annalise wants to tackleJames Balston

Next on the list? ‘A new kitchen and extension,’ Annalise smiles, ‘as well as bathroom renovations and a loft conversion! Plus, the front garden – I’d like a small seating area at the front where we will be able to sit and relax and catch the early evening sun.’

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