Mementoes from a career spent in far flung places feature all over Sally Green’s house. There are ornamental elephants from India, a Lalique camel from Dubai, ginger jars from Hong Kong, a watercolour from Korea and they all come with memories.
As a fashion and textiles buyer Sally has travelled extensively and lived in the Indian state of Kerala for a year, where she worked in sales and marketing for an American-owned factory. But although she has been all round the world for work, her heart and her home have always been in Yorkshire. “The experience, especially in India, was invaluable. I made some lovely friends but I was glad to come back here.”
She jumped on the property ladder early, at 22, and transformed a semi-derelict house before buying another major project. Her love of renovation made choosing a ready to move into mid-terrace a big challenge.
“I bought this because the location was perfect. It is close to my parents and is really spacious inside. I would’ve liked to renovate something but I didn’t have the time and my son was only three when we moved here so it would have been difficult. But I’ve changed a few things and redecorated,” says Sally, whose son, Francisco, is now six.
She began with a new 1930s-style back door, before revamping the fireplace in the front room.
“It had 1970s tiles that had been painted black and a 70s hearth. When I stripped it all back I found a beautiful slate fireplace underneath,” she says.
The dark, north-facing kitchen was brightened with an orange colour scheme dictated by her retro-inspired Nardi fridge, which was almost half the price of the Smeg she aspired to.
The mugs from nearby Rustle and Co in Rawdon match perfectly and a set of vintage Guinness toucans from the Antiques Centre at Salts Mill, Saltaire, add character.
Her favourite features in the dining room are the original built-in cupboards, either side of the fireplace, that are painted in bright blue and are ideal for storing her vintage tableware. The wall above the table is filled with a stunning wirework picture by local artist Heleina Sharpley, which casts clever shadows at night.
“I like mixing old and new pieces with items I have picked up from my travels. I have some beautiful saris from India that I used as blinds in my last house,” she says.
She has forsaken them for now in favour of wooden shutter blinds that give privacy but allow light to stream in.
They look best in her shabby chic, French-style bedroom. The wardrobe was from an auction, the bed and chandelier from BHS and the wallpaper and lamps from Laura Ashley.
On the second floor, the loft doubles as a guest bedroom and a studio for Sally’s online store Tweed Lounge, which specialises in woollen soft furnishings.
She designs the products herself and everything is sourced and made locally.
“I was working for a company selling upmarket ladies tailoring on the high street. Most of the fabrics were European, some of which were produced in the UK. I hadn’t realised until then that Yorkshire was still producing luxurious, high quality wool fabrics for the clothing industry. That’s really what gave me the idea for the business. I’ve always loved interiors and I could see that those fabrics would work for soft furnishings. They are easy to sew and wear very well.” The herringbones, checks and plain woven woollen fabrics are from mills in Huddersfield, Keighley, Guiseley and Pool-in-Wharfedale. They are used to create cushions, throws, draught excluders, doorstops and scarves. Sally also offers a bespoke upholstery and interior design service.
“The idea behind Tweed Lounge is that it is a classic with a modern twist, so we add leather trims and contemporary design.”
Setting up was “a bit of a mid-life crisis,” admits Sally, 40. “So many people had encouraged me to do it and I wanted to spend more time with my son rather than travelling. When the idea for this finally came I decided to go for it. It’s worked out really well and I’m really happy that by working with local mills and businesses I’m doing my little bit to support UK wool production and to maintain Yorkshire’s wool making heritage.”
Sally and Francisco’s pet dog Pugsy stars on one her cushions and is a constant companion. “He’s the best thing I’ve bought for the house,” she says. “I love dogs. They really make a house a home.”
Tweed Lounge, www. tweedlounge.co.uk. Sally’s tweed scarves are available from the Craft Centre and Design Gallery, Leeds, www. craftcentreleeds.co.uk
Sally’s useful contacts
Harrogate Interiors, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, www.harrogateinteriors.co.uk, for interesting items.
Redbrick Mill, Batley, www.redbrickmill.co.uk, especially Ice Interiors.
The Home and the antiques centre at Salts Mill, Saltaire, for something different and well-designed. www.thehomeonline.co.uk
Rustle and Co, New Side Road, Rawdon, Leeds, for homeware.
M&M Blinds, Stanningley, Leeds, www.mandmblinds.co.uk, for wooden shutter blinds.
Swiss Cottage, Westfield Crescent, Leeds, for second-hand bargains and antiques.
Leaf floral design in Rawdon, www.leaf.uk.com, for fresh flowers,
Kershaws door company, Wyke, Bradford, tel: 01274 604488. I sourced my back door from here.
I love the website www.laissezluciefaire.com, which is French and has lots of quirky items featuring animals, including pugs.