The best Yorkshire homes on Instagram

A front of a cottage with a green door and window.

Get cosy at home wit h an inspiring autumn makeover - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Autumn is a time of year when we start to hunker down and get cosy in our homes. If you're looking for inspiration, Beth Windsor talks to people behind some of the most beautiful Yorkshire properties, uncovering their home tales and some pretty nifty tips along the way. 


It’s safe to say that over the last year we've become obsessed with interiors. From adding some decorative touches, to total remodelling, knocking down walls and creating outside rooms - possibilities have seemed endless and creative energies know no bounds.

Instagram is the go-to for inspiration and we’ve searched high and low for the most beautiful #instahomes of Yorkshire. May we introduce the people behind the stylish front doors . . .


Christina & Philip Brion @yorkshirevelvet

Christina and Philip are sat in a restaurant holding up glasses of alcohol and smiling into the camera

Christina and Philip Brion own the luxury holiday cottage company,Yorkshire Velvet - Credit: Christina Brion

Stokesley 

Tell us a little bit about your home 

A beautiful red brick detached Georgian farmhouse and pretty gardens

Christina and Philip's home was once owned by the relatives of Captain Cook - Credit: Christina Brion

The house is an old Georgian farmhouse dating back to mid-1700s - its former residents have connections with James Cook. We hope to be here for most of our lifetime, but we know we are simply custodians of a beautiful old house. When we moved in, we essentially took it back to the bare brick. It’s basically a new house inside an old exterior – but we kept all the historical features which give the house its heart.  

Describe your style

I’d describe my style as somewhere between classic, traditional, and contemporary. I was mindful of the history of the house from the start. Where possible I’ve sourced antique Georgian pieces to sit alongside the contemporary furniture. I love mixing antique furniture and heritage wallpaper with modern artwork and lighting.  I love the fact that this furniture was being used by people hundreds of years ago!  

How did you start out decorating?   
The business (Christina set up luxury holiday rental business Gorgeous Cottages) meant I’ve always had a keen interest in beautiful houses but found myself too busy to concentrate on my own home. When we sold the business back in 2019 and found this wonderful house, it was an opportunity to learn more about interiors and what my style is. Instagram and designers such as Rita Konig were a big inspiration. 

What’s been your favourite project in the house?   
We practically live in the kitchen/boot room as it’s perfect for family life and soggy dogs! We went for a classic style handmade kitchen in contemporary muted colours and added a traditional touch with a chimney breast and wood burner. The bricks lining the chimney are antique which gives a very authentic feel.  

Any good bargains?  
I sourced lots of secondhand furniture from sites like Ebay, Etsy, Sellingantiques.com and Vinterior. Plus, lots of artwork from charity/junk shops - you’d be amazed at the lovely pieces you can find! 

What's been your most inspiring find for the house?   
I struggled with lighting but was delighted to find Pooky lights, who offer stylish pieces at a good price.  

Christina and Philip's Little Black Book  

Arcadia Builders: overall contractors covering everything from construction work to electrics and plumbing. 
Dixon & Cowton: run by two young friends based in Northallerton who made the kitchen and boot room from scratch.  
Niche Living: mother and daughter interior design team who also have a lovely homewares shop in Barnard Castle
The Antiques Hound: we sourced some lovely antique tables and chairs from here.  
 

What's your day job?   
We own a luxury holiday cottage business called Yorkshire Velvet. We started our original business (Gorgeous Weekend) back in 2008, but changed to Gorgeous Cottages in 2012. We built the portfolio from just a handful of cottages to almost 200 by the time we sold to The Travel Chapter in 2019.   Follow our new venture on Insta/Facebook.  

A living room that is covered in green and white heritage wallpaper, a velvet sofa sits next to an old fireplace

Christina loves to mix heritage wallpaper with Georgian furniture and modern artwork - Credit: Christina Brion

What advice would you give to others looking to makeover their home?   
Make decisions about lighting/sockets/flooring first as that’s what the builders will want to know!  

Most Read

Christina and Philip's Top Tips

  1. Really think about how you are going to use a room before deciding on what you want in there.  
  2. Do lots of research on Instagram/Pinterest and put together your own mood board of images for each room.  
  3. Seek the help of a professional interior designer who can help you with colour/fabric combinations to bring your ideas to life.  



Sandra Baker @the_idle_hands

Sandra sits between two giant lamps in a green dress

Sandra has had a love of decorating since she was a teen and takes inspiration from magazines and the internet - Credit: Sandra Baker

Leeds 

 Tell us a bit about your home 

Sandra's large Victorian house is surrounded by leafy trees

It took Sandra six years to be given the go-ahead to reconfigure the house - Credit: Sandra Baker

Our home is late Victorian which we bought in 2012. Straight away I had an architect draw up plans to knock down a few walls to modernise the layout, but it took us until 2019 to get to production. The work involved taking out a huge, load-bearing, chimney breast wall, from the basement to the roof. The main challenge was that removing the wall required strengthening the foundations of the house by putting in a large amount of steel to hold the house up!  

Describe your style  

A tall green and white headboard of a bed sits against patterned wallpaper in a room with antique furniture

Removing a huge chimney breast wall allowed Sandra to reconfigure the bedroom space upstairs - Credit: Sandra Baker

I wanted to honour the Victorian heritage of the house and, like the Victorians, I'm a huge fan of pattern, but with a more modern colour palette. I particularly love how wallpaper can completely change a room, so I've used it everywhere! I'd say my style is a mix of considered maximalism and English eccentric.  

How did you start out decorating?
I think my love of decorating stems from when I was allowed to choose the decor in my teen bedroom, being able to make a space my own, and filling it with things I loved. Since then, I've taken huge pleasure in decorating everywhere I've lived, from student digs, to rented houses, to ones I've owned.  

What has been your favourite project in the house?   
It would have to be the renovation project we did in 2019, to knock the kitchen and living space together. The previous layout was overly complicated and wasn't conducive to family life. We now have a space where we can all hang out together, cooking, doing homework, watching tv - just what I wanted. The Crittall-style doors, leading out to the garden, have been a brilliant addition, and flood the space with light.   

Any good bargains? 
I have vintage furniture everywhere as it brings personality and uniqueness to a scheme. I hunt these down on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay, and I love Hartley's Auction Rooms in Ilkley, where I found my £5 glass display cabinet that now lives in my kitchen!  

What's been your most inspiring find for the house?   
I particularly love the vintage chandelier above my dining table as it brought the whole scheme together.  

Sandra's Little Black Book?  
Born of Wood made my kitchen 
Joe Bonner was my amazing builder 
Birbek Flooring for the most beautiful wooden floors 
Bess Sturman of Sturman & Co Interior Design was instrumental in spatially designing my kitchen space 
I wouldn’t trust anyone, but Jamie Sellers of DecSpray to hang my wallpaper 

What's your day job?   
I'm a Commercial Dispute Resolution solicitor, and I work in-house for a large healthcare provider.  

What advice would you give to others looking to makeover their home?   
Decorate for you. Life is too short for magnolia (unless you love magnolia, in which case, go for it!). Do what your heart wants, and if you hate it, paint over it - simple!  

Sandra's Top Tips 
1. Live in a space for a while and don't rush to decorate it. Think of how the light falls, how you’d use the space and where the practical bits will go.  

2. Don't be scared of pattern. It's only wallpaper and fabric! This is your home, your life! Paper those walls! Or at least start small, with some cushions, and work your way up.  

3. Only buy what you love. If you love something, it will work in your home, regardless.  

 
  

Calista & Tom - @thebarnatmanorfarm

Calista and Tom stand in a field wearing outdoor country clothing and wellies

Calista and Tom worked every evening and weekend to complete the renovation in just nine months - Credit: Calista Hutchinson-Jones

Yorkshire Wolds 

Tell us a bit about your home 

The hallway shows a barn style door painted in stylish grey with cosy lanterns and a log store under the stairs

When Calista and Tom first moved in it didn't feel like a barn so they stripped it back and started again - Credit: Calista Hutchinson-Jones

Our home was originally a granary barn built in 1885, converted into a house in 1995. We bought the house in 2018, and decided to strip it back to basics to create a modern country home. We restored and whitewashed all the original beams, knocked through the old kitchen, dining room, utility room to make one big open plan kitchen dining area linked together by a 3m long island unit. We did 99% of the work ourselves, working every hour to have it completed within 9 months! 

Describe your style   

Our style is very much modern country. We are a young couple so it was important for us to create something a bit more modern but that kept in feel with the original features of the house, creating a timeless barn conversion that felt homely too.  We are so conscious of not modernising too much though, and ensuring we protect the property’s original features and handprint.  

How did you start out decorating?   

We took a lot of inspiration from Neptune Home. We decorated the house using their 'pebble' colour palette which consists of tonal greys, using 'shell' to keep the house light, airy, and cohesive. I love the feeling you get when you walk into a Neptune store as it feels really homely but is decorated and styled to perfection – just what I was after. 

What has been your favourite project in the house?   

The kitchen underwent the biggest transformation and has the biggest wow factor. It’s a great space for hosting friends, cooking and entertaining.  

Any good bargains?  

We always get lots of comments about our dining room table which was an upcycle project. It belonged to Tom's parents and his mum kindly upcycled the traditional oiled pine dining table by painting the legs in charcoal, sanding the top and whitewashing using liming wax. Also, charity shop books which I paint with leftover sample pots are great for styling and getting across seasonal colours in a subtle but effective way. 

What's been your most inspiring find for the house?  

Our log stack under the stairs came about as Tom couldn’t be bothered to make a shoe cupboard by the time we finished the reno, but it gets so much attention. We both absolutely love it now and it really sets the theme for the rest of home as you walk through the front door.   

Calista and Tom's Little Black Book

Marble Building Products Ltd for beautiful worktops 

Egger for flooring 


What's your day job?   

I am a marketing communications manager for kitchen manufacturer  - Moores Furniture Group. Tom is head of operations for Marble Building Products.


What advice would you give to others looking to makeover their home?   

Take your time choosing a style for your home. Try and do as much as you can by yourself. And always double the time you think it will take! 

  

Calista and Tom's top tips  

Sticking to a colour palette throughout will make styling easier.  
Have seasonal colours - in Autumn I change all my accessories to burnt orange, and in summer I change to blush pink.  
Buy second-hand furniture and upcycle where possible. This allows you to personalise your home & create unique pieces.  
  

 
  

Jack March @jackdmarch

Jack is stood in a smart navy suit

Jack loves to create a modern, liveable twist on a period style - Credit: Jack D. March

York 

 Tell us a bit about your home

Jack's terraced house with a brick front. bay windows, bright red door and vintage car outside

Jack's house is part of a terrace built for railways managers in the late-nineteenth century - Credit: Jack D. March

We moved into our Victorian townhouse just before Christmas 2020. The terrace is made up of houses built for the railway managers in the 1880s – each one is slightly different due to the bombings of WW11. We are slowly working around the rooms to restore all the original features, but as with all period properties, one job unearths another! For me, that’s the charm of an old house and the price you pay for the honour of owning a slice of history. I like to create a juxtaposition by combining the old with the new while being sympathetic to the age of the property.   
 Describe your style

I am a lover of colour and pattern! My style has previously been referred to as a new movement of 'royal core', which I can't disagree with. I love to create a dramatic space, almost as a stage for my interiors and collections so that it gives people a sense of wow when they enter a room. 

How did you start out decorating?   

In 2012 I graduated with a first in 3D Design where I specialised in ceramics (keep a lookout for the teapots). When I was 24 I bought my first home and couldn't have a kiln in an apartment so I used decorating and my home as my creative outlet.  

What has been your favourite project in the house?   

Jack's living room is completely blue and white - the wallpaper, curtains and accessories. A log burner is in the middle

Jack visioned this room before they even found the house. It features custom made curtains, ceramic teapots, and Jack's best bargin - the matching rug - Credit: Jack D. March

The vision of the blue and white lounge lived in my head for so long. I would visualise it with every house we viewed, so when I walked into this house, I knew it was meant to be. It was the perfect space to make my vision come to life.  

Any good bargains?  

Being from Yorkshire, I love a bargain! I can often be found in the charity shops or car boots around York looking for vintage and antique pieces. I recently found the blue and white rug in Devil’s Elbow Antiques in York. 
  

Jack's Little Black Book 

Lou's Thread Interiors for all things soft furnishings 

Emmett Bespoke Joinery made our beautiful bar and shelving

Antiques - Junk & Jewels (Murton) | Wombell's Auctions (York) | Devil’s Elbow Antiques (York)  

Rodgers of York for flooring  


What's your day job?   

As well as being a published author of 'The Art of Home',  I work in our family business. We run an independent Jaguar and Land Rover specialist in Elvington, York. It always comes as a shock to people when I tell them I work in a garage - even if I am just doing the admin.  
  

What advice would you give to others looking to makeover their home?   

Decorate for you, fads and fashions will come and go – follow your heart, not the trends. Your home should be an extension of you and your personality. 


Jack's top tips

1. Buy a good quality cutting in (angled) brush and look after it! It will be your best friend when decorating.   

2. My mum always says 'it’s just paint' - if you don’t like it you can change it – says the woman who painted her living four times in one month. 

3. Know your limits! Sometimes a professional quote might seem expensive, but if you mess it up doing it yourself it could end up costing you more. 

  

Marie-Claire Jackson @thegingerhareofyorkshire

A close up shot of Marie-Claire

Using careful thought and consideration Marie-Claire has managed to turn her 70's home into something to love - Credit: Marie-Claire Jackson

North Leeds 

 Tell us a bit about your home 

Marie-Claire's front door is painted a beautiful green with a brass hare doorknocker on the front

Marie-Claire's home is full of thoughtful finishing touches such as this delightful hare doorknocker - Credit: Marie-Claire Jackson

I live in North Leeds in a four-bedroom detached house built in 1974. The architecture of the 1960s and 70s isn’t my favourite but with a bit of careful thought and consideration we’ve managed to turn our house into a beautiful family home. In the time we have been here the décor has changed a few times. Although I like to keep abreast of interior trends I try and encompass a timeless aesthetic that doesn’t date easily.  

Describe your style 

A study filled with bright colours, books and a gallery wall. There is a stripy armchair and desk

The study is purposely bright and bold with mentally stimulating colours. All of the space has been maximised including the bookcase built around the doorway - Credit: Marie-Claire Jackson

A frustrated minimalist who constantly fights her an inner maximalist. As a result of this our home is decorated in an eclectic style which is dependent upon the requirements dictated by the room’s function.  

What has been your favourite project in the house?   

My favourite room in the house is probably the living room. We revamped this room a year ago. I bought sumptuous velvet sofas and chairs from Sofa.com in beautiful jewel tones. I have also added pops of colour with side tables, artwork etc. The room is decorated in one of my favourite colours - Farrow and Ball Downpipe. I have used Amtico flooring in a dark herringbone format which works well and compliments the bright velvet furniture.  

Any good bargains?  

The bedroom is neutral and serene with a white panelled wall and earth tones

In the bedroom Marie-Claire wanted to create a calm and serene space, free of clutter to facilitate a great night's sleep - Credit: Marie-Claire Jackson

I’m fortunate that my hubby, Paul, is a very skilled DIYer so he has built everything in our home. From wardrobes to radiator cabinets, bookcases, wall panelling. It’s a nice release from his desk job as a freelance IT business consultant.  

Marie-Claire's go-to interior shops 

Farrow & Ball  

Little Greene Paint Company  

John Lewis  

The White Company  

Cox & Cox  

Graham and Greene  

La Redoute