House Tour : Shrines, collections and kitsch creations. A vintage home with a keen sense of humour.
Hazel’s home in Bristol UK is an amazing collection of vintage, kitsch and handmade wonderments. It tells a story of a life lived unapologetically in awe of colour, with a passion for collecting and a wicked sense of humour. Every surface, corner and wall holds a myriad of collections, miniature worlds and tableaus … A celebration of life in both happy and macabre glory.
Please tell us about your design philosophy; is there is a theme, or particular passion that drives the look?
I think themes play a big part in my style, from Victoriana 1 930s, to 1950s Kitsch and modern day. I am a child who grew up in the 1950s so therefore have sentimental memories for all things from that period. Things don't always have to be from one era, I feel you can mix them so that it blends together to create your style.
How would you describe your style?
I think my style would be described as Eclectic/ Kitsch as it’s not all one era or style.
How long have you been in your house and have you done any work to it?
I’ve been in my house for 23yrs now and have changed it completely. It’s a 1936 semi which had no traces of the original style left apart from the bathroom. It was full of woodchip and swirly shagg pile carpets, with really bad Formica kitchen units. I put in a new kitchen, built a conservatory on the back, reinstated the fireplace in the lounge, and decorated a few times over the years.
There is almost an aspect of storytelling in the way you have decorated your home, would that be accurate?
I would say there is an aspect of storytelling in the decorating, which changes as the stages of your life move on, but I always have things that stay with me and fit into those changes.
You have a lot of shrines, both obvious and subtle, where does your interest in shrines come from?
I've always been fascinated by shrines which stems from my love of Mexican culture and the way the celebrate Death. They don't always have to be about Death, they can be about collections, things that have a personal meaning to you, styles, or just colour.
How long have you been collecting?
I've always collected even as a small girl, I loved Jumble sales and finding something old and interesting I drove my Parents crazy dragging things home from Jumbles and the back lanes. I still love that feeling of finding something from a bygone era and getting it for a bargain.
Where does your love of vintage & kitsch come from?
I'm really not sure where my love of collecting comes from, maybe being around when rationing was still happening and people had to make do with second hand furniture, then the 1950s style just revolutionised and lifted the gloom of all that.
What is your favourite era / maker?
I think my favourite style has to be the 1950s. It’s so crazy but beautiful, with slick lines in furniture to kitsch ornaments and bold colours. It’s hard to pick one designer of that time, Charles Eames, for furniture, Lucienne Day, for fabrics and too many others to mention.
Do you have a favourite piece in your home?
I don't really have any favourites, everything tells a story and has a place or a memory. I think my Religious shrine has always been one of my main ones. It started when I first went abroad and visited the churches. I was totally fascinated by the Iconography and the over-the-top glitz and surreal glass cases containing wax statues of saints with relics of original bones contained in them, I was hooked.
I believe you have had a few different themes over the years, care to tell us about any previous incarnations of style?
When I first decorated the house, it was totally different. Colour played a huge part as well as my love of all things Mexican. The hall was cerise pink with religious pictures and figures, the kitchen and dining room were yellow with pea green unites and lots of Mexican tin, with fifties black and yellow pottery. I still have some Mexican bits around along with 1950s, 1930s, it’s all in the way it’s put together; colour schemes, styles, collections.
Hazel is both a vintage seller and a prolific maker. Her creations range from kitsch felt animals to sophisticated silver jewellery. If you'd like to see more of her work check out her Facebook Page: Hazel Sutton Handmade Eclectic Jewellery
Photo credits: All photos of Hazel's house taken by Lee. Product photos kindly provided by Hazel.