Decorated entirely with salvaged and vintage finds, this converted bakery is a lesson in creative upcycling

Secondhand isn't second best in the eyes of this homeowner

vintage style living room with wall panelling, floral sofa and vintage sign
(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Determined to find the ideal home with just the right amount of space and potential for improvements, Libs Lewis viewed over 40 properties. That might sound daunting to many, but Libs found it rewarding – especially when her search led her to this unique gem. 

The house was built as a Co-op bakery in 1901, with a separate building used as an overflow classroom, a cookhouse and a dinner hall for the village school.

Libs and her family became the converted bakery’s second owners, following its initial transformation to a home in the early 1990s. ‘What really spoke to me was the space, the light, and its potential,’ says Libs. Yet, despite the space and light, she found the house somewhat soulless and lacking character. 

Determined to enhance the home's charm without making structural changes, she added period-style features – and shopped second-hand so that everything was upcycled, salvaged or pre-loved.

Salvaged retro kitchen

retro style kitchen with 1950s units and retro accessories

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

As an antiques dealer and founder of homeware store Domestic Science, Libs certainly has an eye for design and penchant for using old materials to create a unique feel. This is most evident in the kitchen.

Based on pre-loved finds and salvage the kitchen is a wonderfully fun space, filled with retro kitchen ideas

bread board with bread in a retro kitchen with metal unit

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

The 1950s English Rose units – including one that originated from a Scout hut in Malvern and sourced many years before the kitchen remodel – found their perfect home.

Glazed panels, once room dividers from the Cadbury Fry’s offices in Bristol, now serve as doors for bespoke cabinets, thanks to the craftsmanship of a friend.

view of sink area in retro kitchen with salvaged tin wall tiles

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

A local antiques dealer created zinc-topped kitchen worktops, which add an industrial kitchen touch, while reclaimed boards from a Dutch cheese producer and American tin ceiling tiles give character to the walls. 

freestanding antique kitchen cupboard with chippy paint finish

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

A striking antique freestanding cupboard with a chippy paint finish sits at the far end of the kitchen.

Collecting treasures

vintage living room with wall panelling, shelves full of antique finds and secondhand sofas

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Fielded wall panelling, bookcases and matching window pelmets were crafted for the lofty living room, which was once the village school hall and felt austere. 

Shoulder height panelling now makes it feel less cavernous and two sets of recessed bookshelves are filled with books and treasures creating a vintage living room feel. 

Filling a home with upcycled and vintage treasures takes dedication. 'As a young girl, I spent hours treasure-hunting in secondhand shops,' says Libs.

Large and comfortable secondhand sofas are adorned with varied cushions in an array of vintage floral and chequered covers. 

wood burner in fireplace of a vintage living room with bookshelves beside

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

The ogee shape design feature at the top of the bookshelves echoes that on the wooden pelmets.

The wood-burner in the living room was already in place when Libs moved in, but the question was what to do with the space above? The answer came when she visited Bath Decorative Antiques Fair and found a fabulous old painted fairground panel, perfect for the spot.


dining space in a living room with vintage chairs

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

The dining space is at one end of the living room and gets flooded with light from the four large windows.

Space for books

landing area in a vintage home with fitted bookshelves

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

By moving the staircase a foot to the left and creating a smaller half landing, Libs added a floor-to-ceiling bookcase the width of the staircase and spanning two floor levels. This fitted storage idea not only gave her and her family somewhere to house a large number of their books, 'but it instantly gave the space a wonderful lived-in feel,’ says Libs. 

Vintage country house style

vintage style bedroom with toile du jouy wallpaper

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Libs possesses a talent for interior decoration, drawing inspiration from her role as an antiques dealer to create a timeless and captivating look reminiscent of the English country house look, such as in this vintage bedroom.

vintage bedside with weathered paint, blue lamp in front of toile du jouy wallpaper

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Her love for furnishings and objects that showcase their age is evident throughout her home, with toile de Jouy wallpapers, vintage textiles and cupboard and drawer sets with original paint. Here, a paint-splattered artist’s stand found at a flea market makes an excellent bedside table. 

Upcycled bathroom

bathroom made from upcycled vintage finds with chipped paint

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

The en-suite bathroom shows just how special things can look if you upcycle pieces and do them your own way. 

The washstand was designed and built around an old door – one of a pair – which Libs found at a French brocante.

The painted wooden panelling contrasts with walls in a waterproof plaster finish by Tadelakt London.

bathroom sink with blue and white patterned tile splashback and marble sink top

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

A marble slab was sourced from a local antiques shop and an oval hole was cut for a basin. Libs spotted the bathroom tiles while on an overnight stay in Palermo, Sicily, and had them shipped to the UK.

display of vintage thermometers on bathroom wall

(Image credit: Future/ Tamsyn Morgans)

Her love for collecting, displaying and making led to impressive collections of thermometers, yardsticks, and salvaged signage. These now adorn the walls, such as this bathroom gallery wall idea.

Libs' passion for interior decoration and her talent for curating timeless spaces has turned her house into a treasure trove, a place that exudes character while welcoming all who enter.

Freelance Writer

Alice Roberton is a writer and stylist, specialising in writing about period homes, antiques, vintage and salvage

With contributions from