unexpected guests: dottie angel.
today on unexpected guests, i am so very excited to share this home – because it is oh so fabulous! and i love everything about its stylish and charming interiors. we’re dropping in on the Seattle, washington home of the ultra charming tif fussell, or as you might know her – the dottie angel. reading tif’s q&a i developed a little girl crush — i think you’ll see she has that effect on you. she just cracks me up with her wonderfully irreverent sense of humor. Tif lives in suburban seattle, is a Brit, a wife and the mother of four kids “who talk back”. she wears a customized slip and dreams of living her alter-ego dottie angel’s life…in a run down cottage over looking the sea, with two airstream trailers in the yard, one works as her studio and the other stores her vast collection of vintage notions…ah, but that is just the dream. We’re going to take a look at tif’s real life today, and if you ask me, it doesn’t look half bad. in fact, it looks quite brilliant! for more about tif, visit her blog, dottie angel, or check out her esty shop (or dottie angel vivant) where she puts that collection of vintage notions to good use, hand-making beautiful frocks, bags and vintage-inspired home accessories. thanks tif!
What city/neighborhood do you live in?
I live on the east side, just outside of Seattle with my husband, four children and countless critters.
What is your idea of a perfect day in Seattle?
On a Sunday morning heading to Fremont market. My husband and my children would come to0, they would not complain about anything, instead they would marvel at all the lovely vintage finds I spy. Afterwards, we would go to the park, spread out a lovely retro blanket and have a picnic… one that I had not prepared, but that my family had insisted on putting together that morning so that I could have an extra 30 minutes in bed with a cup of tea and magazine.
What don’t you leave home without?
My sanity if I can locate it before I leave, if not I just go ‘as is’.
What’s your favorite feature in your home?
The wallpaper. The interior of our home is painted white but we have added wallpaper to some accent walls. They are from Orla Kiely, Ebay and Graham & Brown. Putting them up has made our house feel like a home.
What are some of your favorite local shops?
The thrift store. Failing that, it would be any secondhand, vintage mall in a 20 mile radius.
What’s on your wish list?
I just found one thing on my wish list recently, a wonderful mid-century modern bench for our front hall. I am still looking for the prefect mid-century sideboard and a piece of furniture for our bedroom, not sure what, but when I see it, I’ll know it’s ‘the thing’ from my wish list.
What’s your favorite bargain find or product?
I have many that have made my heart skip a beat when I have found them, but I think my best bargain would be my little herman miller fiberglass chair. I paid $12 and it is the perfect orangey pink color. Recently I put new legs on it as the old ones were completely rusted over. I went with a ‘rocking’ bottom, and it looks lovely.
What is your biggest interior design nightmare?
I’m not very good at living amongst heavy dark repro furniture with lots of swags and tails, and everything matching.
Who is your favorite artist? And why?
My brother Ben Hughes. His portraits and landscapes are incredible. He lives in the UK…I miss him terribly and I admire his talent no end.
Where do you find inspiration?
In the ‘bits and bobs’ I pick up whilst thrifting. In the linens and doilies my mum sources for me in the UK, and also in ‘dottie angel’ my alter ego. She has taken over the creative side of my brain and it doesn’t matter what I do, her influence is apparent in everything I create, and in our home.
Do you collect anything?
I have become quite the avid collector of ‘vintage’ items. It is fast becoming an addiction…Be it ceramics, linens, furniture or wallpaper, I can’t seem to stop myself.
If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
Elvis Presley, i would have him sit on my bark cloth covered couch, in all his 70’s finery… feeling relaxed, arms laying across the back of the couch, surrounded by ‘dolified’ cushions. Perhaps his right foot propped up on his left knee. Afterwards he would ask me if I would like to hear a song whilst reaching for his guitar. I would say ‘how delightful that would be’ and request ‘If I can Dream’… he would strum a few cords and then suggest perhaps we could do a duet.
Who would you like to sit down to drinks with?
Elvis would already be here so that’s goes without saying. Colin Firth would drop by, just so he realizes what he is missing. Kitty from That 70’s Show and I would ask her to bring a few items from her kitchen that I have my eye on. Kevin Roland from Dexy’s Midnight Runners, whom I had a crush on as a teenager, once again so he would realize the errors of his ways. and dottie angel in all her bohemian eclectic glory.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Not so much a guilty pleasure more an guilty unhealthy ‘must have’. Since the age of two I have eaten a daily breakfast of chocolate spread on white toast. I continue to do so thirty eight years on… without it I struggle to get through the day. However, I have never eaten the crusts but recently I have acquired some chickens in the back yard and have discovered that they are partial to ‘crusts with chocolate spread’. A perfect friendship I feel…
What is your most treasured belonging?
My family, they make me whole in a way I can never explain and that is something to be treasured.
What’s souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
I went to the UK in February and bought a most ‘loveliest of lovely’ knitted cream beret from NOA NOA. On my return I promptly lost it within a week. I was so saddened by the lost and even more saddened by my inability to recall the last time it had been on my head. It truly was the best hat I have ever owned, however brief and now it belongs to another…
What is your greatest indulgence?
On the same trip to the UK, my friend Debbie and I went to the flagship store of Orla Kiely, there was a sale going on, I was overcome by ‘the moment ‘ and purchased a reversible leather tote bag in the most perfect green/ blue combination at 50% off. I justified this moment of madness, by telling myself it was softening the whole ‘turning 40’ business … plus it’s Orla, who doesn’t love a bit of Orla!
What is your idea of living hell?
I can’t imagine anything that could be worse than losing my family… that would be a living hell to me.