After making the leap from city lawyer to countryside florist and owner of the beautiful Crown Cottage, a cosy holiday home in Norfolk, Lois Kingsbury was the perfect addition to our Christmas Tableware Shoot. Lois chose a statement red and green bouquet for our Festive Tableware set, mixing beautiful, bold flowers together seamlessly. For the Tropical Tableware set, she added pops of yellows, pinks and purples, creating a bright and fun finished spread. After the shoot, we were lucky enough to find out more about her life beyond flowers, including the transformation of her beautiful home, Crown Cottage, and what keeps her going during a long working week.
I have always had a creative streak which was difficult to satisfy whilst sitting at a desk in a city law firm! I often spent time at weekends seeking out creative activities (whether that be with an interior project at home, or some seasonal floral decor). I took part in a few Christmas wreath making classes over the years which led to family and friends (and then friends of friends of family and friends) asking me to make their Christmas wreaths for them and it quickly snowballed. I eventually twigged that I had a flair for it and people were willing to pay me for making things I loved making. It wasn’t until we bought a holiday home in Norfolk that the real soul-searching began as to how to make what had only ever been a pipe dream into a reality. I found a florist teacher and mentor during lockdown and became hooked.
There are the expected benefits of getting to spend much more of our time outdoors and live (in theory!) a healthier lifestyle, but personally the move has enabled me to start my own business whilst being able to spend more time at home with our young children. I am not sure how much of that I can credit to being in the countryside itself, but I think making the difficult decision to leave London and start a new life in the country has been liberating in a way I hadn’t anticipated. It’s given me courage to try new things without (as much) fear of failure.
Our cottage - Crown Cottage Norfolk - is really the reason we have this new life in the country… I owe a lot to it! We bought Crown Cottage in 2019 as a holiday home for our family, not intending that it would be used as a holiday home for others to escape to. We would go there alternate weekends but quite quickly the pull to be in Norfolk and to stay there became very strong. We loved the area, but more than that there is something about Crown Cottage that I truly think is special - it comes down to that cliche of "the feeling": it is warm and comforting and everything you could want from an escape to the country. The more we fell in love with Crown Cottage, the more I fell out of love with my career in the city and the less that career and the life and set up we had in London made sense. After a lot of discussion we finally decided we wanted to make the move to Norfolk. That required me to give up my job in London and as a consequence Crown Cottage needed to provide an income, hence a bit of a makeover and it is now a lovely place for others to holiday! I thought it would take a bit of getting used to having others stay there but the truth is that it’s brilliant being able to share it. I put a lot into ensuring guests have the best time and the feedback we get from guests is just wonderful. I am very proud of what we have created there.
Wine. Of any colour. Or gin. I have a terrible habit of being very lazy in the evening.
My mum always encouraged us to have our own style and not to follow the masses. That has stayed with me and is reflected in probably most style (and perhaps life) decisions I make, from home to wardrobe. I’d like to think I keep up with trends but am not led by them: always looking for something ever so slightly different. I put a lot of thought into whether to buy an item, I try to only buy things I know I will get a lot of wear out of and I tend to wear things to death! I keep it simple, which is why a good dress is the dream for me (it’s only one item to think about!)
I literally cannot wait to wear the Red Silk Rah Rah on Christmas Day. It’s a timeless piece that will come out year after year for a glamorous, festive feel. And of course Boxing Day will be spent wearing my new PCP Christmas pyjamas!