Saturday, June 22, 2024
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At Home with Flo Headlam: A Rooftop Retreat

In 1991, Flo purchased a top-floor flat in a Victorian house, creating a vibrant space with unconventional features. She reflects on the unique challenges and joys of her first home, emphasising the importance of embracing creativity in decorating.

The First Step on the Property Ladder

Q: Tell us about your first step on the property ladder?

Flo Headlam made a significant career change after dedicating 25 years to the charity sector, transitioning into horticulture. Her journey led her to join the presentation team on BBC Gardeners’ World and film her third series of Garden Rescue for BBC1. Currently, she is part of the new team of gardening presenters on QVC. In this exclusive interview with Lynda Clark, Flo reflects on her first home, her captivating career, and shares valuable advice for first time buyers.

First Home Memories

Flo’s first step on the property ladder took place in 1991 when she purchased a charming top-floor flat in a four-storey Victorian house with her then-boyfriend. The unique features included dormer windows, creating a rooftop retreat atmosphere. The flat boasted a sunken bathroom, leading to amusing moments with visitors. The couple fearlessly embraced vibrant colors, such as deep green in the sitting room, a bright yellow kitchen, and lavender in the bathroom with black and white tiles. This vibrant and energetic space served as a fantastic first home for around 10 years.

Home Evolution

Following this, Flo and her partner ventured into an Edwardian house with an interesting layout. The kitchen/diner was downstairs, featuring a utility room and an old coal chute for extra storage. The ground floor included a double reception room and a smaller room, converted into a study/music room. Bedrooms and the bathroom were situated upstairs, requiring navigating two sets of stairs from the cooker to the shower. The house was adorned with a spectrum of colors, showcasing lilac walls, terracotta chimney breasts, and a hallway painted in a combination of white, chocolate brown, and mint green.

Current Abode

Flo now resides in a 1930s semi-detached house with her two teenage daughters. Describing it as small but perfectly formed, she undertook substantial renovations, including rewiring, installing a new boiler and radiators, and reconfiguring the bathroom to feature a generous D-shaped shower. The west-facing house floods with light, creating an ideal environment for her beloved plants.

A Career Blossoms

Flo’s career trajectory took a dramatic turn after 25 years in the charity sector, notably with Comic Relief for 14 years. A pivotal moment came when, after returning from maternity leave, she sought a change. A life coaching session revealed her passion for landscaping and grow-your-own, leading her to pursue horticulture studies at Capel Manor College. Today, Flo incorporates her acquired skills into her role as a horticulturist, finding joy in creativity and physicality.

TV Career Highlights

Flo’s entry into television was serendipitous, encountering Danny Clarke, the Black Gardener, at a plant nursery. This chance meeting led to her joining the presenting team on Gardeners’ World for three years. Following that, she embraced a new challenge with Garden Rescue, now filming her third series. Flo thrives on the telly magic of seeing her designs come to life and enjoys the balance of meeting clients’ desires while introducing exciting and intriguing elements to their gardens.

Community Engagement and Advocacy

Beyond her television career, Flo actively works with private clients in London and the South East, engaging in both design work and ongoing development in private domestic gardens. She participates in community gardening projects and supports various organisations, including The Climate Coalition. As an Equity Ambassador for BALI and an ambassador for The Great British Garden Festival, Flo remains committed to giving back to education and inspiring the next generation in horticulture.

Advice for First Time Buyers

Flo offers valuable advice for first time buyers, emphasising the importance of getting to know the area of interest thoroughly. She encourages extensive research, visiting at different times of the day to gauge the neighborhood’s atmosphere, amenities, and community vibe. Transport accessibility, including bus and train links, is also a key consideration.

For more insights into Flo Headlam’s world, visit floheadlamgardens.com.


Explore more first time buyer stories and expert advice in the full magazine. Read for free here.

First Time Buyer is an exciting bi-monthly glossy which takes a stylish and comprehensive look at all the options available, setting them out in an entertaining and informative way, and helping potential customers navigate their way through what is often a daunting and complex process. We dispel the myths, reinforce the facts and arm the reader with the tools necessary to make their homeownership dreams a reality.

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