This two-bedroom, semi-detached cottage near Honiton in Devon was built in the early 1800s. The owners have completely renovated and decorated every room, bringing its original features back to life. They have lovingly transformed a small, dark and fussy cottage into a bright and modern country property full of rustic charm.
An exposed brick porch opens into the living room. Original doors and quarry tiled floors are all part of the the cottage’s charm. The walls have been painted in a soft white to maximise light, creating a simple backdrop for the unusual one-off pieces of furniture. Mix-and-match scatter cushions add texture and colour to the neutral sofa.
Unusually shaped windows and an open fire were the first features that attracted the owners to the cottage. A cheap pine fire surround was removed to give the chimney breast an organic country look. The comfortable sofas are strewn with throws and cushions to create a cosy atmosphere. The Christmas tree, decorated with Nordic-style ornaments, completes the traditional look.
The living room leads into the country kitchen on the right, where rustic charm is reflected in the simple Christmas scheme. An abundance of foliage from the owners’ garden has been used on walls and mirrors to create a simple, natural festive style. Cosy cushions and throws entice you towards the sofa.
Similar heart of twigs
A proper dining space was high priority so the owners demolished and rebuilt a poorly laid-out kitchen and decrepit lean-to. Because the property is listed, planning permission was needed. Work went ahead after approval to create a new galley-style kitchen leading out to a large and airy dining room with a skylight, which is perfect for entertaining.
In the galley kitchen an oven and wall cabinets run along one wall, with a large cupboard and practical walnut worktop for preparation opposite. Slate flooring continues the country theme, and a butler sink adds a vintage touch. The grout between the metro wall tiles has been left slightly uneven to give them a rustic rather than urban look.
Similar slate flooring
With plenty of natural light, the stairwell is an ideal spot to display photos. A mix-and-match approach to colour makes for a stylish display. Letter wall art – such as the yellow ‘B’ shown here – is a great way to add a personal touch to a space. Use it individually or to spell out a whole word, such as your name.
In the large master bedroom, dated woodchip wallpaper was removed and replaced with smooth, chalky white walls. A dark sleigh bed takes pride of place and matches a reclaimed mahogany chest of drawers. Co-ordinated striped roman blinds keep the look smart and simple.
Island Furniture Co
The unusual bathroom layout adds quirky interest to the room. A soothing taupe and white scheme is gently warmed by dark wood flooring, whilst tongue-and-grove pannelling suits the cottage’s traditional roots. The driftwood frame of the mirror acts as a reminder that the coast is never very far away in Devon.
Similar driftwood mirror
A fresh blue and white scheme complements an inherited antique bed in this stripped-back but chic guest bedroom. A collection of painted mirrors makes for a simple decoration, as well as creating the illusion of space in a small room. A delicate garland of real ivy is a gentle reminder of the festive period.
Shell button cushions
Olivia James Design