It was important for the owners of this home that anywhere they lived was a bright, calm and relaxing space. That is certainly what they have achieved with the renovation and redecoration of this 350-year-old Welsh cottage, which is filled with blue and white decorating ideas.
They had been looking for an old stone home to renovate when they came across this delightful property. Originally a pair of cottages, it had been turned into one in the 1970s and was ripe for transformation.
In fact, it was so perfect that they put in an offer for the asking price within an hour of viewing it.
'The cottage was structurally sound, but the decor was a little dated. It was just the right project for us,' they say.
Read on to find out how they transformed it from dark and dated to light and uplifting.
Replacing dark colours with white
The owners could envisage adding a light touch to the interiors that featured dark colours and wooden beams, and an outdated kitchen.
They wasted no time replacing the kitchen and redecorating the entire house. ‘We worked through the cottage, one room at a time, painting throughout in Loft White by Little Greene. The limited colour palette keeps the cottage light and fresh.
'The paint is easy to touch up, and is almost pure white yet not glaring, so it’s easy on the eye and made the cottage much lighter.' This is among the best white paint for walls.
With their blank canvas created, the owners could then begin to think more long-term. ‘The kitchen was cosy, but we barely had a view of the back garden nor the incredible mountains, hills and fields of the Welsh countryside beyond,' they explain.
It was important to the owners that the new space had character and didn’t feel too modern, as it needed to be in keeping with the rest of the cottage.
'We asked the builder to build a fake chimney breast to house the range cooker. We insisted on reclaimed bricks and then painted them white. The builder thought we were mad, but we wanted it to feel naturally worn and irregular.'
As a kitchen tile idea, faded delft pattern wall tiles behind the range add interest to this blue and white scheme.
A butler sink and quartz worktops add to the bright and light feel of the space as white kitchen ideas.
They didn’t want wall cabinets, only base units as a kitchen layout idea but opted for open shelving to display their Cornishware pottery collection, and added a large custom-made pantry to complete the country kitchen look.
Upcycled old kitchen units
The owners reused the old kitchen units in the new laundry room, where they also created French farmhouse-style worktops and shelves from reclaimed scaffolding planks.
Keeping with the blue and white theme of the rest of the house, units were painted in Duckling Al Fresco by Frenchic Paint, while the Faded Delft Pattern tiles by Baked Tiles match those in the kitchen.
Light and bright living rooms
In the two living rooms, parquet flooring was discovered under the old carpet; this was restored and finished with a light varnish to add more character to the ground floor. See our guide on how to restore a parquet floor for a similar project.
The rooms are furnished with reclaimed wooden pieces, simple sofas, vintage linen and pretty floral cushions creating a space reminiscent of a French farmhouse.
‘We love that laid-back style,’ say the owners.
Vintage bedroom style
The owners were able to indulge their passion for floral Cabbages & Roses wallpaper upstairs.
'The walls downstairs were not suitable due to the textured plaster finish. Upstairs it was a different matter and we papered one wall above the new panelling we fitted in the master bedroom and main bathroom; we've even squirrelled away spare rolls for the future!’
In the bedroom, they have coordinated the bedding to match the grey floral pattern creating a vintage bedroom feel.
Bathroom wallpaper ideas can add instant impact, and in the cottage bathroom, a painted shelf picks up on the blue blooms on the feature paper that sits behind the repainted roll-top bath.
To make the most of the wonderful views, the owners also added an inviting lean-to outside seating area, which much like the cottage interior, is full of vintage-style accessories and furnishings and decorated with pretty bunting.
'This old cottage is definitely home: it’s cosy, welcoming, and it gives you a hug when you walk through the door. We are blessed to live here.’
Get the Ideal Home Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for style and decor inspiration, house makeovers, project advice and more.
Naomi has been writing about homes and interiors for 20 years. She was the features editor of Period Living magazine for several years, commissioning and directing photographers and stylists, and has been a freelance writer, stylist and art director since 2012.
- Rachel CrowSenior Content Editor
How to hang a garland without nails for easy, rent-friendly Christmas decor
Put the toolbox away
By Holly Cockburn
Paper Christmas decorations are trending – and you can easily make them for free with these 3 hacks
These are the 3 unconventional DIY paper Christmas decorations using everyday items hiding in your kitchen cupboard
By Sara Hesikova
David Domoney warns against falling for this mistake when buying potted Christmas trees
Opting for a pot-grown tree this Christmas? Take note of these tips
By Jullia Joson
'It's simply magical and epitomises Christmas in our home' – why you'll be dreaming about this Victorian home all December
With its mix of nostalgic decorations, this renovated Victorian home in Bath offers the perfect warm welcome for festive get-togethers
By Janet McMeekin
This dark and dingy cottage has been transformed into a beautiful cosy haven
Find out how the owners transformed this once dark and dingy cottage that hadn't been touched in decades
By Annabelle Grundy
This rustic 1920s home makes a white colour palette feel warm and cosy
With her own online emporium to shop from, she has filled her family's home with vintage-look pieces and country style
By Sara Emslie
'It wasn’t hard to imagine how good the house would look with a bit of care and attention'
This country house had been split in two but a careful renovation turned it back into a beautiful and welcoming single home once again
By Karen Darlow
'Creating the right feel in your home is so important to your sense of calm and wellbeing'
Interior designer Belinda Benton's coastal home is a lesson in how to create welcoming and relaxing interiors
By Rachel Crow
This homeowner saved £100s transforming their home with upcycled vintage finds
Having a good eye for the best secondhand or vintage buy saved the owner hundreds of pounds when furnishing this Victorian home
By Karen Darlow