This Georgian farm cottage was the realisation of a dream the owner had for 25 years

Moving to the countryside and finding the perfect rural home had been years in the planning and finally became a reality

Exterior of a Georgian country house with gravel drive
(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

Despite having lived her whole life in cities, the owner of this Georgian country home realised she was a country girl at heart. 

‘Since I first moved to the UK more than 25 years ago, I had dreamed of living in the countryside,’ says the Argentinian-born owner. ‘I even kept a scrapbook filled with pictures and ideas, called “My house in the country” and took it everywhere with me; It made me happy just to think about it.’ 

In 2019, she was living in London, and travelling worldwide for work, but October that year marked a turning point. A health scare, followed by a lifestyle change, prompted her to take stock. ‘What is life about? I asked myself, and I decided I would buy that house in the country,’ she says. 

Just five minutes into the viewing of this three-bedroom, semi-detached cottage in Kent, she knew it was her ideal home and had offered the asking price. It was the first and only house she viewed.

She then set about renovating and breathing life back into it.

Renovating during a pandemic

country style bathroom with metal freestanding bath and stove in fireplace

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

‘The estate agent thought I was mad to buy the first house I saw,’ she recalls, ‘but I knew I had found my dream home. It felt a little sad because it hadn’t been lived in for more than a decade but when I saw the amazing kitchen with its pristine cabinets and island, my decision was made.’

She picked up the keys in February 2020, a month before the UK went into its first Covid lockdown. Since it was a second home she wasn’t allowed to visit, but masterminded the renovations remotely from London, armed with her trusty scrapbook. 

The rooms have come together beautifully despite the challenges of renovating during a pandemic. With the house empty, first the electrician, then the plumber worked uninterrupted. Next, the painter decorated the whole house. 

A bathroom fitter updated two bathrooms, including one featuring a freestanding bath from Victorian Plumbing and a Morsø stove fitted into the existing fireplace, creating a wonderfully cosy country bathroom

The perfect country kitchen

country kitchen with a freestanding island, stone floor tiles, cream units and range cooker

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

‘I left the kitchen almost exactly as it was,’ she says, adding in a few decorative country kitchen ideas 'and pieces to bring it to life.’ 

She was delighted when the home’s previous owner gifted her a set of vintage copper pans – just what the neglected room needed to make it sparkle again. 

She inherited the freestanding, portable kitchen island and bespoke cabinets, made by Chalon, and the two Agas – a full-size oil-fired model, and a smaller electric one. She customised one of the corner cabinets with Little Greene’s warm, earthy Theatre Red shade.

sink in country kitchen by window filled with flowers with wall plate rack beside

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

The plate rack, above the sink – a handy kitchen storage idea – was part of the existing kitchen and was one of the first things Laura noticed when she viewed the house.

Upcycling furniture

country dining room with stone floor tiles, light blue painted farmhouse table and chairs and laundry cabinet

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

The owner wanted I wanted to give her home country-style interiors. 'I’ve put my whole heart into this cottage – along with everything that was in my notebook,’  she says.

There must have been pages devoted to painted furniture, as she has added colour throughout her home with upcycled furniture ideas and painted pieces, such as the upcycled dining table and chairs she bought on Ebay, painting them in Teresa’s Green by Farrow & Ball to complement the larder cupboard in the corner.

Filling her home with vintage finds

Grey painted country style dresser with vintage china in a country kitchen

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

'If I see china, I can’t stop myself from buying it. My friend says I could host a tea party for the whole village and still have china left over. It’s my biggest weakness,’ admits the owner. ‘But when you eat from those plates the flavour always seems nicer.’ 

The house is also packed with nicely curated pieces on the themes of french antiques and chintzy prints. The owner is a discerning brocante and car-boot-sale browser, and a good customer for a local French antiques specialist. 

Coastal style living room

coastal style living room in georgian house with blue sofa and pouffe

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

There are other influences at play, besides the English country and French farmhouse looks: the small front living room has a coastal living room feel. ‘That’s my Brighton years coming through,’ says the owner, who lived there for 10 years before moving to London.

The blue corner sofa from Arlo & Jacob was the starting point for the blue living room’s coastal theme, which is dressed with ticking-inspired striped cushions. A round pouffe and the rug add valuable texture to the space. The owner decided to install wall panelling to reinstate some of the room’s Georgian character

fireplace with white stove in a coastal style blue and white living room

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

The ornate mantelpiece in the living room was a gift from a friend who found it at an auction in Kent. ‘It was black and a bit heavy and too imposing for the little room originally, but now painted in Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White, it’s a beautiful fit.'

Country cottage bedroom

vintage style bedroom with floral wallpaper and grey painted metal bedstead

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

She has made her mark on the cottage with her colour choices, vintage furnishings, and chintzy fabrics and wallpapers. With its floral wallpaper and iron bed, this guest bedroom brims with vintage bedroom style.

A glazed extension

orangery with a roof lantern with bright pink sofa and white chair

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

The owner added a traditional orangery from David Salisbury to create a larger living room and balance the different parts of the house – the Georgian parts are smaller spaces than in the Victorian additions. 

‘It didn’t have the right balance. There’s a big kitchen and dining room but the living rooms in the Georgian part were really small.'

traditional orangery exterior with a roof lantern

(Image credit: Future/ Brent Darby)

The bright, open space overlooks the pretty garden. ‘The light is really nice and I love sitting in there. It’s so peaceful,’ she says. 

'Buying this house was the best decision I ever made. I’m so happy here. This is my home.'

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