Carpenter's cottage built in 1853 and extended in the 1980s. It features a hall, living room, kitchen-diner, utility room, cloakroom, art studio, bedroom/study, three bedrooms (two en suite) and a bathroom. Tucked away in a corner of leafy Surrey, the property is a little gem. Set in woodland, its red-brick exterior and rather chaotic roofline have a Hansel and Gretel-like charm. The owners certainly had their work cut out as the cottage was in need of a big rethink. The back door was about six paces from the front door; the old kitchen was small and at the wrong end of the house and the windows were tiny, which made the room dark. Meanwhile, upstairs a large bathroom and airing cupboard took up an inordinate amount of space and on the ground floor next to the garage there was a third bedroom with a dilapidated en suite. Together with dated pine woodwork and peeling plaster on every wall, the overall picture was far from cheerful.
Made from reclaimed wood, this bench has a handy storage space underneath for shoes, while an antique umbrella stand looks at home in this laid-back hallway. The owners have kept the space neutral and understated to create a calm and collected first impression on entering the house.
Similar wood flooring
The owner's impressive collection of antique pieces furnishes the rest of the house. Some of the most interesting items are homemade, such as the handsome console table on the landing. The owner made the door frame and console table from reclaimed oak for a vintage look that is fit for a cosy home with character. An antique vase gives the scheme an Oriental flavour, while a dresser filled with stainless-steel and ceramic crockery adds to the country charm.
Similar console table
4/11 Living room
The exposed brick wall in the living room forms an eye-catching backdrop for Oriental-style pieces and antique furniture, creating a unique look.The brick-effect enhances the rural, lived-in feel. Don't let the alcoves go to waste. The owners have built a few bespoke shelves into an unused space, then piled them with books, pictures and quirky curios.
Darlings of Chelsea
The kitchen was relocated to the centre of the house where downstairs en suite was and French windows were added to help draw in more light. Bespoke cabinets were painted to match the Aga, creating a fresh, seamless look. The owners installed underfloor heating, but found that their Aga keeps the room warm enough without it.
6/11 Dining room
The distressed painted table and chairs tie in with the home's rustic farmhouse feel. New French windows allow easy access to the garden, which stretches to just over an acre. Oak beams were installed above each one to introduce a rough, artisan feel. The owner ensured that the wood fitted in the oldest part of the house was distressed more than those in the modern end.
7/10 Home office
Create a stylish home office with traditional furniture, such as this antique bureau. One signature piece like this can create a home office instantly - even if it's only in a corner of your living room. Vintage wall plates give the room a homely feel, in keeping with the rest of the house.
Similar antique bureau
I & JL Brown Antiques
8/11 Utility room and art studio
The garage was converted into a utility room and art studio. One of the hottest trends in home design is the use of natural wood accents and textures. This studio channels a relaxed feel, mixing different woods and natural materials for a country vibe with an urban edge. Don't be discouraged when sourcing salvaged wood - even when damaged, wood can often be restored to its former glory.
Similar wood flooring
9/11 Main bedroom
In the main bedroom the owners have paired pale blue walls and flooring with cream painted wardrobes for a calm and serene feeling. Pretty toile bedlinen has been turned into curtains and hung in the wardrobe for a restful country look.
Scale down fittings to maximise the space in a small bathroom. Many companies offer space-saving ranges, while some offer a wide choice of size options across their collections. A shorter-than-standard bath was required to fit across the rear wall. Cream coloured stone tiles adorn both the walls and floor for a cohesive look.
11/11 Children’s room
Perfect for a sleepover or when the grandchildren stay over, this child's bedroom is fun and playful. The bold red flooring is a daring alternative to traditional neutral colours. Use multi-purpose furniture if you're short on space. A peg rail and shelving unit in one is simple and easy to install.
Marks & Spencer
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Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.
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