Take a tour around this eclectic Arts and Crafts cottage in Surrey

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  • The owner has incorporated colour and pattern into the interior of her cottage to create an eclectic Arts and Crafts home

    Life was frenetic for the owners. They were living in Putney, south-west London, with their first child, and both working in London. ‘We wanted more outdoor space in and Surrey seemed right – we could commute and also had friends there. ‘They found a cottage with five acres of land. ‘We knew the house needed a lot of work as it was very dark and tatty, but the outdoor space appealed to us, and I liked the views.’

    ‘We’d built our house in London so we were used to something more open plan, but we knew we could change this cottage to suit us. One of our priorities was to position the kitchen at the heart of the home as it was originally tacked onto the end.’

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    Surrey-cottage-country-exterior house tour

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    The owners lived in the house for a year before they began planning the renovation. To combat the cottage’s pokiness, all the windows were replaced to bring in more light. The leaded windows are in keeping with the Arts and Crafts feel that is a feature of the local area.

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    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    The kitchen was next. ‘We decided to move it into the large hallway in the middle of the cottage.’ Here the owner created a cosy feel with warm terracotta walls. The pew was found in an antiques shop and the owner made the cushion herself. She opted for a Neptune Shaker-style painted kitchen then she went to town adding colour. ‘I wanted the house to be full of it,’ she says. The kitchen walls are terracotta to add warmth, while the living and dining area walls are painted a dark greeny-blue. ‘I mixed the paints myself,’ she says. A focal point was created with a logburner. ‘There was an inglenook fireplace, but we made it smaller and fitted a reclaimed fire surround that was originally in Sherborne School.’

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    Cabinets and island, Neptune
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    Living room

    surrey-cottage-country-living-room-with-fireplace house tour

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Eye-catching fabrics and vintage finds create an individual feel. The owner found the ottoman at an antiques fair and her mother-in-law stitched the crewelwork cushion.

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    Buy now: Chair, upholstered in fabric by Mark Herald at St Jude’s, Sofa.com

    Buy now: Rug, The Conran Shop
    Buy now: Lampshade, Pooky
    Buy now: Walls, painted in Pleat, Little Greene

    Dining room


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Next on the list was demolishing an old conservatory and building a rustic wood-clad porch and cloakroom in its place. The owners replaced the spiral staircase when they moved in, but then realised they needed to change its position, which could only be done when the porch was being constructed. ‘It meant we put in a new staircase twice.’

    Here a large vintage mirror makes an elegant focal point and throws light back into the room. The vintage-effect mirror increases the sense of space and light in this home by creating the illusion of an extra window – particularly useful in small, dark or low-ceilinged rooms. Hung against a bold feature wall, it draws the eye for a dramatic focal point.

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    Buy now: Mirror, Sunbury Antiques Market

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    Guest bedroom


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Upstairs, the owners love of colour was apparent. ‘The main bedroom has plenty of yellow, as it’s my favourite colour. And, in the spare room, I’ve combined William Morris wallpaper with rich reds – I fall for colour every time.’ She wanted the interior to be an eclectic mix of old and new. ‘I love vintage textiles and I’ve used crewelwork cushions, made by my mother-in-law, as well as fabrics by Mark Herald and Angie Lewin at St Jude’s. For me a house is the story of your life, I love gathering along the way, then the objects you have show what you’ve done and where you’ve been.’

    Main bedroom


    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    Splashes of yellow add a touch of spring to the main bedroom. The owner bought the stool and rug at a fair and made the cushions using vintage fabric.

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    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    A roll-top bath is a touch of luxury.

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    Buy now: Wall paint, Apple by Little Greene

    The house has proved to be perfect for work, too. The outdoor space included a barn, which the owners turned a roastery for their business, Cupsmith, so the days of commuting are long gone. The next project is the garden. ‘We love gardening so we’re excited about creating a strong Arts and Crafts feel with simple, repetitive planting. We simply love it here.’

    This house originally featured in Country Homes & Interiors, February 2018.


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