This historic period cottage, built in 1840, was originally a hayloft and stable for a local coaching inn in East Sussex. It was converted around 75 years ago into a residential house and is now home to the founder of an artisan food company, her husband, a transport manager, their dog and two cats. It was already a two-bedroom home with courtyard garden, but the new owners have refurbished an additional neglected outbuilding, re-designed the kitchen as well as injected personality throughout with antiques and colourful accessories.
The front door leads straight into the welcoming dining area. Long curtains protect the stable-style door from draughts and a matching Roman blind keeps the look coherent. In between the floral patterned fabric stands a dramatic oriental chinoiserie cabinet.
Because the owner runs her business from her kitchen, a new design was a necessity. ‘We wanted a country kitchen, but it had to be practical.’ The bespoke central island has lots of storage and can be moved around. All the cabinets are hand painted a soothing grey, which allows a red accent colour to burst out and warm the room.
The couple fell in love with the cottage’s open-plan ground floor and its light and bright feel. The spacious dining room is full of antique furniture that is in keeping with the period property. The stunning glazed dresser and antique chandelier give the room a rustic French shabby chic twist.
Converting the outbuilding became the owners’ first priority. After re-plastering, the entrance is now a practical boot room complete with bespoke hand-painted cupboards. ‘I spotted the outside studio, which consisted of breeze blocks at the time, but I could see the potential,’ says the owner.
The studio sitting room was transformed with zingy green accents as the owner wanted to bring the colours of her garden into the room. Purple was later added for definition. They also upped the period character by installing reclaimed radiators from a salvage yard.
Arlo & Jacob
What the studio shower room lacks in size it makes up for in style. Neutral walls maximise space while a funky star-motif rug and striped blinds add citrus colour. In contrast a reclaimed side cupboard as been transformed into a vanity unit with basin to make a charming focal point.
Back in the main cottage, the conservatory is a bright space with exposed whitewashed walls. The ornate mirror and painted wooden console continue the shabby-chic theme, while a silvery velvet sofa and glass table lamps add a touch of glamour. Splashes of modern turquoise lift the icy scheme.
The attic bathroom has been decorated with period-cottage decor in mind. A traditional suite and cream-coloured panelling are staple elements of country style. The owner has introduced rich colour through a few well chosen accessories, such as the purple floral blind and jewel-bright bath mat.