Having lived a globe-trotting life these homeowners finally decided they wanted to settle in the UK, after finding this terraced cottage in Leicestershire. However the cottage was ready to move into before both its owners could, so they engaged interior designer Emma Clanfield to help coordinate the renovation work that was needed to create the home they wanted.
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This turned into quite a major project. The improvements that had been made preciously had been fairly superficial, and everyone wanted to get the bones of the house right before starting on the interior.
Drawn to the area thanks to friends locally, the owners were delighted to find themselves living in this pretty conservation village.
Determined to restore this cottage to its former glory, these homeowners have created a country house bursting with colour and personality.
Throughout the cottage, all the fitted carpets were removed and a limestone floor was laid in the hallway and kitchen. The radiator covers were also removed. ‘I installed traditional radiators and wanted them on show, plus, I made a point of revealing the copper piping rather than boxing it in,’ explains the owner. ‘I wanted to expose the structure of the house for a chic, “industrial feel” .
To create a more workable dining area overlooking the sunny garden, part of the back wall was removed. Floor-to-ceiling glazing was installed creating a wall of glass with a door opening onto the garden. The original cabinetry was salvaged and painted in Little Greene’s Three Farm Green to give it a fresher, more personalised look.
The house was very bland when the couple bought it – a symphony of “greige”. ‘It was very neutral, and we really wanted to add character and authenticity to the cottage’, explains the homeowner. ‘Emma helped with layout decisions as well as design. She sourced fabrics and paint in rich, bold colours that we love.’
The vivid original pastel painting above the fireplace was the starting point for the living room colour scheme.
The cottage flows beautifully now and serves as a great backdrop for their art collection and their much loved pieces of exotic furniture, some of which have been brought from the far corners of the globe.
Throughout the house, every last detail was considered. Standard light switches and sockets were replaced with period-style pewter. While existing doors were swapped for beautiful solid oak farmhouse doors complete with traditional ironwork latches.
The master bedroom had been two rooms originally. It is now large and spacious and there is room for a small study area as well. Walls painted in Farrow & Ball’s Oval Room Blue work beautifully with the punchy orange accents. This room is the couple’s favourite room, saying ‘it’s such a radical departure from how it was originally’.
A clever space-saving design transforms this compact en suite. Lilypad porcelain tiles add plenty of character to the scheme. While a dark wood mirror brings a note of contrast.
This house originally appeared in 25 Beautiful Homes, February 2021.