Their English Country Cottages
I walked into the main bedroom and fell in love – even with its leaky roof, peeling wallpaper and old tatty carpet, my sixth sense told me that this was right.
The deeds to this whippersnapper of a cottage (1865!) mention numerous single women living in the cottage over the years and given it’s location, it was thought to have been built for single young females teaching at the nearby school
The village is surrounded by working farms with a village church that dates back to 1115 and is mentioned in the doomsday book yet it is only 15 miles from the city centre, with one of the oldest pubs in England and a legendary castle.
With this glorious provenance and location, it is no wonder that Emily and David fell in love with the cottage online before they had even viewed it! Emily runs Grace and Blossom -an online handmade gifts and soft furnishings business which helped her to see past the state of the cottage which needed almost everything replacing (kitchen extension, new boiler, doors bricked up, new ones made, new floors, new roof, rewire, new bathroom and decorated every room). Emily has used her sewing skills and creative eye to fill each room with feminine touches and flooding the dark old cottage with light and bright yet soft and pretty decoration .
Emily favours an interior with plain and simple walls to which she can then add accents of colour using soft furnishings. She has a penchant for pink (thankfully David doesn’t mind the pink hues and is happy for Emily to accessorise with pretty pinks) and for old pine furniture.
I know when I see a room what it will look like in my mind when finished.
Emily’s decoration is never entirely planned, sometimes the end result is a room that has been created more fluidly: “I like old things,especially Victorian pine furniture. which means that it can be a little pot luck as to what you can find and not always what you had in mind. I have to feel a connections with the old furniture I own, after all they are with us a while”.
The most treasured piece of furniture is the linen press in the sitting room. It was made at about the same time that the cottage was built and although it would have been made for a slightly grander house, the old pine and handcrafted detail work beautifully in this room. Emily refers to it as her “Monica cupboard” but it also cleverly doubles up as a television
The bathroom is the latest room to receive the couple’s careful attentions, both Emily and David like a blend of rustic cottage and modern country style look ‘with a farmhouse twist’. Emily would also add “a bit of faded glamour for good measure. I love the inspiration from Pearl Lowe and I’m a huge fan of Christina Strutt”, this is beautifully illustrated in this gorgeous bathroom which maintains the quiet pine and pink but also brings in a little more glamour with the beautiful lace panel and faded rug.
Emily may think that she doesn’t plan every room but her intuition and love of old pine and plain walls with pink hints brings a beautifully calming and cohesive feel to what was once an old, dark, dank cottage. I suspect to a mortar board that all the previous school mistresses would have skipped with delight on walking up this pretty brick pathway and entering this pared back pretty in pink hideaway.
When forced to describe her dream home, Emily is conflicted: “I love the architecture of the beautiful old Jacobean houses with a stunning estate but then I also love the idea of owning a beautiful old thatch cottage nestled in rolling hills”. This cottage provides the countryside of a sprawling old estate with the cosiness of an old thatched cottage so perhaps, having transformed this cottage into a light drenched haven, this couple have found the best of both dream homes (apart from the 58 bedrooms and boating lake!).
Click here to look at more gorgeous images of Emily’s cottage https://www.instagram.com/bathtubs_and_buttercups/
Click here to view Emily’s beautiful handmade cushions, lampshades and accessories https://graceandblossom.co.uk/