Their English Country Cottages
Every corner I turned I fell in love a little bit more
Leanne Chesterman had just laid down her paintbrush on her cottage refurbishment when she received the details for this beautiful cottage. She and her boyfriend were looking to buy a property together and from the details Manor Farm Cottage fitted the bill. Unfortunately the cottage was already under offer when they telephoned and nothing else came close so the couple put the move on the backburner. Months later the cottage popped back onto the market and the couple struck quickly, selling their cottage within 3 weeks and finally being allowed to step inside and view the cottage.
The couple’s instincts had been right, they fell in love with the cottage immediately. “Externally it’s beautiful, but inside made me fall in love even more, the beams, the fireplace, the bread oven, the wonky floors, the split levels, the amount of space it had, I just knew it was meant to be. Every corner I turned I fell in love a little bit more.”
Originally built as part of a farm in the 1700s, it was extended in 2010. It was owned by the next door neighbours parents, who still live in the main farmhouse with various members of the family habituating the cottage over the years. The cottage is next door to the stunning Manor House and with the aid of Miss Marple like clues such as an old trough in the front garden and the number of old horseshoes found in the gardens, it is thought that the cottage would have been lived in by the coachmen of the Manor House.
The couple have worked hard to make this cottage their own: “There is only one room that still remains untouched and that’s the attic!” They knocked down a wall in the hallway to provide more space, the existing kitchen was of good quality but just needed “bringing into the 21st Century”. Removing the upper cupboards and central pan rack, adding some open shelving and using Farrow & Ball’s Inchyra Blue brought the kitchen up to date and blended it to the couple’s cosily embracing and beautifully colourful style.
The couple also replaced the bathroom and Ensuite, fully decorated throughout and changed the carpets and flooring. They replaced rotten windows and exposed more beams in keeping with the character of the cottage.
Leanne’s style has evolved organically as her confidence has grown: “My last cottage was the first home I did all on my own and I definitely restricted myself. I kept thinking about when I sold it and what most people would like, even though I had no plans to sell at that point, so when we moved into this house, I went for it! I was bolder with colour choices and design ideas and went with my gut, I’m learning to trust that what I envisage generally works when it becomes reality. I’m loving the more neutral tones and rustic textures at the moment so that will reflect what I do and how I change things.“
I love learning from others. Kate Watson – Smyth (Mad About The House) always provides great ideas and tips on her social media, website and in her books. I’m inspired by Pinterest, Instagram, interior based TV shows and a good old magazine. Can’t beat a home magazine!
Leanne applies the same approach with inspiring designers, gathering ideas from a host of creative material: “I don’t have a designer that I religiously reference, I’m just drawn to whatever tickles my fancy at that time” . She is currently poring over the gorgeous Farrow & Ball’s ‘Recipes for Decorating’.
Dark blues and sultry pinks flow through each room creating a wonderful sense of consistency and calm. A sense of Hygge prevails throughout, Leanne believes that to create a cosy English Country Cottage, one needs a Log burner and log store, exposed wooden beams, “wonky everything”, old wooden doors, a range cooker, beautiful stonework, some old furniture, a stable door, a whistling kettle and lots of blankets and candles. This attention to detail is what brings her brave colour and design choices together and created a modern style that sits beautifully in an old cottage.
Leanne’s dream home would be “a beautiful old stone cottage from the front with a modern extension to the rear, maintaining all the character of the cottage throughout but just with a bit more glass and space at the rear. A utility that houses all the washing, a bigger bootroom with a dogwash area for all things dog and dirty, a cosy snug with logburner, a separate larder, dressing room, outdoor kitchen….” Ahem! Leanne…this appears to be almost your home right now!!! This gorgeous couple have created such a clever fusion of old and new and in the process have developed the perfect hygge home.
For more beautiful images and photos of how the cottage has developed, please head to Leanne’s Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/leanneandthecottage/