Their English Country Cottages
When we strolled past Rhubarb Cottage – there it was, looking beautiful in the spring sunshine with its windows open and I actually whispered “That’s a beautiful house” as we tried to subtly peek in through the windows.
Ellen and her husband had viewed a nearby property but been deeply disappointed. In a bid to cheer themselves up they stopped for Sunday lunch in a recommended local pub and drove into “the most beautiful village high street full of thatched cottages and listed buildings”. They wandered through the village and fell head over heels in love with this beautiful not for sale home!
The following week Ellen and James received an email from the estate agent with particulars of their walk stopping cottage. “On Thursday morning we went to see it and put in an offer on the spot. And by the Sunday, a week exactly to the day we first set eyes on the cottage, it was ours!”
Ellen felt a wonderful benevolent feeling emanating from the cottage. “As you stand in the courtyard garden and look back at it, the L-shaped frame seems to hug you. I knew immediately it was the place for us to start our new life as a family of three”.
According to Ellen, the history of the cottage is sketchy. It was originally two cottages with a barn that at some point was converted into one dwelling. The oldest part dates back to 1690 and during one period it was a local tap room.
There are still some elderly villagers who have a rich variety of tales about the people who lived in the cottage years ago – like the man who decided to unblock the chimney by firing his rifle up it!
Ellen and her husband James and their two young children have lived here for 6 years, they were fortunate that the cottage only needed cosmetic work.
We’re big fans of Little Greene Paint so basically we’ve Little Greened the cottage!
Ellen was eight months pregnant when the couple moved in and asserts that her nesting instinct was “STRONG”, she created moodboards for every single room but the decor has now grown with the family and evolved over time, (the original study upstairs quickly became a nursery)!
The only room which still looks like its original concept is the living room. It’s the first room you enter as you come into the cottage and it’s a very special room. It gives you a wonderful sense of peace and calm as you walk in – everyone comments on it!
Ellen runs ‘Rhubarb and Hare’ which is the most fabulous online homeware store that offers handpicked curated style from some of the UK’s most talented makers and small businesses. Many of the products are handmade and completely individual, this attention to detail and passion for individualism shines out in this beautiful cottage. With a small space one had to be very careful with decoration, wherever you look there is something so well thought through and so beautiful.
I’d say my taste is modern country. I love my fabrics and there are so many amazingly talented fabric designers in the UK and my home reflects this passion – with soft furnishings from Cabbages & Roses, Peony & Sage, Emily Bond and Teasel England.
I admire Ben Pentreath and his passion for mixing old and new furniture and his mix of colours & patterns. He has a great phrase called ‘Evolved Interiors’ and that’s definitely how we have furnished our home.
Before we owned we simply would buy items that we loved, furniture, paintings, lamps etc – When we finally owned our own home we realised that everything just worked together because it was all to our taste.
At the moment, Ellen’s favourite item in the cottage is her new bedroom curtains in their beautiful Peony & Sage fabric. They are wonderfully romantic and complete the room. “I am quite literally in love with them and feel pure joy every time I open them, close them or even just walk into the room and see them. To me, that is what interiors and furnishing your home is all about. Surrounding yourself with things that make you happy.”
The upstairs landing has also been given the Ellen treatment, turning a purposeless space into something quite beautiful with the very clever use of a clear table that doesn’t crowd the space but allows the light to flow and the sight of the heavenly books to be uninterrupted with the exception of a gorgeous sink into me wooden chair.
We’ll never buy something to fill a gap or to use till we find the right thing – we always prefer to wait and find that thing we love, that works and makes us happy every time we use it!
Ellen’s Country Cottage necessities include “Cushions. Candles. Fresh Flowers & foliage, preferably foraged. You can never have too much of any of these three!” This attention to detail is what makes Rhubarb Cottage shine, it has been filled with great care and love although I suspect that even when this beautiful little family move to their dream home of a Georgian Farmhouse by the Norfolk coast, even that will be filled with enormous attention to detail and thoughtful interiors.
For more beautiful photos of Rhubarb Cottage, click here https://www.instagram.com/rhubarbandhare/
To gaze at gorgeous homewares from independent craftspeople and small businesses click here https://www.rhubarbandhare.co.uk/