Their English Country Cottages
We didn’t fall in love with the cottage as it stood as it was a bit souless and neglected and needed a lot of care and love putting back into it but we could see the potential
Emmy and her husband Martyn live in this gorgeous hideaway of nostalgic beauty sharing their cottage and outbuildings with four cats, 2 hens and 2 Indian runner ducks. Emmy is a retired visual merchandiser who created displays in store for prominent high street shops for over 30 years. This creative talent shines through in her beautifully decorated cottage. Her passion for florals and vintage finds fill what was once an abandoned and neglected pair of cottages with warmth and joy.
Having spent years driving through the village wishing for a home here, 16 years ago Martyn and Emmy bought the property press one week on a whim and there was the newly listed cottage “I had to talk Martyn into viewing it as he didn’t like the look of it” . There was no fall in love moment with the cottage but the couple could see the amazing potential with the two cottages, huge garden and lots of outbuildings and were both ready for another project.
As well as the fabulous curtilage the cottage has a wonderful history : originally 2 small cottages which were knocked into one which are brick at the front and stone at the back using stones taken from the village priory after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1536.
The couple have done a lot of work on the cottage, relocating the front door and removing a window at the front to give the front of the cottage a more traditional aesthetic. They installed a new heating system and a traditional butlers sink and housing unit in the kitchen, there was no actual kitchen in the cottage so they were able to create the freestanding look that they both love.
Martyn also built a fireplace and installed a wood burning stove in the living room as well as creating a laundry house from a separate small cottage in the garden, building a summerhouse and reinstating an outside privy.
Emmy and Martyn were passionate about creating an eco friendly home as far as possible and have filled their cottage with vintage and antique pieces, thrifted items and auction pieces along with handmade items. They will often return home to find vintage items and furniture left on their doorstep by kind neighbours and friends! They have used eco friendly paint throughout the cottage and will always repurpose items rather than throw them out . Emmy was clear that she wanted to create a traditional cottage feel with lots of florals and pretty colours. Piles of books and snuggly blankets and roaring fires . “Always a slice of cake and pot of tea on the table for visitors”.
Emmy describes her interior style as ‘modern vintage’ – “I like a home to look lived in and to evolve over time, I’m a romantic at heart and love the big blowsy floral prints from times gone by, I like items and furniture with a past and a history”.
“My favourite designer is Cath Kidston, I fell in love with her nostalgic style of bright florals over 20 years ago just when Ikea encouraged everyone to chuck out their chintz! I also love Christina Strutt of Cabbages and Roses because of her nostalgic halycon faded florals with a nod to a gentler pace of life.”
Her two favourite Interiors books are by the same wonderful designers: “Cath Kidston in print” and “Living life beautifully” by Christian Strutt (a book so often referenced by all the cottage owners on this blog).
As well as florals and vintage finds, Emmy’s Country Cottage necessities include a Log burner, Beams, an Aga, a roll top bath, higgledy piggeldy rooms, roses round the door and an array of pets. This gorgeous cottage can joyfully tick every single box and more! Roses riot inside and out, chickens wander through a nostalgic haven of comfort and retreat. It is like stepping back in time and receiving the warmest welcome.
It’s not just the cottage and outbuildings that have received the couple’s attention: they have also created a traditional cottage garden from scratch with vegetable plot, fruit beds and a cut flower garden. Chickens and ducks roam the orchard and gardens, flowers spring up from gorgeously curated beds, fruit bushes and the veg patch fill with produce for Emmy’s kitchen and one is left with the feeling of comfort and security. This is a truly glorious cottage filled with items from the past but also with hope and insights for the future as we all learn to repurpose, reuse and create a more of sustainable way of life.
This is Emmy’s dream home and she would only add a little wood at the bottom of the garden opening out onto a private secluded beach where she and Martyn could swim and camp out under the stars. This absolutely defines Emmy and her stunning cottage, she is a huge romantic with vision and an unbelievably talented flair for creativity. No wonder her home is like the most enormous hug and balm to the soul.
To read Emmy’s lovely piece on the Cath Kidston website then please click on this link
To see more of Emmy’s scrumptious cottage please visit her Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/emmys_vintage_cottage/