Their English Country Cottages
Time was ticking for Victoria and her family when they viewed this beautiful cottage. Their Victorian Villa had sold and after three months the buyers were getting a little impatient. White Cottage ticked some of their boxes with a village location and period characteristics but there were a few deal breakers: a front door that opened into the sitting room where the staircase was also situated and a main garden at the front of the property. Thankfully, as is always the way with these ridiculous old cottages that creep under our romantic skins, as soon as Victoria saw the inglenook fireplace she looked at her husband and whispered ‘this could be the one’!
Because of the downsides to the cottage, sadly there was no fall in love moment: “I cried for the first week of living here. It wasn’t even in that much of a state. Just the fact we were moving from a home all finished . It was overwhelming!” It was only once Victoria, her husband and their teenage son began to make this 1700’s farmhouse their own that they grew to love it’s charm and countryside location.
The family’s first job was to replace the boiler, water tank and radiators – not an aesthetic choice but a necessity as they were receiving electric shocks from the water!! The previous owners had a preference for red which had made the cottage very dark so Victoria painted every room white until she could decide what she really wanted. The family replaced the kitchen and utility, adding a traditional flagstone floor, created a new downstairs loo and replacing UPVC for glorious oak doors.
Victoria has always favoured a more neutral style, she assigns this to a need for the decor to feel calm and fresh. Her style has happened over time: “I was never really sure of any room until we moved in”.
I like a variety of styles – I prefer the cosy cottage style, with a flavour of modern country but always neutral. I love perusing Instagram, Pinterest and home interior magazines for inspiration.
Victoria’s favourite interiors book is “Homebody” by Joanna Gaines.
I love American farmhouse style. It reminds me of
our trips to the USA.
Interestingly, Victoria’s Country Cottage necessities include a Flagstone floor and a Belfast sink which we all associate with old cottages yet this is the first time they have been cited as a necessity by a cottage owner on this blog! She also cites the heart of the cottage range oven as well as fresh flowers and candles.
Victoria has brought a wonderful sense of calm and serenity to a cottage that was dark and poorly laid out. Her use of natural woods and textures, combined with a series of off whites make this home into a haven of tranquility. It is almost impossible to stick to a white colour palette but Victoria has achieved this gorgeous look without sacrificing the character or authenticity of this beautiful old farmhouse cottage.
Victoria grew up in the Cotswolds so has always been surrounded by beautiful homes yet she would love to live by the sea. Her dream home would therefore probably be a stone cottage in Cornwall with “a beautiful established cottage garden, an aga and the ability to walk to a beach!” so often as a country dweller we long for the sound and smell of the sea yet the sounds of a country garden in spring bloom and the peace of a rural location and serenity of this beautiful white, light and calm cottage are hard to beat.
To see more of this beautiful cottage please head to Victoria’s Instagram account V i c t o r i a (@victoria_at_thewhitecottage) • Instagram photos and videos