Their English Country Cottages
I took a leap of faith because every time I left the property after a viewing I could imagine how it could be
Vintage White Cottage is one of three workers cottages built in 1930 that were owned by the manor house which is still connected to the cottages by a row of Paddocks at the end of each garden.
Lois Cox (owner of Vintage White who source the most beautiful ‘time worn treasures’ for the home), her husband, three daughters and Pumpkin the puppy have lived here for 3 years. Having lived in a tiny cottage with a courtyard garden, the surprise of a huge garden and a footpath that leads to Pooh bridge where Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin and their friends played a game of Poohsticks were the factors that outweighed the very dark and dated cottage which needed a lot of work.
On the very first night that the family moved in, they began ripping up the sitting room carpet and painting over the orange and yellow walls and ceiling in white. Lois experienced an enormous sense of relief, finally she could see how light the room really was: “that’s the magic of white paint I just love it”.
We’ve painted every room and floor white because of the amazing light transformation that happens when you do that.
Metal lights from Ardingly Antiques Fair
In the kitchen they removed kitchen units and an enormous peninsular as well as repainting the cupboard doors, worktop and adding panelling to the walls. Lois’s husband has built American farmhouse style frames around the windows and doors.
There was a 1970’s archway opening between the living room and kitchen diner which was almost a deal breaker for Lois: “it was like I couldn’t handle it (ridiculous I know but it did something to me)!” This was another job that the family tackled early into their move, changing the shape of the opening to a beautiful tall square opening and gave it the same farmhouse frame treatment. It is actually now one of Lois’s favourite changes in the house now!
Lois and her husband also knocked through the wall in the hallway to open up the space. This is now another treasured space: “It’s fantastic, we’ve built a fireplace and installed a wood burner, it’s like a second sitting room, it flows with the rest of the house now”.
I knew we would paint everything white … I have a compulsion to paint everything white, I’ve been doing it for about 20 years now!
Chest from Lizzy https://www.instagram.com/honeysuckle_and_roses/
Lois describes her style as ‘relaxed simple country with feminine industrial accents’. She questions whether it is even a style “I may have made that up, those words describe what I try and do when styling and decorating the house”. Her interiors inspiration come from Christina Strutt (Cabbages and Roses creator), Rachel Ashwell (creator of shabby Chic) and Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote (creators of Pale and Interesting). “They all have such an eye for blending original pieces with things they love, and that’s what I love to do”.
A country cottage necessity for Lois has to be lots of flowers: “fresh flowers, and some artificial if they’re really good. I use both all through the house”, other country cottage necessities include lots of linen cushions, slip covers, tablecloths: “if you start with those and have a really good declutter it’s a great way to create a relaxed pretty cottage style”.
Lois finds it hard to pick a favourite item in the house because it is always changing. “I’m always moving furniture, changing cushion covers and generally faffing around! But at the moment I have big pot of artificial roses I bought from Susie Watson just before the first lockdown and I have to say I am a bit obsessed with them”.
Lois’s dream house would be a combination of the Beachhouse in the movie Somethings Got to Give, the cottage from the Bewitched movie, and the cottage in the movie The Holiday. With this beautiful garden, THE 100 acre wood on her doorstep and her stunning decoration, I suspect that this cottage is the dream home for many.
For more gorgeous photos please take a look at Lois’s Instagram account where she showcases beautiful things for sale on her page. Be warned: you will want them all!!! https://www.instagram.com/vintage.white/