This pretty two bedroom cottage was built in 1830 and is in the heart of the UK’s rural West Country. It overlooks the fields at the foot of the Quantock Hills in Somerset, and from the moment you unlock the wooden door in the high, wisteria-covered stone wall and step into a secret garden overflowing with flowers, you know you are arrived in a special place.
Fortunately for this small Georgian cottage and its beautiful garden, its current caretakers recognized its potential on their first visit and immediately knew it should be their new home.
They have been working hard since then, updating the electrics, installing a new kitchen and a new bathroom. Conversion of a small barn in the garden into two storey accommodation for family, friends and occasional B&B guests, and more recently the addition of a timber framed veranda to the main chalet.
Throughout these upgrades, the owners have worked hard to maintain the period charm of the home, while enhancing the simple beauty of this country home with vintage furnishings and rustic accents. The garden too has flourished under their care and as a result this rural accommodation is truly one of the best houses in the world – and certainly one of the prettiest.
Karen has written about hundreds of old and rural homes for Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors magazines and loves a classic English country garden. So when the opportunity arose to visit this beautiful chalet and its garden to ask the owners about their renovation journey, Karen was eager to see it and she says it was just as beautiful as in these photos.
Classic country cottage exterior
Roses around the door – check. Weathered brickwork, a tiled roof, wooden window frames and a blooming English country garden, check it out. This little cottage has it all. Anyone looking for cottage garden ideas cannot fail to be inspired by this walled garden space that has color in every season.
Entrance door and rustic awning
And how about that for a warm country welcome? If it’s cottage front door ideas you need, this rustic canopy door with roses growing on either side is exactly how to make a great first impression. Consider the lovely gothic arched window detail at the top of the doorway and you’ll take it to another level.
Cozy living room
For this nearly 200-year-old cottage, modern furnishings were completely out of the question when the couple considered their living room ideas. Instead, an eclectic collection of vintage furniture and accessories adds character to the cozy low-ceilinged bedroom. A small wood stove calms the chills of winter.
In the spotlight between two armchairs is a decorative mother-of-pearl encrusted lacquer box, which the owner spotted in an antique shop when he was just eight years old. His mother bought it for her and it marked the beginning of a lifelong love for antiques and vintage accessories.
dining room ideas came easy for this comforting space. It’s actually part of the kitchen. There is no space for a separate dining room in this compact cottage. However, the round pedestal table can be extended and this welcoming scene is ready to welcome visitors to the house as soon as they walk through the front door.
The heart of the house
No wonder the family dog looks so pleased with himself. He’s surely nabbed the best spot in the house – right in the heart of the kitchen, with a good view of anyone who could cook him a tasty snack. As in many simple country cottages of this type, the staircase is open to the main living space.
Cottage kitchen perfection
kitchen ideas for this beautiful, simply fitted kitchen were inspired by the original Gothic arched windows, which are among the true centerpieces of the home. The kitchen is in a Victorian lean-to extension, built over the main cottage in 1892. The terracotta floor tiles date from the same period.
Bedroom with beams
When the owners considered their cottage bedroom ideas, there was never a question: a brass bed, exposed beams in the ceiling, soft off-white walls and lots of vintage accessories. Elements that no cottage bedroom should be without.
Looking at this perfect vintage bathroom, you would never guess that at some point there was no functioning kitchen or bathroom in the house. The owners relied on their neighbors for showers and cooked on a camping stove. Even when the tub and toilet were installed, they had to “walk the board” with all the floorboards while the work was completed. Bathroom ideas include a period-style freestanding tub, second-hand vanity, and reclaimed overmantel mirror. The finished look is delicious and worth every effort.
Old barn converted into guest rooms
Once the main house was completed, another challenge awaited him: transforming a small barn into a two-story guest annex. A humble stone outbuilding has become a light and airy two-bedroom guest suite, with two-storey accommodation, two new bathrooms and reclaimed oak flooring. The owners carried out this work themselves, and the results are impressive. While the interiors of the cottage are cozy and vintage, the new barn has more rustic French influences. There is real beauty in the whitewashed stone walls and wooden windows and shutters – their simplicity allows the barn to speak for itself and frames the long views over open farmland.
Styling: Pippa Blenkinsop
Photography: Penny Wincer (opens in a new tab)