mod­ern times

Jackie and John Fors­brey have brought con­tem­po­rary, Ital­ian de­sign to their tra­di­tional Cotswold cot­tage

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture & pho­tog­ra­phy Heather Gunn

A Ge­or­gian cot­tage in Glouces­ter­shire gets a makeover, with the help of con­tem­po­rary Ital­ian pieces

A slower pace of life was a pri­or­ity for Jackie and John Fors­brey when they de­cided to re­tire to the Cotswolds three years ago. ‘ We were liv­ing in Berk­shire and our daily round com­mute to our jobs in Lon­don was four hours,’ says Jackie, ‘so we were ready for a change.’ It was dur­ing one of their fre­quent vis­its to the Cotswolds that they saw a Ge­or­gian cot­tage for sale.


‘Our plan was to down­size to a prop­erty we could com­fort­ably fix up our­selves,’ ex­plains Jackie. ‘Although this cot­tage was dark and dreary, we could see it had po­ten­tial.’

Built in the mid-1800s, the stone build­ing was part of a for­mer Ge­or­gian rec­tory that had been ren­o­vated in 1990. The roof and walls were in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion so, with no ma­jor struc­tural work to do, the cou­ple could fo­cus on the in­te­rior. ‘We fit­ted a new kitchen and bath­room straight away,’ says Jackie, ‘and then we cre­ated a din­ing space. The kitchen is tiny and we couldn’t do much to change the lay­out, but re­plac­ing the dark-brown wooden cab­i­nets with a mod­ern de­sign trans­formed it in­stantly.’ Dated floor tiles were swapped with Cotswold stone and shelv­ing was added in the din­ing area.

grand de­signs

The cou­ple de­cided to re­place an open fire in the sit­ting room with a wood­burner and, while the builders were knock­ing out the fire­place, they dis­cov­ered a huge in­glenook. ‘It was so deep, we were worried we’d end up in our neigh­bour’s house,’ laughs Jackie, ‘ but it was the per­fect size for us to de­sign a grand man­tel­piece made of Cotswold stone.’

The cou­ple brought much of the fur­ni­ture from their pre­vi­ous home and wanted to cre­ate a neu­tral back­drop for their beau­ti­fully cu­rated col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary pieces. ‘ We chose a sim­ple pal­ette for a clean, fresh scheme and, once the paint was on the walls, it seemed like a dif­fer­ent house,’ says Jackie. She and John share a love of Ital­ian de­sign, es­pe­cially its mod­u­lar, prac­ti­cal lines. ‘John will change things around ev­ery few months to cre­ate a new look. It keeps things in­ter­est­ing.’

Hav­ing worked their magic in ev­ery room, Jackie and John can now en­joy their new home. ‘It’s such a lovely, quiet lo­ca­tion, and the cot­tage has to­tally lived up to our ex­pec­ta­tions,’ says Jackie. ‘It’s a calm and rest­ful place to spend our re­tire­ment, and we are en­joy­ing ev­ery mo­ment.’

Sit­ting Room iconic pieces bring a time­less el­e­gance to this space. solo ’14 arm­chair, £2,642; lithos oc­ca­sional ta­ble, £1,442; frank round oc­ca­sional ta­ble, £883; all B&B italia

Kitchen A Shaker-style kitchen suits this com­pact space. kitchen, from £ 400 for a base unit; glass splash­back, £348; both cotteswood

mas­ter Bed­room ‘i want to feel spoiled when i spend time in here,’ says Jackie. try the emily bed frame, £350, john lewis. tris floor lamp, £89,, has a sim­i­lar look

Din­ing AREA ‘Fit­ted shelves make great use of an al­cove,’ says Jackie. try the Bromp­ton rus­tic oak cross leg ta­ble, £399, oak­world. Hal tube chairs by Vi­tra, £162 each, john lewis, are sim­i­lar

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