Country Homes & Interiors - - CON­TENTS -

A ma­jor restora­tion cre­ated the per­fect weekend re­treat – and the dogs love it!



their hol­i­day home in the Cotswolds was a fluke for Sue Ka­vanagh and her hus­band, Peter. ‘Peter sug­gested we take a break in the coun­try with the dogs,’ says Sue, ‘so we de­cided to go to an un­spoilt Cotswolds vil­lage where we could rent a prop­erty that took dogs. I no­ticed one house in par­tic­u­lar, which I thought was re­ally at­trac­tive. When we got home, I went on­line to see what houses were for sale in the area and the fol­low­ing week the one I’d spot­ted came on the mar­ket!’

It was love at first sight for Sue and Peter once they went to view the cot­tage – but there were ob­sta­cles. ‘It was pretty with lots of orig­i­nal features and two wood­burn­ing stoves, but it was a very tired prop­erty. We knew it was go­ing to be a lot of work to re­store, but Peter loves a project.’

Builders even­tu­ally un­der­took a ren­o­va­tion that lasted six months. The house was gut­ted and ev­ery­thing re­placed, in­clud­ing the floors. ‘Only the stairs are orig­i­nal,’ says Sue.

The cou­ple also em­ployed an ar­chi­tect to de­sign a two-storey ex­ten­sion com­pris­ing a kitchen and an en-suite bed­room, plus an an­nexe in the gar­den.

A new roof had to be added to the main house as the old one leaked, and the house was rewired, re­plumbed, re­plas­tered and new heat­ing put in, with un­der­floor heat­ing down­stairs. New win­dows were also in­stalled and the down­stairs bath­room

was re­fur­bished. Work was un­der­taken out­side, too. Soil was re­moved from the split-level gar­den, which was then ter­raced and land­scaped. A pond was filled in and an an­nexe for guests built in its place. ‘My mum comes to stay quite a lot and we needed it for friends and family when they visit,’ says Sue.

The amount of work done to the cot­tage was nerve-rack­ing for Sue. ‘My big­gest fear was that it wouldn’t be the place

I fell in love with,’ she says. ‘But I’ve al­ways liked the coun­try farm­house look and I wanted to cre­ate a sim­i­lar feel with this in­te­rior. The old­est parts of the house are the liv­ing and dining rooms so I was keen to cre­ate a cosy feel in the liv­ing room and a more clas­sic look for the dining room. We kept the kitchen light and airy with pale Shaker-style cab­i­nets.

‘I love a neu­tral pal­ette and I like to use li­nen fab­rics. I’ve in­cor­po­rated a coun­try theme through­out with chicken mo­tifs in the kitchen, stags in the dining room and in the an­nexe a nod to hunt­ing. The walls and fur­nish­ings are neu­tral and I’ve added in colour with cur­tains and rugs.’

Sue is so keen on her Cotswolds cot­tage that she’d like to move there per­ma­nently. ‘But Peter only has a five-minute com­mute to work – so it won’t hap­pen for a while! We spend as many week­ends as pos­si­ble here, walk­ing the dogs. It’s ev­ery­thing I’ve ever wanted and more.’

Kitchen Shaker-style cab­i­nets cre­ate a tra­di­tional coun­try look. Units, Chris Har­wood Fur­ni­ture, painted in Lime­stone by Nep­tune. Range cooker, Fal­con. Blind fab­ric, Bow House Life­style.

The cot­tage is sur­rounded by beau­ti­ful coun­try­side.

Bath­room Sue gave this space a coun­try look with neu­tral tongue-and­groove pan­elling. Bath, sim­i­lar from Drum­monds.Basin, Bence.

Sue and Peter’s split-level gar­den was re­land­scaped and some of it was ter­raced. Urns, Bur­ford Gar­den Com­pany.

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