SUR­REY COT­TAGE

Col­lected vintage trea­sures en­hance ev­ery room in this idyl­lic ren­o­vated fam­ily home

Country Homes & Interiors - - CONTENTS - ☎ LOUISA GRACE IN­TE­RI­ORS, 07956 650895, LOUISAGRACE.CO.UK.

I’veal­ways loved the coun­try­side and adore horses,’ says Claire Mcfadyen. But when she and her hus­band Jamie were liv­ing in their pre­vi­ous home in a small town in Sur­rey, they had no plans to move any­where more ru­ral – un­til fate in­ter­vened. ‘Jamie is orig­i­nally from Wandsworth in Lon­don so he’s a city boy,’ ex­plains Claire. ‘We had ren­o­vated our house and were quite set­tled, then my dad emailed me and said he had spot­ted a house for sale that he thought would suit us. His words were, “This house looks like a bel­ter”.’

Claire and Jamie went to view the house the very next day. ‘We in­stantly loved the set­ting – it was at the bot­tom of a hill in the mid­dle of the coun­try­side. The house it­self par­tic­u­larly ap­pealed to me be­cause it looked like some­thing out of a fairy­tale – the path lead­ing to it wends its way through the gar­den. I loved the idea of bring­ing up our daugh­ters Maisy and Mol­lie here. The down­side was that the prop­erty was cold, damp and mis­er­able. An el­derly cou­ple had lived here and it needed lots of work. But the po­ten­tial was ob­vi­ous, so we put in an ask­ing-price of­fer straight away.’

How­ever, even if their of­fer was ac­cepted, the Mc­fadyens weren’t sure the sale could go ahead as they needed to sell not only the house they were liv­ing in, but also an­other

What makes this house a homeé ‘Hav­ing the wood­burn­ers – they make it feel so cosy – and now our daugh­ters want one in their snug too!’

What we love most about liv­ing here… ‘Be­ing in the coun­try­side, sur­rounded by fields, but be­ing so close to Lon­don, too’

one that Claire was rent­ing out. When they ex­plained the sit­u­a­tion to the ven­dor, he told them he had al­ready re­ceived an of­fer – but for­tu­nately he ac­cepted theirs. ‘I then had to sell two houses quickly,’ says Claire. ‘Luck­ily, our house sold 12 days later, af­ter a bid­ding war, and the ren­tal prop­erty a few weeks af­ter that, so ev­ery­thing fell into place.’

As Claire and Jamie had worked on prop­er­ties pre­vi­ously, they weren’t daunted by the prospect of ren­o­vat­ing an­other and set to work on their new project with rel­ish. The pri­or­ity was in­stalling new cen­tral heating, re­plumb­ing and rewiring the house, and then re­plas­ter­ing the walls. The chim­neys also needed some re­pair work. It was win­ter when the pur­chase went through, and the first hur­dle was the boiler break­ing down the day af­ter the sale was com­pleted. ‘Our work­men said it was the cold­est site they’d ever worked on!’ re­calls Claire. And worse was to come. ‘One snowy day while the plumb­ing work was go­ing on, our elec­tri­cian was in the house with Jamie, and when the time came to leave they re­alised they were snowed in!’

The main house ren­o­va­tions have now been done but all the way through Claire kept in mind that she would one day want to have a kitchen ex­ten­sion, as the cot­tage has a small gal­ley kitchen. And re­plac­ing the ex­ist­ing con­ser­va­tory is

also still on the to-do list. They have made cos­metic changes to these rooms while they wait for plan­ning per­mis­sion. ‘The kitchen was painted dark blue so we light­ened it up and painted the units in an off-white shade,’ says Claire.

The wooden work­sur­faces help com­plete the rus­tic look.

When it came to the rest of the in­te­rior, Claire knew ex­actly what look she wanted. ‘I de­cided on a mod­ern rus­tic scheme with lots of vintage pieces to add char­ac­ter,’ she says. Some pe­riod fea­tures were also added, such as the Vic­to­rian slate fire sur­round in the liv­ing room.

A neu­tral back­drop through­out pro­vides a sooth­ing at­mos­phere, with pops of colour in­jected via ac­ces­sories. How­ever, in the snug, Claire went for a darker op­tion and chose a grey-blue paint shade on the walls. ‘We wanted it to be cosy,’ she says. And in the con­ser­va­tory there are in­dus­trial touches, with state­ment fac­tory-style light­ing.

With plans afoot for a new ex­ten­sion, the cot­tage is still a work in progress, but the move to the coun­try­side has pro­vided an en­vi­able life­style for the fam­ily. ‘We love liv­ing here,’ says Claire. ‘We open the cur­tains in the morn­ing and see the fields and the horses. We have rab­bits in the gar­den and deer come, too. It’s a lovely way of life.’

House The cot­tage has a fairy­tale feel en­hanced by its idyl­lic set­ting. Vir­ginia creeper trails down the façade adding colour.

Snug A log-filled fire­place adds in­ter­est. Walls, painted in Inchyra Blue by Far­row & Ball. Ar­moire, Louisa Grace In­te­ri­ors. Cab­i­net, Ard­ingly In­ter­na­tional An­tiques & Col­lec­tors Fair.

Liv­ing room Claire has cho­sen an el­e­gant scheme with a palette of neu­trals. Sofa, foot­stool, DFS. Cush­ions, Be­yond France. Rug, Ikea. Tray ta­ble, Habi­tat.

Hall­way As well as mak­ing a charm­ing tableau, the desk is a neat work­sta­tion. Chair, ta­ble, Louisa Grace In­te­ri­ors. Linen cush­ion, Nkuku. Mir­ror, Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket.

Con­ser­va­tory An in­dus­trial-style scheme is in con­trast with the ru­ral back­drop. Hide,Yar­row Art & De­sign. Pen­dant lights, Louisa Grace In­te­ri­ors. Run­ner,Be­yond France.

Con­ser­va­toryWooden bowls, Nkuku.Square plates, Villeroy & Boch. Sil­ver cham­pagne bucket, Culi­nary Con­cepts.White serv­ing dishes,Le Creuset. Plants, Ikea.

Hall­way The flames of a wood­burner cre­ate a warm wel­come. Bas­ket, Nkuku. Can­dle­stick, One World. Glass vase, Mad Lilies. Coal bucket, Gar­den Trad­ing.

Hall­way Ac­ces­sories are clev­erly dis­played. Shelf, Ard­ingly In­ter­na­tional An­tiques & Col­lec­tors Fair. Mir­ror, Sun­bury An­tiques Mar­ket.

Kitchen The tongue­and-groove pan­elling in­jects coun­try char­ac­ter.Wooden work­sur­face,Kitchen Work­tops Di­rect.Tongue-and-groove,painted in Skim­ming Stone by Far­row & Ball.

Kitchen White china on open shelves gives a con­tem­po­rary twist. China, Le Creuset and Villeroy & Boch. Plant pots, Wood­cote Green Gar­den Cen­tre & Nurs­eries.

Mol­lie’s bed­roomPretty pinks add a fem­i­nine touch. Throw,Zara Home. Cush­ion,Pe­ony & Sage. Rug, bedlinen, both The White Com­pany. Walls,painted in Dim­ity by Far­row & Ball.

Main bed­roomA French-style bed and re­laxed linens add nat­u­ral el­e­gance. Bed,Brissi. Cush­ions, throw, both The For­est Bailiff. Bedlinen, The White Com­pany. Blind,Am­bi­ence Home.

Bath­room Re­claimed pan­els cre­ate a sal­vaged feel. Bath panel, Let­ter B, both Louisa Grace In­te­ri­ors. Tiles, find sim­i­lar at Topps Tiles.

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