Wel­come to my home

Ideal Home (UK) - - Real Home -

As soon as Kerry and James Cowan bought their Vic­to­rian cot­tage in the Scot­tish bor­ders, they knew that light­en­ing up the house’s dark spa­ces was a top pri­or­ity, as well as in­stalling heat­ing, re­plac­ing the wiring and fix­ing the wet and dry rot. ‘Ini­tially I con­sid­ered a mod­ern look, but I felt this yearn­ing to do what was right for the style of the house,’ says Kerry. ‘It was built in 1896 and lots of orig­i­nal fea­tures were in­tact, in­clud­ing the pan­elled doors and tim­ber floors. But at the same time, I didn’t want to live in a time warp.’ She de­cided on a pal­ette of soft greys, which looks mod­ern and makes the most of the nat­u­ral light, then she added a com­bi­na­tion of old and new fur­ni­ture to put a twist on tra­di­tional style.

The open-plan kitchen, din­ing area and snug were key to defin­ing the dé­cor for the en­tire house. Kerry be­gan with vin­tage-look pieces, such as the Belfast sink, Shaker-style units and range cooker, but took care to add new el­e­ments, in­clud­ing over­sized fac­tory-style lights and on-trend metro tiles. ‘I found our huge Vic­to­rian dresser on ebay and painted it white – now it’s fresh, not fusty,’ says Kerry. She took a sim­i­lar ap­proach to the wood­work in the other rooms. Pre­vi­ously, all the tim­ber de­tail­ing was bare, so Kerry painted the pan­elling around the win­dows white and used sim­ple blinds, so as not to steal fo­cus from the orig­i­nal beaded wood­work.

Kerry has kept dec­o­ra­tion to a min­i­mum, us­ing sub­tle colour and ac­ces­sories to add char­ac­ter, while pre­serv­ing many of the house’s orig­i­nal fea­tures and fire­places.

‘On a win­ter’s day, there’s noth­ing bet­ter than com­ing home to a warm fire crack­ling in the hearth,’ she says.

Kerry Cowan lives here with her hus­band, James and their daugh­ters, Char­lotte, four, and Florence, two. Kerry is a full-time mum and James works in the whisky in­dus­try. THE PROP­ERTY A three-bed­room Vic­to­rian cot­tage in Pee­bles, Scot­land. VALUE Bought for £175,000 in 2013; now worth £310,000.

There’s noth­ing bet­ter than com­ing home to a warm fire crack­ling in the hearth

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