At home with…
Take a tour of Rose Cottage, crocheter Hollie Evans’ modern farmhouse abode
When Hollie Flower Evans and husband Dylan bought Rose Cottage five years ago it had been empty for eight years and, because of a flood, the floors downstairs were rubble. Enough of a big job to tackle? Not for this fearless pair. “We moved here in 2013 and took most of the summer o , ” Hollie recalls. The first six weeks were spent renovating the cottage while we slept in a tent in the orchard. But then we planned to get married in the village church and have our wedding party here at the cottage, so it had to be habitable! The night before our wedding was the first night we slept here, and I painted our bedroom floor white the morning of our big day.”
Anyone who’s undertaken either a wedding or a renovation project will know how completely terrifying this sounds. Hollie and Dylan, who were blindsided by love for each other and for the cottage, took it in their stride. “The first month, I swanned around the orchards and paddocks like Anne of Green Gables –I just loved it here so much!” laughs Hollie.
This 250-year-old house was originally a ‘long house’, meaning it was only one room long with the family living upstairs and the animals downstairs. But while Hollie and Dylan’s extensive menagerie does include two dogs, a cat, a rescue pig, four chickens and two cockerels, the ground floor is definitely for family living.
A bright and airy kitchen is the newest addition to the cottage, and Dylan cleverly unearthed one of the oldest. “In the living room there was a big flat wall with a concrete storage heater on it,” says
Hollie. “Dylan had a feeling there was something special behind it, so he sledgehammered it down and found the beautiful inglenook fireplace!”
When the fire is lit, the living room is Hollie’s favourite room in the house – “it’s super comfy cosy” – but the farmhouse changes with the seasons. “In spring and summer, I adore the kitchen and master bedroom because of the doors opening out onto the orchards, then our paddocks, then over to the farmer’s fields.” And, it’s this idyllic countryside that inspires Hollie and her vision for the cottage. “I do love Pinterest, but I get more inspiration from my favourite houses: first is Monet’s farmhouse in Giverny, followed by Miss Honey’s Cottage (from Roald Dahl’s Matilda) then Green Gables! While I haven’t replicated any of them, I do have some little clues to them dotted around.”
One of these clues is a Monet-esque painting of Hollie’s home, by fellow Instagrammer Lottie Forrest. “She painted Rose Cottage for us surrounded by hollyhocks and hydrangeas,” smiles Hollie. “The painting is my favourite thing here at the moment and I adore that we did a swap – I got the painting and she
“Occasionally I’ll have a little pile of my favourite blankets on Flora’s bed.”