In­te­grate the look of 100+-year-old English cot­tages into your home, wher­ever you live.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY JO­LENE NOLTE

Love the English cot­tage look? Learn to recre­ate the style no matter where you live.

FLORA & FAUNA. Fan­ci­ful an­i­mals from swans to deer and more give Peter West­cott’s liv­ing room a whim­si­cal touch. Flo­ral themes ap­pear too, from the sconce to the drap­ery and side chair’s cush­ions. Un­abashed mix­ing and match­ing of pat­terns and grouped col­lec­tions of vin­tage bot­tles and vases add a dainty charm with their va­ri­ety of shapes and shades.

“COB­BLED TO­GETHER.” The time­less feel of this kitchen comes in large part from home­owner Ge­orge Carter’s in­ven­tive­ness. While the charm­ing re­cessed win­dows say “cot­tage,” Ge­orge also “cob­bled to­gether” sev­eral el­e­ments, which look pol­ished but still hum­ble enough to suit the English coun­try cot­tage aes­thetic. The floors, for in­stance, are ac­tu­ally con­crete slabs with a sealant to mimic the look of clas­sic tile.

His­tor­i­cally, cot­tages were not quaint, de­sir­able homes. Ros writes, “The hov­els in­hab­ited by ‘cot­tagers,’ who were la­bor­ers with no land other than a small­hold­ing, were so flimsy and badly built that most col­lapsed or were de­mol­ished long ago. The build­ings that have sur­vived, and which we now call cot­tages, would have been con­sid­ered sub­stan­tial, re­spectable res­i­dents by com­par­i­son.” Even these, how­ever, are quite small by mod­ern stan­dards. Monk’s House, one of the homes fea­tured in the book, is ac­tu­ally a com­bi­na­tion of two or more of these homes.

En­larg­ing the cot­tages is an up­date for mod­ern needs, but some­times new ten­ants are able to achieve preser­va­tion and a fa­vor­able up­date at once. For in­stance, Peter West­cott “re­moved lay­ers of moder­nity” by peel­ing back the ceil­ing to ex­pose the orig­i­nal wood beams and painted them white. Get­ting in touch with the cot­tage’s his­tory, he did the same for the floor, strip­ping back the car­pet and paint­ing the orig­i­nal hard­wood floor white as well. This al­lowed the home’s in­te­rior to re­flect the light and breathe more.

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