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