Coastal Sim­plic­ity

Bring­ing this shin­gled cot­tage up to date was a labour of love for de­signer Han­nah Childs.

Chic & Country - - Contents - Text: Sally Den­ning Pho­tos: Ben­jamin Ed­wards Ex­tract: Re­laxed Coastal Style

This was a par­tic­u­larly wor­thy project for in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tor Han­nah Childs, who de­scribes her work on the house as a ‘labour of love’. The own­ers wanted the re­fur­bished house to feel lived in, with a re­laxed mix of old and new. In the bright and airy cot­tage kitchen, Han­nah re­pur­posed some of the orig­i­nal chest­nut floor­boards as kitchen shelves. Up­stairs, the pine floors were sanded down and cov­ered in a clear fin­ish to bring out the warm tones of the wood.

When it came to the dec­o­ra­tive scheme, the owner was in­sis­tent that she wanted lit­tle or no colour. The down­stairs rooms flow into one another and it was easy to agree on softly shaded White Dove by Ben­jamin Moore for the walls and ceil­ings. The kitchen stairs are a quirky

fea­ture, with a painted blue stripe rem­i­nis­cent of vin­tage French linen run­ning down the cen­tre and a cop­per-pipe handrail. The fur­ni­ture is un­der­stated. Wooden pieces add warmth, while white metal Tolix chairs are paired with a bat­tered old farm ta­ble in the kitchen.

The in­te­rior light­ing is a mix of wooden lamps and mod­ern fit­tings with re­claimed green fac­tory pen­dants over the is­land unit in the kitchen.

Ex­te­rior walls were cov­ered in white cedar shin­gles typ­i­cal of New Eng­land coastal ar­chi­tec­ture, which, as they weather, will turn an at­trac­tive sil­very grey shade.

The suc­cess of the re­design lies in the bright, light and airy feel­ing that suf­fuses the in­te­rior. There’s no clut­ter and fuss, noth­ing is over-thought or over-styled and the at­mos­phere is one of sim­ple com­fort. Han­nah read­ily ad­mits that the project was par­tic­u­larly mean­ing­ful to her. ‘I re­mem­ber the evening I left the house ready for [the own­ers’] ar­rival from Cal­i­for­nia – I felt as if I was leav­ing a part of me. It was such a re­ward to see them the fol­low­ing day, af­ter their first night in this house they had looked for­ward to for so long.’

(left) The kitchen is a mix of hand­made cab­i­nets and open shelv­ing crafted from the orig­i­nal floor­boards of the house. The cen­tral is­land pro­vides ad­di­tional stor­age and work space, and the enamel shades and bold striped rug add in­ter­est to the scheme. (op­po­site) The boxed-in main stair­case uti­lizes a sturdy old moor­ing rope in place of a handrail.

(be­low) It was the hall­way that in­spired the pur­chase of the cot­tage. The owner loved the ex­posed wooden fram­ing and used it as the ba­sis for the ren­o­va­tion.

(right) A tra­di­tional-style basin and tub work per­fectly along­side the in­dus­trial aes­thetic of the Back Bay wall lights that came from Ur­ban Ar­chae­ol­ogy.

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