At home with…

Mollie Makes - - Contents - Words: LOT­TIE STOREY

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.”

Pho­tographs: MATT KEAL

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