Our quirky little cottage is a unique space – and a hopeless one if you want to try and effect some sort of instant feng shui and interior design perfection. Instead, I tend to take little corners of space, and get them right, before moving onto the next one, the hope being that, eventually, every corner will be perfect and the house will start to look less ramshackle and more style shack…
Our fireplace is one area I wanted to get right fairly early on. A striking, wide fireplace with a big log burner, it is the centrepiece of our sitting room and one of the first things you see when you come into the house. The bold green colour on the walls, and the sheer size and scope of the fireplace, means it needs more subtle details to pull it together, letting the bold black beams and ancient stone speak for themselves. This little clock has a nice antique feel, but is clean enough to sit quietly on the bold black, while the vintage brasses, dotted about in a rather ad hoc fashion ensure it doesn’t look too styled. We finished it off with this much more modern print – with a bit of a country vibe. (Chappell Green Modern Emulsion for interior Walls and Ceilings, £42 for 2.5l, Farrow & Ball; Map Clock, £19.95, Parlane, 3 Silver Street, Cirencester; Various Antique Brasses, from £3, Cirencester Antiques, 25 Market Place, Cirencester; Bild Fjallsta Poster, £9, & Örkened Frame, £8, both Ikea).
Being a Cotswold cottage, and therefore having lots of little rooms rather than one big living space, means there are doors everywhere. To break up the monotony of all the white I decorate the doors with little rustic details. This sweet wooden heart fits perfectly on the door to our spare room, and even matches the bedspread. (Wooden Hanging Hearts, from £8, similar here and here, also available Anthropologie, French Gray & Burford Garden Centre).
In our bedroom we have a lovely deep windowsill. The perfect warm and sunny spot for flowers, the light in the morning pours through the antique glass, warming the thick stone. This cashpo is a wonderful piece I inherited from my grandmother and it’s the perfect place in which to place a seasonal pot or two. During the winter I’ve had white poinsettias here, tete a tetes and hyacinths in spring, and blue or white hydrangeas in summer. At the moment the white hyacinths we have there are filling our bedroom with their sweet scent – just gorgeous.
This is our desk chair, which rather than being something black and leathery on a swivel base, is a reconditioned chair with a lovely rose detail on its back and a soft, plush seat. Another purchase from the fantastic Cirencester Antiques shop, a real treasure trove of unique and valuable antiques. (Rose Chair, £35, Cirencester Antiques, as before).
I have mentioned before my love of Indian fabrics and furniture, and the cushions on our bed are one such indulgence. The nice thing about Indian design is the sense that it’s part of a larger whole, meaning you can pair different designs together, and still feel that you have a set that matches. I bought some of these cushions in India, but have topped up my collection at The Organic Farm Shop, just outside Cirencester, which specialises in organic Indian textiles, and stunning Indian furniture. (Cushion Cover, from £11, Organic Farm Shop)
This funny alcove, halfway down our stairs is a difficult spot to fill, anything too delicate looks too small and wobbles on the carpet, anything too big blocks the light and rather obscures the space itself. I love how this lantern still lets the light in, while also providing a focal point and a source of light on dark wintery evenings. The lantern is from a set I bought at New Covent Garden Flower Market, for our wedding. Not only an incredible floral experience but also a great place to pick up amazingly cheap things for your home -this lantern, and two smaller matching ones, were £45. (New Covent Garden Market)
“Every room needs a touch of black, just as it needs at least one antique piece.”