Transforming a 200 year old cottage

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I didn’t want to move. We had only just finished renovating our house. I knew it was never for the long haul but I thought 5, rather than a measly 2 years, would make the renovation effort worth while. It was Matts crazy idea as always.

We had learnt to lay floor tiles, painted every inch of it and made it home, but even as a nearly finished project, it never felt as homely as the semi derelict, overgrown cottage we first viewed on 26th March 2015. And fell in love with.


Four fairly stressful months later of ‘are we or aren’t we going to get the house’, and we arrived at completion day. Still quite a surreal feeling that we are in, but very happy and grateful that the universe conspired to bring us here.

Our first night was not quite as planned. We arrived to the previous owners still moving out. Some logical reasoning and logistical discussions later and it became obvious that were only going to be able to unload one of our two lorrys due to the amount of ‘stuff’ they had inevitably left behind.

As I escaped with the kids into the luxury of a normal functioning household, curtesy of my sister Kirsty, Matt braved ‘site’ until 3am moving all the leftover household wares into the courtyard and sleeping on one of the kids mattresses in the living room, next to the Mountain of our Entire Downstairs Furniture, only to get up for his breakfast shift in the morning!

(To be fair, this whole thing was his idea, remember!)





One weekend later, all upstairs carpets had been ripped out, the whole place cleaned to within an inch of its life (dead maggots exhumed) and the kids and I braved our first night in readiness for our second lorryload of belongings arriving the following day.

Following the removal of the 2 tons of household waste that Matt had disposed of in the courtyard, and we could start to see the wood for the trees……and the bushes! And the shrubs! And the WEEDS! Two weeks in and every sunny day since moving day, we have all been rendered garden-bound, losing hours upon hours absorbed in the, actually quite satisfying, roles of gardeners / frog re-locators (kids) /spider killers (Matt) and road sweepers (mostly me).

The front garden area which could only house 2 cars, can now house 3 and we can see into the side garden at last! (Another massive project for another summer!) The old walled garden bed has been exposed for repointing and replanting…..and so begins the blogging adventure of April Cottage and its ascent into beauty!

From the bottom of a very long ladder……


Changing the front of your house

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I had a call not so long ago from a client who had bought a beautiful property on a large piece of land with several outbuildings in the middle of (seemingly) nowhere. My absolute idea of bliss. I was very excited when I was asked to help remodel the lower ground interior.

This particular client of mine has an absolutely enviable style for interiors and I was very inspired taking a look around. However, when you occupy a space, day in – day out, it is very hard to be objective about it, and, luckily for me, they needed some direction on how to change the practicalities of day to day living within the space.

The existing downstairs had a large living room with an entrance porch on the front through which accessed guests and family alike, including my clients’ two young girls, and a soon-to-be toddler, which meant being met with a barrage of children’s toys, boots and coats.

If you draw a line down the front of the house, on images above, the left side is the downstairs bedroom…….

and the right hand side is the living area and entrance porch.

The make-over included tearing down the existing cramped porch and citing a new, larger version, as an extension on the left hand side, instead.

Using this Pinterest board as my inspiration, the new porch extension was to act as a boot room, housing all the paraphernalia that goes hand in hand with raising a large family. To create the ‘prairie’ feel that the house was crying out for, I continued the line of this new porch straight across the front of the house to create a veranda,

The old living room french doors, which used to act as a front door, were then removed and replaced with a bifold door, thus connecting an outside/inside veranda with an inside/outside living room…….et voila: A little piece of heaven.

My client now enjoys a (not so peaceful with three children) morning brew in an officially allocated room for relaxing, and whether summer or winter can take in her amazing countryside views whilst breathing in the fresh outdoors.


Erm…..When can I move in?


Sergeants Retreat – Snug Design

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The snug concept has been drafted and includes a yummy mustard velvet sofa! I am threading the half-painted wall idea through each room of the house except for adjoining spaces such as hallways etc. In the snug I will be using a lovely warm grey similar to the middle image above, based on Farrow and Balls ‘Moles Breath’. This will be used on the right and back walls as you walk into the room and peek above both sofas. There will be accents of mushy turquoise and aqua and a soft woollen rug from www.iloveretro with a wheeled pallet coffee table from Gas & Air Studios at and a side table from Scrumptious!

This has now been finished and it is my favourite room in the house.

Living room design Sergeants Retreat

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And so it begins…….layout plans have been approved and now comes the exciting part – design concept!

This is the living room layout plan and concept design with current space…..

My intention was to use a subtle muted pink to warm up the large expanse of warm white walls and the purple sofa as purple can often be quite a cold colour and the ceilings are very high. Even though the whole house was painted in Dulux equivalent of Farrow and Balls ‘Pointing’ which is an extremely easy warm white, the windows are large and with only pale blinds the room needed a thoroughly cheerful backdrop. The whole house is based on a clean, modern but retro scandinavian style with added carpets for a really cozy feel.

This is the finished product…….



Cornish lifestyle – Surfs up

Adam our (fabulous) decorator was up at the crack if dawn before work this morning to take advantage of the surf.  #perksofthejob #cornishlifestyle

Project Sergeants Rest (retreat)

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The Mood Board for the ‘Project Sergeants Rest’ (Retreat) is on the go here.

Concept so far…….There are heaps of down lights that would be time consuming and costly to take out so we are using them to our advantage and opting for a more minimalistic, modernist approach with a scandinavian mid century feel.


Mood Board ‘Project Sergeants Rest’…

posted in: Latest News | 0

The Mood Board for the ‘Project Sergeants Rest’ (Retreat) is on the go here.

Concept so far…….There are heaps of down lights that would be time consuming and costly to take out so we are using them to our advantage and opting for a more minimalistic, modernist approach with a scandinavian mid century feel.


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