Many years ago my beloved and I bought a little semi-detatched, thatched cottage in Hampshire; it was a rural idyll, a place for us to start a family and live in a way we have longed dreamed of, closer to the country. It was all very romantic; thatched roof, roses and wisteria around the door, inglenooks and old beams (eg: all utterly lovely and totally impractical). It was and is our dream home, but we are certainly not minimalists and with the addition of a small child we saturated the little place in no time flat.
We longed to turn our small cottage into a proper and practical family home that we could live in for years to come. And then, finally, that chance came and we were able to buy the small cottage next door and begin the long process of seeking Listed Building consent, then planning and building, to turn those two cottages into one. We've decorated and remodelling throughout, mixing our slightly eclectic tastes with a very traditional bone structure - from a mid-century wallpaper next to flint walls, to an oak, glass and zinc structure on the 500 year old core of our home. It's a bit of a tired trope to say that we feel like we're just the current guardians of this place, not owners in a possessive way, but it's still true.
This is all about the way we shaped and styled the space and the lessons we learned, from the wrong choice of paint to the right choice of builders. Herein I explain my addiction to wallpaper and my desire to go deep and dark in the dining room. Vintage finds and new build, traditional details and modern materials - We're one in a long, long line of occupants, but this is one of the biggest changes in this home's long history and we so hope we got it right.