For some people demolishing any period cottage is heresy, a loss of irreplaceable national heritage, and, certainly, serious questions must always be asked before swinging the wrecker’s ball. But one must remember that many rural cottages – particularly those built post-1900 – were merely thrown up to house agricultural workers and, quite honestly, are of little architectural or historic interest or value. Their locations, however, can be outstanding.

As you enter the house, light floods in from the superb two-storey oak-framed window. A pitched, oak-beamed ceiling soars above the staircase, from which hangs a magnificent lantern. Beneath the window is a huge mahogany former pharmacy cabinet

As you enter the house, light floods in from the superb two-storey oak-framed window. A pitched, oak-beamed ceiling soars above the staircase, from which hangs a magnificent lantern. Beneath the window is a huge mahogany former pharmacy cabinet

The entrance hall provides a warm welcome

The entrance hall provides a warm welcome

The kitchen features iroko worktops and factory-esque metal pendant lights “I love to mix period industrial, commercial and home pieces,” says Victoria. “It’s often surprising just how well they go together.”

The kitchen features iroko worktops and factory-esque metal pendant lights “I love to mix period industrial, commercial and home pieces,” says Victoria. “It’s often surprising just how well they go together.”

A lovely window from a French chateau has been fitted with mirrored glass and mounted on the wall opposite the room’s true window

A lovely window from a French chateau has been fitted with mirrored glass and mounted on the wall opposite the room’s true window

Her whole house is, in fact, an informal showroom for the kind of original pieces she finds for her customers

The whole house is, in fact, an informal showroom for the kind of original pieces Victoria finds for her customers

Through from the sitting area is a study where Ben’s grandfather’s mahogany writing desk and a re-upholstered Victorian campaign chair keep company with a 1940s re-chromed trolley lamp

Through from the sitting area is a study where Ben’s grandfather’s mahogany writing desk and a re-upholstered Victorian campaign chair keep company with a 1940s re-chromed trolley lamp

Glorious sunshine pours into the conservatory

Glorious sunshine pours into the conservatory

The utility room blind has been made from a 1940s/50s French grain sack

The utility room blind has been made from a 1940s/50s French grain sack

The master bedroom with its en suite bathroom is a cornucopia of Heirloomia. Flanking the bed are two re-chromed and rewired 1940s Anglepoise lamps atop a limed oak campaign-style chest of drawers and a marble-topped bedside table

The master bedroom with its en suite bathroom is a cornucopia of Heirloomia. Flanking the bed are two re-chromed and rewired 1940s Anglepoise lamps atop a limed oak campaign-style chest of drawers and a marble-topped bedside table

On the wall is a large and superb 1860’s French mirror

On the wall is a large and superb 1860’s French mirror

Then en suite bathroom

Then en suite bathroom

Vintage bottle in the bathroom

Vintage bottle in the bathroom

A wide array of family photographs line the ascent up the staircase

A wide array of family photographs line the ascent up the staircase

The fourth bedroom awaits the arrival of Victoria and Ben’s second child

The fourth bedroom awaits the arrival of Victoria and Ben’s second child

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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