There can be few weatherboarded cottages in the Weald of Kent that offer visitors such a welcome and refreshing surprise. Forget low ceilings and dark corners, or chintzy, rustic styling, and prepare yourselves for a trip to the Alps.

The light-filled kitchen once had an unreliable old Aga at its heart – since replaced by a range cooker. The kitchen units are by Howdens and are complemented by light, machined-oak floorboards. Martine and Andrew are big fans of the artist Bella Pieroni whose pictures hang to the right of the cooker

The light-filled kitchen once had an unreliable old Aga at its heart – since replaced by a range cooker. The kitchen units are by Howdens and are complemented by light, machined-oak floorboards. Martine and Andrew are big fans of the artist Bella Pieroni whose pictures hang to the right of the cooker

The couple built a two-storey extension, which has created a spacious open-plan kitchen and triple-aspect dining area with French doors into the garden

The couple built a two-storey extension, which has created a spacious open-plan kitchen and triple-aspect dining area with French doors into the garden

Cream-painted units and pale oak worksurfaces reflect the light

Cream-painted units and pale oak worksurfaces reflect the light

A luxurious, rather masculine downstairs loo area, designed by Andrew

A luxurious, rather masculine downstairs loo area, designed by Andrew

The contemporary wood panelling throughout Martine and Andrew’s home gives it an undeniably cosy – and high class – chalet feel

The contemporary wood panelling throughout Martine and Andrew’s home gives it an undeniably cosy – and high class – chalet feel

The quirky giraffe is covered in Design Forum fabric, Kaleidoscope

The quirky giraffe is covered in Design Forum fabric, Kaleidoscope

The leather turtle and hippo were both escapees from a chalet job but seem very much at home in Kent

The leather turtle and hippo were both escapees from a chalet job but seem very much at home in Kent

The understated, wood-lined stairway, with bespoke handrail designed by Andrew, gives a taste of the chalet style upstairs

The understated, wood-lined stairway, with bespoke handrail designed by Andrew, gives a taste of the chalet style upstairs

The landing to Oli’s bedoom, over the extended kitchen-dining area, includes a door on to the roof terrace. Plush, neutral carpets throughout make the house feel extremely snug

The landing to Oli’s bedoom, over the extended kitchen-dining area, includes a door on to the roof terrace. Plush, neutral carpets throughout make the house feel extremely snug

Max’s bedroom, across the way, is suitably grown-up, tastefully reflecting his interest in skiing and sailing

Max’s bedroom, across the way, is suitably grown-up, tastefully reflecting his interest in skiing and sailing

The boys’ rooms are light and airy and cleverly furnished to allow work, rest and play – with typical, smart wooden furnishing including these sturdy bunk beds in Oli’s room

The boys’ rooms are light and airy and cleverly furnished to allow work, rest and play – with typical, smart wooden furnishing including these sturdy bunk beds in Oli’s room

Greg Buchan has again woven his magic and created great chalet-style oak bunk beds

Greg Buchan has again woven his magic and created great chalet-style oak bunk beds

The boys' interest in skiing is evident in their bright and airy rooms

The boys' interest in skiing is evident in their bright and airy rooms

The cottage is deceptively spacious, thanks to the sense of ‘flow’ around the stairway and light-filled landing, on to which all rooms seem to face

The cottage is deceptively spacious, thanks to the sense of ‘flow’ around the stairway and light-filled landing, on to which all rooms seem to face

A view through to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom

A view through to the master bedroom and en suite bathroom

The main bedroom is an oasis of calm and order – helped by muted colours and the addition of an en suite dressing room and hidden cupboards

The main bedroom is an oasis of calm and order – helped by muted colours and the addition of an en suite dressing room and hidden cupboards

For ‘neutral’, do not for a moment read ‘dull’

For ‘neutral’, do not for a moment read ‘dull’

The compact yet luxurious en suite to the master bedroom

The compact yet luxurious en suite to the master bedroom

A view into the master bedroom’s enviable dressing room

A view into the master bedroom’s enviable dressing room

The staircase is far from what one might expect in a country cottage

The staircase is far from what one might expect in a country cottage

The play room and snug shares the woodburner with the ‘adults’ living room nextdoor. Hidden cupboards, built by Martine and Andrew’s carpenter, Greg, on either side of the flat screen television, help to keep things tidy while the bright carpet and Union Jack storage trunk add colour and a sense of fun

The play room and snug shares the woodburner with the ‘adults’ living room nextdoor. Hidden cupboards, built by Martine and Andrew’s carpenter, Greg, on either side of the flat screen television, help to keep things tidy while the bright carpet and Union Jack storage trunk add colour and a sense of fun

An antique settle in the downstairs hallway contrasts with a contemporary faux-fur throw, geometric-patterned cushions and colour fabric ‘samplers’

An antique settle in the downstairs hallway contrasts with a contemporary faux-fur throw, geometric-patterned cushions and colour fabric ‘samplers’

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Jennifer Stuart-Smith

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