When Christine and her partner Kevin decided to downsize they chose to design and tailor the perfect space to meet their new requirements. Through careful planning and a knack for maximising on space, they have transformed a small courtyard cottage from cramped and compartmentalised into stylish open-plan living.

Chris and Kevin’s cottage originally comprised four downstairs rooms and one upstairs room. The couple decided to knock out the interior walls that separated the kitchen, sitting room and the passage between the two, supporting the space with reclaimed oak timbers. Their new kitchen, dining and sitting area opens out into the garden in summer and its clever design gives a wonderful illusion of spaciousness

Chris and Kevin’s cottage originally comprised four downstairs rooms and one upstairs room. The couple decided to knock out the interior walls that separated the kitchen, sitting room and the passage between the two, supporting the space with reclaimed oak timbers. Their new kitchen, dining and sitting area opens out into the garden in summer and its clever design gives a wonderful illusion of spaciousness

The cottage is a master class in how to take a modest space and transform it, almost magically, into an elegant, contemporary and welcoming home

The cottage is a master class in how to take a modest space and transform it, almost magically, into an elegant, contemporary and welcoming home

Adhering to a clean palette of whites and shades of grey, Christine has accessoried each room with crisp linens and painted wood furnishings ensuring that each room looks effortlessly uncluttered

Adhering to a clean palette of whites and shades of grey, Christine has accessoried each room with crisp linens and painted wood furnishings ensuring that each room looks effortlessly uncluttered

A door to the right of the sitting area leads to a cosy, and more private, second sitting room-cum-study where the couple can relax in the evening

A door to the right of the sitting area leads to a cosy, and more private, second sitting room-study where the couple can relax in the evening

Neither Chris nor Kevin are fans of clutter or knick-knacks so the whole house has a distinctly minimalist feel

Neither Chris nor Kevin are fans of clutter or knick-knacks so the whole house has a distinctly minimalist feel

Situated on the ground floor, the master bedroom is a cool white space dotted with soft furnishings courtesy of one of Chris’s favourite shops, The White Company, plus cushions that she has crafted herself

Situated on the ground floor, the master bedroom is a cool white space dotted with soft furnishings courtesy of one of Chris’s favourite shops, The White Company, plus cushions that she has crafted herself

Against the master bedroom wall is propped a boot fair mirror that Chris has given the Annie Sloan treatment

Against the master bedroom wall is propped a boot fair mirror that Chris has given the Annie Sloan treatment

Despite its modest size, the cottage features two bathrooms, one en suite to the master bedroom

Despite its modest size, the cottage features two bathrooms, one en suite to the master bedroom

A tranquil family bathroom

A tranquil family bathroom

Next to the sitting room, a discreet staircase leads up to a pretty, vaulted guest bedroom

Next to the sitting room, a discreet staircase leads up to a pretty, vaulted guest bedroom

The shared courtyard is a lovely sheltered space in which to relax

The shared courtyard is a lovely sheltered space in which to relax

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

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