There are many adjectives that are easily associated with an English country cottage. Cottages are warm, charming, quaint, atmospheric. Light, bright, airy or spacious rarely make it into the top 10 – and yet these are exactly the descriptors that first come to mind as one steps into mi cottage. From the outside, it is very much the quintessential period cottage and one is expecting all the inglenooks and crannies of a traditional interior but instead one is greeted by a flood of natural light and the distinct feeling was of stepping into a brick and weatherboard Tardis.

The open plan kitchen and dining area

The open plan kitchen and dining area

Behind the dining table French windows open into the garden

Behind the dining table French windows open into the garden

In the kitchen, the white of the wall is complemented by the white Carrara marble of the extra wide work surface which was custom made

In the kitchen, the white of the wall is complemented by the white Carrara marble of the extra wide work surface which was custom made

The bright and airy sitting room is completed with shades of greys, creams and yellows provided by the soft furnishings. Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’, used throughout the house, cleverly provides subtle variations of shade depending on the quality of the light and the angle it strikes wall or ceiling

The bright and airy sitting room is completed with shades of greys, creams and yellows provided by the soft furnishings

“I like the combination of the clear white interior and the industrial detail,” says Melanie

“I like the combination of the clear white interior and the industrial detail,” says Melanie

Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’, used throughout the house, cleverly provides subtle variations of shade depending on the quality of the light and the angle it strikes wall or ceiling

Farrow & Ball’s ‘All White’, used throughout the house, cleverly provides subtle variations of shade depending on the quality of the light and the angle it strikes wall or ceiling

Two lovely bespoke sofas made by Jonathan Martin in Brighton frame a cutdown and distressed former kitchen pine table now given a new lease of life as a coffee table

Two lovely bespoke sofas made by Jonathan Martin in Brighton frame a cutdown and distressed former kitchen pine table now given a new lease of life as a coffee table

The walls of the hallway, and up the stairs to the landing, were intricately hand-painted by Iain, taking over three weeks to complete

The walls of the hallway, and up the stairs to the landing, were intricately hand-painted by Iain, taking over three weeks to complete

The floor is of standstone flagstones by Fired Earth

The floor is of standstone flagstones by Fired Earth

Immaculately dressed beds from Loaf feature in both of the property’s bedrooms

Immaculately dressed beds from Loaf feature in both of the property’s bedrooms

Original brickwork has been exposed below the painted walls on the ascent up the staircase

Original brickwork has been exposed below the painted walls on the ascent up the staircase

Melanie’s bath is made from an amalgam of a self-reinforced cast resin and mineral mixture which means that it retains heat, but is under half the weight of an original cast-iron bath allowing it to perch safely on the first floor

Melanie’s bath is made from an amalgam of a self-reinforced cast resin and mineral mixture which means that it retains heat, but is under half the weight of an original cast-iron bath allowing it to perch safely on the first floor

In the master bedroom, there’s more of Iain’s butch distressing, this time the treatment given to the fitted cupboard doors that run the length of one wall

In the master bedroom, there’s more of Iain’s butch distressing, this time the treatment given to the fitted cupboard doors that run the length of one wall

The French-style bed is a Marie Antoinette by Loaf, the chic dressing table is from The White Company and the ethereal chair that complements it is a Louis Ghost by Philippe Starck

The French-style bed is a Marie Antoinette by Loaf, the chic dressing table is from The White Company and the ethereal chair that complements it is a Louis Ghost by Philippe Starck

The spacious studio boasts a sheltered veranda that overlooks the garden, centre of which is a large natural pond, brimming with pond-side flora

The spacious studio boasts a sheltered veranda that overlooks the garden, centre of which is a large natural pond, brimming with pond-side flora

The welcoming veranda

The welcoming veranda

Disappearing round the pond and down the garden is a very clever little narrow brick path, almost a landscaping trompe-l’oeil which somehow makes the garden seem much bigger than it actually is

Disappearing round the pond and down the garden is a very clever little narrow brick path, almost a landscaping trompe-l’oeil which somehow makes the garden seem much bigger than it actually is

Potted geraniums are clustered along the treads of some reclaimed steps put to use outside the front door

Potted geraniums are clustered along the treads of some reclaimed steps put to use outside the front door

Poppy the dog trots along the garden path

Poppy the dog trots along the garden path

The studio features a bedroom, chic spacious bathroom, vaulted central room and enviable laundry room

The studio features a bedroom, chic spacious bathroom, vaulted central room and enviable laundry room

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

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