For our book review Louisa and I thought it would be interesting to answer the questions that Natalie Walton asks all the house owners featured in the book. So here are my thoughts on Harp Cottage. Louisa’s can be found here
What attracted you to this home?
I first saw the cottage for sale on line. We weren’t looking for a cottage and it was way above our budget but I kept coming back to it as if I knew somehow we would live there. When we viewed the cottage all the original features were covered up and the gorgeous windows were falling apart.
What changes did you make?
I tend to think of us to stripping the cottage back but when I made a list of what we did it sounds so much!
We replastered, put in new plumbing, new electrics, new windows, French doors. We moved the bathroom upstairs. We uncovered both inglenooks, fitted wood burners, put central heating in, reconfigured and refitted the kitchen. When we lived there we had a wood burning Rayburn that we had put in. We also re-landscaped the garden and creating the courtyard – where the table is now was a bank of earth, the drystone walls are retaining walls. Part of the roof was redone and a new chimney built.
Plans to restore summerhouse and weatherboard the later extension are still in the pipeline but she’s an old house and often very hidden things need fixing first!
What didn’t you want to change?
The bones – keeping the original floors, reinstating the Inglenooks – salt cupboard and bread oven Was hugely important to us. We juts wanted the cottage to breath again. For her to show her age but also be preserved for the future. It was more of a taking back than changing her.
How does your home make you feel?
How often do you edit your home and it’s collections?
This is ongoing due to my work but I’m usually happy to leave something once I have found harmony and am happy with it. My work environment and my home environment are very different.
What objects hold special meaning for you?
A painting we call Vanessa.
How do you choose which items enter your home?
Purely on how they look and feel and make us feel.
Has your style evolved over the years?
I think it adapts to the house although it always operates within a certain framework. 1930/40s imagery is a constant and as is white and pared back!
Which materials are important to you?
Natural materials, linen, wool, stone and I also love concrete.
What gets priority in your home?
What’s your favourite space?
A calm one and preferably in France.
When are you happy at home?
When the sun is shining in.
What do you think makes a welcoming home?
Laughter and relaxation
You can buy Natalie Walton’s ‘This is Home’ here via this affiliated link