Welcome to our cottage! It felt like home pretty quickly, but we’ve been steadily putting our stamp on it and it’s really feeling like our nest now. As you’ll gather, if you hadn’t already realised, we’re both big fans of bright colours and pretty things. We mainly use the back door which leads into the sunroom, so that’s where we’ll start our tour.
Our little cottage is a bit topsy-turvey, with the sunroom that houses our dining table and white goods (and the dog crate), a tiny toilet off that room which doesn’t have a sink so is being used as our coat room and storage, then a little galley kitchen. It has a window through into the sunroom which is an extension, so there’s lots of light.
Coming off the kitchen through the door you can just see to the left is the bathroom – I said it was topsy-turvey! – and at the other end from the sunroom is the door to the room we’ve made into our bedroom. That was the room we focused on getting sorted first, and it’s a really cosy space now. Naomi’s settee is at the foot of the bed with the blanket she crocheted. There are actually built-in cupboards behind the wardrobe but we decided we needed somewhere to hang clothes more than we needed more shelf space, so it doesn’t matter that we can’t really get at those.
I spent several frustrating hours trying to put up the curtain rail, and we had to do a mad dash to B&Q ten minutes before they closed to get the right kind of drill bits, only to discover we hadn’t got any curtain hooks so still couldn’t hang the curtains when I finally finished with the rail at midnight! Anyway, it is sorted now. You can just glimpse the edge of Naomi’s bedside table – with giraffes! It has four shelves and was a present from my dad and his partner. It’s perfect, much more suitable than the little table we were using before which just didn’t have enough space for all the totally essential things Naomi keeps by her bed…
Also coming off the kitchen is the staircase upstairs. The doors to the stairs look like they are for an airing cupboard, which is quite funny when we have visitors! We generally keep them as you see in the picture, with one door to the stairs open, the other closed and the door to the sunroom propped open so that Paige-cat can get up and down the stairs but Benny the puppy can’t follow her. They’re not friends quite yet…
Upstairs there’s a small room with a single bed, chest of drawers and wardrobe already in it, and I’ve added my bookcase, desk, armchair and a beautiful colourful rug. It will be my office once I’ve finished unpacking all the remaining boxes. There are only six or so, but they’re the ones we don’t urgently need and have gravitated into that room from the rest of the house. I’ll take some photos once it’s tidier, it’s already looking lovely with a purple bedspread and the rainbow rug.
The other room upstairs would have been the main bedroom if we hadn’t put that downstairs, so we’ve made it into a sitting room. My daybed is in there and it has already served as a guest bed when Naomi’s parents came to visit, but its day job is as a sofa. Then there’s a gorgeous red-topped desk I found in an antiques shop, with my sewing machine on it and loads of drawers for all our crafting materials. The owner left a big wardrobe in here which is perfect for keeping spare blankets and pillows for guests, and a wooden chest in which I am keeping fabric for future sewing projects. My piano is in one corner and all our Christmas decorations are tucked away in a little cupboard. We still have loads of storage space to spare, which is such a change from all my tiny flats.
Paige is mostly staying in this room (we’ve put her second litter tray, some water and her food bowl in here) because Benny isn’t allowed upstairs yet, and he won’t stop barking whenever he sees her. I’m really glad to have a room where my sewing machine can stay out, and am excited about playing my piano more now that it has a place of its own!
I only really finished the sitting room yesterday, and there are still patches of disorder in other rooms – I took the photos strategically. It’s been good to let it evolve gradually, so that things are being put in places based on how we use them, but it does mean that we still have things in odd places. If we had just spent the last five weeks on the cottage I expect it would be finished by now, but we’ve also been tidying up the garden (lots of hedge trimming, grass cutting and weed pulling, and I found an unexpected path that our landlady hadn’t ever seen!) and, of course, getting to know our new puppy. You’ll meet him in the next post.