~ Our Clover Shelved Coffee Table complements Catherine’s neutral living scheme beautifully ~
Arriving in the most picturesque of villages outside of Harrogate, Catherine’s home is just what you might expect when you imagine an archetypal country cottage, both inside and out. Having only moved here six months ago, Catherine and her husband, Rob, have already made it feel like home.
“As soon as I came across it I showed my husband, Rob and said it was the dream house. It was actually under offer when we viewed it but the buyer pulled out that day… perhaps it was meant to be! We felt at home as soon as we stepped inside.” At nearly 250 years old, it is a home filled with character and charm. “It’s so cosy and full of character and just felt completely unique. Its location is just beautiful. It has everything you could want in a cottage – sash windows, beams, a stable door, roll top bath and a rustic country kitchen. It was love at first sight!”
While the previous owners had done a lot of work to the property, Catherine explains it was really just the aesthetics, like painting, that she and Rob wanted to take on. “The previous owners had looked after it beautifully for a number of years so there really wasn’t much for us to do – good news considering we are not DIYers! We have just been doing small jobs since we moved in, like painting, to really put our stamp on the house and make it our home. Before buying the cottage we had been renting for a year so I was desperate to find our next home that we could make ours (and finally put things up on the walls!)”
~ Our Large Bee Cushion is similar to Catherine’s seen here ~
A true advocate for colour and floral prints, Catherine describes her interior style as modern country mixed with feminine florals – with a penchant for “pretty objects!”
“I love country cottages with mixtures of texture and timeless features”, she tells us.“I tend to mix styles and really just purchase things if I like them and think they will go with our other items.”
With a love for upcycling and mixing the old with the new, Catherine tells us about an old rocking chair that she found in a charity shop. “It was a bit sad looking and its old brown veneer was coming off. I painted it with white chalk paint, popped a throw on it and I just couldn’t believe the difference!” Catherine’s work desk was a thrifty find too on Gumtree for only £30 and she tells us about her beautiful pink sideboard in the living room – a piece from her Granny’s house that has been given a new lease of life over the years.
“A few years ago my favourite jewellery designer, Alex Monroe did a collaboration with Anthropologie and I bought some beautiful gold floral drawer knobs with tiny bees on them which look perfect on the sideboard. I think it is my favourite piece of furniture in the house and will always give me lovely memories of my Granny.”
Speaking of favourite decor finds, Catherine reveals some of her go-to haunts and thrifty tips for adding homely touches: “I love Anthropologie for inspiring displays and quirky decor finds, as well as Homesense for finding little gems that I never even knew I needed!! I also love a shop called Restoration Yard just outside Edinburgh – they have some amazing, unique items. When I’m searching for a specific item I usually just Google it and see what comes up – I’m never too worried about sticking to a certain brand, as long as I love it! For furniture I do tend to buy second-hand items from Gumtree, eBay or charity shops which have already been upcycled or which I can upcycle myself, I just love something having a story.
“I have found some lovely little businesses through Instagram too – my friend Rosie, @edieroseashley makes beautiful handwritten tags which I love to display with my flowers. Another favourite of mine is @hogbenpottery who make really sweet animal pottery in pastel colours.”
~ Shop Kitchen Dressers to recreate your own pretty ceramics display ~
We recently shared 8 real cottages with beautiful exteriors to inspire you this summer, highlighting a few of our favourite accounts for beautiful homes and their exteriors. We asked Catherine to share some of her favourite homes that she follows on Instagram, together with the posts that always go down well with her followers on her interiors account, @peonie.cole.cottage.
“I always find that interior photos are my most popular posts, especially our living room, kitchen and bathroom. I love to chat with other people on Instagram and share what I’m up to – I have actually made some absolutely lovely real-life friends through it! I love finding accounts that have houses of similar ages and style, it is such an inspiring platform to be a part of. There are so many accounts which I love following but some of my absolute favourites are @simply.weekend, @cotswold_cottage, @thelittlestonecottage, @nessmaytaylor, @wallflower_cottage, @littlemosscottage, @number71by_the_bay and @vickiejoneshome.“
With a wealth of interior styles and decor fashions on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to choose from, it’s easy to be swayed by popular trends. “I come across so many interior styles I love but that just wouldn’t work in our home,” Catherine explains. “I love neutral schemes but I can’t resist colour and florals! I also love dark feature walls but I always end up being drawn back to light and pastel colours.”
“In terms of making any big changes, I’m pretty happy with everything in the house. I feel lucky to have found somewhere to live where I really love the main interior features that would be expensive to replace like the kitchen and bathroom. I currently have my eye on the hallway as I’d like to update the paint colour and also the spare bedroom which I also use as a studio space for my business, Peonie Cole Textiles. I feel like it’s the only room that I haven’t quite found a style for yet.”
Having just finished painting the bathroom in a light, sugary pink, Catherine explains she always puts a lot of thought, care and consideration into the style and colour for each room when it comes to decorating, so she struggles to pick her favourite – “It actually changes weekly!” – but admits the living room tends to come up trumps. “It’s always such a calm, pretty space and when the sun shines it’s so lovely to just enjoy it at the window seats. I created a small mirror wall above my pink sideboard and I absolutely love how it turned out.”
Working from home every day, Catherine admits creating a “calm environment” that feels inspiring is really important to her. “I have added lots of mirrors to make the house feel light and bright. A mirror can make such a big difference and I love the window style ones for really adding extra character to a room. When we go away I tend to pick one or two little decor items if we visit somewhere as I like everything in the house to have a meaning or a happy memory attached. It’s important to me to feel surrounded by things we love. I try to choose classic pieces that we can have for years and will work with our style.”
~ Shop our Wickham Washed Oak Bedside for a similar rustic style to Catherine’s bedside cabinet ~
Now venturing into the summer months, Catherine tells us she loves to decorate their home with flowers. “I love using stem vases to create little displays on my mantlepieces and filling a few jugs with pretty flowers to dot around the house.”
~ A lovely spot to enjoy breakfast, our Portobello Grey Breakfast Bar is a perfect match ~
Together with lots of flowers, Catherine tells us it is “wonderful memories” and her husband that really make a house a home for her.
We’d like to say a big thank you to Catherine for inviting us into her homely country cottage. You can peek inside more homes with our Home Tour Series here!