Our Country Cottage: The Living/Dining Room

 Our Country Cottage - The Living, Dining Room via Dear Designer's Blog (1)

I’ve so much to show you at the cottage. We’ve finished the downstairs now and we’re only a few weeks away from completing the entire house. We’re actually wishing we didn’t have to rent it out and could save it for ourselves. No such luck however. By the time you read this it will be up on the holiday site (I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post in case you’re tempted), and we’ll be eagerly awaiting our first bookings.

Our Country Cottage - The Living, Dining Room via Dear Designer's Blog (10)

Floor tiles from Trade Price Tiles

We’ve bought very little new furniture. Apart from two new sofas, everything was either bought with the cottage, transferred from home, or bought second hand. This was partly because we were working to a strict budget, but also because I wanted a homely look and one that was fitting for a modest dwelling in the country. The sideboard above I’ve had for years. It belonged to my sister before me, so it’s now in it’s third home, and it’s gone from dark wood, to painted cream, to it’s current dark grey. It’s actually Farrow and Ball, Pumice. I changed the rambling rose fabric in the doors to grey tartan wallpaper, changed the handles and I think it now looks perfectly at home here.

Our Country Cottage - The Living, Dining Room via Dear Designer's Blog (2)

The coffee table was an Ebay bargain. It’s lovely and solid but it was in pretty poor shape, so the BF restored it and I painted it. The top we treated with wax and it now has a lovely shine. You can’t see the three drawers on the other side but I think it now looks very handsome and much more expensive than it was. (I’m going to change that watercolour above the sofa by the way, it’s way too small, but the map I’m going to hang is waiting for a new frame).

grey blinds, cottage interior

Duette Blinds from Luxaflex

All of the woodwork was varnished so we’ve kept that, but it does provide a nice contrast. Accessories are of the bargain basement kind on the whole. There’s no point in putting expensive knick-knacks in a property that is going to be rented out, but it did need some things to make it look more lived in and homely. All of the cushions are from H&M Home, the tea light holder and faux flowers on the coffee table are from Sainsbury’s, the rug is from Ikea. The only exception to that rule is the faux mimosa on the window-ledge. It was slightly more pricey, I bought it for home but it just seemed to ‘go’ better here. The retro radio I’ve also had for years.

 country style dining

The dining room table and chairs we inherited with the cottage. I’ve painted the legs of the table white and waxed the top and now it looks much better than before. The plate rack I’ve mentioned before and was bought in a local charity shop for £10. It was originally intended to hang in the kitchen but looks better here. The tableware is all from Ikea.

Our Country Cottage - The Living, Dining Room via Dear Designer's Blog (6)

Wall paint from Dulux

The paint we’ve used throughout on the walls is Dulux, Milky Pail. It’s a lovely off-white with just a hint of stone. This is such a bright room, it seems to benefit from a subtle muted shade on the walls. All of the walls that is, with the exception of the hall stairs and landing. There, we’re going quite dark with Monument Grey, also from Dulux. Partly for practical reasons. I can imagine that guests will not be thinking of our white walls when carrying suitcases up and down stairs. But also because I wanted to make the entrance darkly welcoming so that when you open the door to the living room you are surprised by how bright and airy it is. And then you see the view.

Our Country Cottage - The Living, Dining Room via Dear Designer's Blog (7)

And I couldn’t resist showing you the view from the dining table. We have a small enclosed patio outside, and beyond it is the lake. That structure you can see is on an island and I don’t think I will ever tire of that vista.

The cottage will be available to rent from June onwards here.

The story so far.

Our New Country Cottage

Our Country Cottage: The Kitchen



  1. Reply

    karen jones

    April 20, 2016

    What a fab job. I wouldn’t want to rent it out either. i am sure you will be fully booked with guests. xx

    • Reply


      April 25, 2016

      Let’s hope so Karen 🙂

  2. Reply

    Kimberly Duran

    April 20, 2016

    Oh!!! You’ve done SUCH a lovely job with it and you would never in a million years think you had a tight budget on it! I love how comfy and inviting it feels. And that’s a gorgeous sideboard. Wonderful! No doubt you’ll get loads of bookings Carole! xx

    • Reply


      April 20, 2016

      Thanks Kimberly. It’s early days on the bookings front but fingers crossed. We need to get some money back lol x

  3. Reply

    Kate Baxter

    April 20, 2016

    oh wow Carole, it is GORGEOUS! I cannot wait to visit xxx

    • Reply


      April 20, 2016

      Thanks lovely. We’ll arrange something soon. Promise xx

  4. Reply


    April 20, 2016

    Oh it looks lovely Carole, and lots of thought and care put into it – you’ll have lots of happy guests. You’ve made me need a holiday even more now just looking at your lovely photos!

    • Reply


      April 20, 2016

      Thanks Molly. You can always book the cottage lol 🙂


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