THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO COTTAGE HOME RENOVATION
Whether you own a cottage or want to renovate your home to look cottage-like, this blog post is ideal for you.
Cottages have been around in the UK since mediaeval times, and they still make up a good chunk of the current property market. They’re famous for their distinctive country look and other features that promote warm, cosy living.
Cottages are old buildings, which is why cottage renovation may be on your wish list if you are a cottage owner yourself. And as we mentioned, cottage homes are so popular that people even want to renovate their normal houses to have that cottage feel. After all, unfortunately, we aren’t all fortunate enough to have a cottage of our own.
WHAT IS A COTTAGE?
Firstly, to make sure we’re all on the same page, we need to identify what a cottage is.
In mediaeval times, cottages were simple homes lived in by farmers. They are usually on the smaller side with around five rooms, or so, in total.
Characteristics of a cottage include low ceilings, a rustic style, old-timey features, and a colourful and abundant garden.
Due to their heritage of being homes for farmers, they are often situated in rural or semi-rural areas, which makes them lovely little countryside homes.
COTTAGE RENOVATION TIPS
Now we are clear on what a cottage is, let’s discuss how you could renovate a cottage.
When it comes time to renovate a cottage, you want to be careful not to ‘ruin’ the elements that make it a cottage.
RENOVATE WITH SYMPATHY
When renovating, our first tip is to stay sympathetic to the cottage’s original character and charm. Cottage homes are often built in the post and beam construction style; this is what gives them their low ceilings, so to keep your cottage looking its beautiful self, we recommend allowing the original structure to remain and furthermore, be allowed to shine.
Remember, there are plenty of different factors that make a cottage what it is, so don’t go overboard with your cottage renovation or you will risk losing that original charm.
SMALL COTTAGE EXTENSION
Cottages lack space. Well, most do. Because we know that most cottages are rather small, so it’s a fair thought to consider a cottage extension.
Extensions are perfect for adding space to any property and cottages are no different. They’re similar to bungalows, where the property offers plenty of garden space as opposed to offering more indoor space, which means you should have plenty of space to extend into the garden.
Own a bungalow? See how you can create more space in our blog post: BESPOKE BUNGALOWS.
Back to cottages, don’t forget about those low ceilings when extending. You have the choice of whether to continue the theme of low ceilings by implementing that into your cottage extension or choosing to have high ceilings which could create a nice countering effect.
TIMELESS, NOT DATED
When adding new furniture and fittings to your cottage, it’s handy to have a keen eye for things that are timeless.
Because one word we’d use to describe a cottage is timeless. You want to include fittings that match your cottage home aesthetic but avoid pieces that run the risk of becoming dated.
While we’re on the topic of furniture and fittings, be sure to consider the size of these additions. Are they to scale with the smaller rooms that are often associated with a cottage?
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS
When you say the word ‘cottage’ what do you think of? We think of warmth, cosiness, open fires, nature, natural materials and so on.
That’s why the best cottage remodels are the ones that promote all of the lovely aspects we associate with cosy cottage living. It’s these things that make cottages more of a lifestyle, rather than just a house.
HOW TO CREATE A COTTAGE-STYLE HOME
Not all of us can live our dream of owning a cottage, but what we can do is turn our home into a cottage-inspired space that is just as good as the real deal.
This may actually be a better way to go if you’ve always wanted a cottage of your own, as a house will provide you with some benefits that a small cottage will struggle to fulfil. For example, a home will have average-height ceilings and will likely hold more rooms and offer much more space.
How do you give your home a cottage-style makeover?
- Materials play a big part to make up the whole cottage home aesthetic. Try including natural materials in your home, like wood and stone
- Think about the unique features you expect to find in a cottage, such as wood-burning stoves in the living room, roll-top bathtubs, classic range cookers and vintage cabinets
- That warm and cosy feel is a massive aspect of cottage homes that draws people in. This can easily be replicated with careful consideration of your lighting – avoid light and bright and go for dim and low
- Cottages often benefit from neutral and warm colours, with the odd splash of bold colour thrown in, so try to copy this palette in your home. Where patterns are concerned, think floral, spiralling wood or tartan
- The garden is an incredibly important part of a cottage. Make your garden fit for any cottage by mixing and matching pots to hold greenery, include a range of coloured flowers, and try cramming as much into the available space as possible.
Despite what you may have thought, renovating your home to match that cottage style isn’t impossible; we’d even go as far as to say that it is very achievable when you have a clear idea of what you want and an experienced building team supporting you.
COTTAGE HOME MAINTENANCE
Owning a cottage isn’t always smooth sailing. Buildings that are so old are bound to face some issues, despite how well they may have been made.
If you then renovate a cottage, you need to ensure you can maintain it, because if not, your cottage could quickly turn into a nightmare to manage, as opposed to being the countryside paradise you wanted.
- Consider your roofing. Back in the day, cottages were topped with a thatched roof, which we now know can be devastating if a fire was to break out
- It pays to be green-fingered when dealing with a cottage or cottage-inspired garden — it’s one of the main parts of the property, so keep it maintained as best as possible
- Keep an eye out for pests. Out in the countryside, pest infestations are more common than in suburban areas
- Stay on top of your regular cleaning. Small spaces—that a cottage often includes—can become covered in dust very quickly and can accumulate dirt easily
BENEFITS OF COTTAGE RENOVATION
In general, we believe that renovating a cottage is a great idea.
Stunning, older properties such as cottages are always at risk of being left behind as years pass, but with cottage renovation, you are giving that building new life!
For many, owning a small cottage tucked away in the beautiful countryside sounds like a dream come true. If you are lucky enough to find yourself owning a cottage, renovating it is the best way of mixing the classic charm of a cottage with the contemporary trends we are currently seeing in today’s world.
If you’re in the market for a cottage to renovate, there are plenty of cottages for you to do just that on the property market. Here are a few we found online through OnTheMarket.
Small cottage or large or house you want to make into your cottage dream, whichever property you have, Bespoke Norfolk Group can help. Not only have we worked on cottage remodels in the past, but we’ve often taken inspiration from cottages and applied that to our home renovations, extensions, new builds and conversions to provide our clients with exactly what they want.
Do you have a project in mind? Be sure to reach out to a reliable and experienced construction company that can help you with the design and build of your project. Talk to our team today.