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The Cottage: Winter Decorating in a Small House

by Declan Lording
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Winter Decorating in a Small House

Welcome to my home in Sussex, England. This week, we’ll be exploring my guest house, The Cottage, and discovering some creative ways to decorate a small space for the winter season. The Cottage, a 500 sq ft unit, has a rich history and has served various purposes over the years. From an animal shelter to a workshop, garage, studio, and even a site office during renovations, it has now been transformed into a cozy one-bedroom cottage with a bathroom, kitchen, and living area. Join me as we delve into the world of thrifted home decor and discover how to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in a small space.

Thrifted Home Decor

Most of the decor you see in The Cottage has been sourced from thrift stores, charity shops, and auctions. Take, for example, the small mirrors that adorn the walls. These mirrors were found for just a couple of pounds each and have been given a makeover using chalk paint. Vintage books are another favorite styling item, often grouped by color or turned around to showcase their pages. Damaged books are repurposed by removing the covers and bundling them up with string or lace. The key to thrifted home decor is finding unique pieces and giving them a personal touch.

Adding Character with Corbels and Earthenware

The Cottage features shelves made of oak, which were salvaged during the renovations. To strengthen the shelves, corbels have been attached to the uprights, providing both functionality and visual interest. Earthenware, a favorite of the homeowner, is displayed on the shelves, adding warmth and texture to the space. These pieces were thrifted during a shopping trip in Cornwall and are a testament to the beauty of secondhand finds.

Bringing the Outdoors In

Even in the winter months, it’s important to incorporate greenery into your home decor. The homeowner takes us outside to gather evergreen clippings that can be used to add a touch of nature to the interior. By simply placing a few sprigs in a vase, you can bring life and freshness to any room without the need for expensive flowers. It’s a simple and budget-friendly way to liven up your space.

Styling the Countertops and Adding Personal Touches

The countertops in The Cottage are adorned with carefully curated items that reflect the homeowner’s taste and personality. A segment of a long straight shelf has been repurposed into a wedge, creating unique bedside shelves. The offcuts from this project have been used in the corners of the countertops, adding visual interest and hiding a socket. The taps in the cottage were made by the homeowner and a plumber, showcasing their resourcefulness and commitment to using recycled materials wherever possible. Personal touches, such as vintage rolling pins and a tray found during a shopping trip in Cornwall, add charm and character to the space.

Creating Statement Pieces in a Small Space

Designing a small space can be challenging, but the homeowner has successfully created statement pieces that make a big impact. Open shelving, a lucky auction find, serves as a focal point in the living area, adding height and visual interest. By incorporating a few key items, such as bowls found at Homesense and a basket from the Ardingly Antiques Fair, the space feels larger and more cohesive. Mirrors, a favorite of the homeowner, are strategically placed throughout the cottage, reflecting light and creating the illusion of a larger space.

Transforming Furniture with Creative Techniques

The homeowner demonstrates their talent for transforming furniture with creative techniques. A chair, found at a local charity furniture shop, undergoes a crackle glaze effect using glue and paint, resulting in a unique and textured finish. The process involves applying glue and paint in sections, encouraging cracking with the use of a heat gun. The finished chair adds character and charm to the space. This approach to furniture transformation allows for personalization and ensures that each piece is truly one-of-a-kind.

Embracing Cozy Textiles and Finishing Touches

In a small space, cozy textiles can make a big difference. The homeowner showcases the versatility of sheepskin rugs, using them to add warmth and comfort to various areas of The Cottage. A carefully curated selection of fabrics, including cushions and a blanket, complements the winter color palette. A Royal Doulton Bowl, filled with dried hydrangeas and infused with essential oils, adds a touch of elegance and fragrance to the coffee table. The homeowner’s attention to detail and commitment to creating a cozy atmosphere is evident throughout the space.

Final Thoughts

As we come to the end of this tour of The Cottage, it’s clear that even in a small space, with some creativity and a keen eye for thrifted finds, you can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The homeowner’s passion for repurposing and personalizing items shines through in every room. Whether it’s transforming furniture with unique techniques or incorporating greenery and statement pieces, The Cottage serves as a testament to the beauty of small house decorating. Stay tuned for the next episode, where the homeowner will be exploring makeovers that can be done in the winter months. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and we look forward to your continued support.

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