At Home With Amy @theweaverscottage
This week I'm at home with Amy, the very talented stonemason behind the popular instagram account @theweaverscottage where she shares wonderful images of her stunning weavers cottage in Yorkshire. Read on to learn more about Amy, her home, lifestyle, and top tips for home styling.
Tell us about you
I’m Amy, I’m a stonemason and historic buildings conservator from West Yorkshire. I live in a little weavers cottage in a rural hamlet with my husband, two young children, two dogs and five chickens. I’m a big fan of history and antiques and I think that shows in our home.
Tell us about your home
When we bought the cottage it had been a rental for years. It had been renovated by the previous owners in the eighties and prior to that was a completely untouched historic weavers cottage. I really wish we’d got our hands on it at that point because by the time we moved in it had been cement rendered internally, the original fireplace ripped out, and all sorts of other disastrous alterations. We like to think we have brought back a bit of the soul into the house by reinstating a new but authentic fireplace and re exposing the stone staircase amongst other things.
How would you describe your home?
I’d say it is country modern. We have brought it into the 21st Century whilst allowing the quaint country cottage feel to remain. I have lots of Yorkshire antiques that I inherited from my Grandfather that sit well in the house, and the traditional beams and mullioned windows give it a really cosy feel.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
I think it has to be the open plan living space downstairs. We are definitely slow renovators, we like to live in the space and allow it to grow organically, and I think because it is the first space we finished it has now had time to settle in and evolve into a space that we all absolutely adore.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
Walking around our home you can’t get away from the fact that we are both stonemasons, from a carved dog in the garden, to a lettering plaque at the front door. We have masons mallets and pieces of stone tracery and carving dotted about the house.
That and family history, which is a huge passion of mine. Every room in the house is filled with antique furniture, historic photographs and knick knacks that belonged to my ancestors.
What are your favourite items in the home?
In one little corner of our living room we have a wingback chair, an antique table and clock, and an oil painting painted by my Great Grandfather. This little collection is probably my favourite. The chair was one of the first things my husband and I bought for our home, it was a bit beaten up and worn, and we planned to have it recovered once the room was complete, so it’s nice looking now at the finished chair sat in the finished room. The clock was a gift from my husband’s Grandfather, he restores antique clocks so it’s lovely to have a constant reminder of him there, plus it has a beautiful chime. The table compliments the clock so well with it’s walnut inlay, and this piece belonged to my Great Grandfather. Initially I had said we didn’t have room for it in the house, but when no one else in the family wanted it I said I would take it. When I lifted it in to the boot of my car I noticed on the underside that my Great Grandfather had written a note saying how the table had belonged to his Great Grandmother from 1890 to 1912 which I just find amazing, and I feel so lucky to have such a beautiful piece of our family’s history in our home.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
Oh it was very much a project. We had moved bathrooms and kitchens in our last home and there was none of that here, but there was a lot of work undoing past unsympathetic alterations, and as a historic buildings conservator I noticed them all, haha!
What renovation/decorating have you done? If any, have you learnt any new skills?
My background definitely helps when working on historic houses, and my husband is a stonemason too and just a very handy man in general.
Over the years we have taught ourselves plastering, plumbing, tiling, basic electrics, flooring, kitchen fitting and the list goes on.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
A big learning curve for me was going from houses with high ceilings and big bright windows to a cottage with beams, low ceilings and small mullioned windows. My go to always used to be dark, rich colours, but this house really needed a lighter colour scheme which took me a while to get right. We originally painted the landing a really lovely pale blue, but from the moment it was finished it just made the space cold and uninviting. Needless to say the blue is now gone!
What is your top home styling tip?
To live with the space for a while. Get to know the space and how you want to use it before rushing in to buying furniture and decorative items.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
The view. We’ve considered moving a few times to gain an extra bedroom, a downstairs loo or utility, but we just haven’t found anything that compares to the gorgeous and unique setting that we are in. We feel incredibly lucky to live where we do.
They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
I think it is obvious that we like history and antiques, but I think really what our home says most about us is how important family is, both past and present. Everywhere you look in our home there is a photo of our family, from our gorgeous nephews, our parents, grandparents and siblings, to historic photos of our ancestors who are never forgotten.
The Home Edit
Lived-in or showhome?
Lived-in definitely! I follow some showhome type accounts on instagram but usually it’s for inspiration for certain pieces or styles, I could never live in a home like that as much as I admire them.
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
10 years ago you would never of heard me say this but I think probably white! You can always style and add colour elsewhere.
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Unrealistic expectations. We all clean and tidy our homes for instagram or for when people come to stay, but I never pretend that that’s how we live all the time. With two kids and two dogs its just not realistic!
Favourite front door colour?
Carpet or Floorboards?
Floorboards - bonus points if they are original
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
I’d love to have both, but we have a kitchen dining table and it can be dressed up for formal dining when needed!
High gloss or rustic?
Rustic every time!
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
Neither - stone walls! Come on, I am a stonemason after all, haha!
If you enjoyed being at home with Amy, you might like to take a look inside other popular home styling accounts on instagram and find out more about the people behind them. You can view more of these "at home with" articles here
Catch up with Amy's instagram account here. It's well worth a look