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At Home With Caroline @caroline_at_ruggles_cottage

This week we are at home with Caroline. The lovely lady behind the popular instagram account @caroline_at_ruggles_cottage where she shares fabulous images of her quirky 17th century cottage. Read on to discover more about the colourful Caroline, her home and life. If you aren't familiar with her instagram account, I highly recommend it for floral inspiration. It's wonderful.


Tell us a bit about you


Hi I’m Caroline.  I’m 51 and live at Ruggles Cottage with my partner.  Eighteen months ago we relocated from London to a little village on the edge of an Essex town next farmland and countryside.

We relocated to follow our 6 grandchildren.


Tell us about your home

Ruggles Cottage pink exterior

Ruggles is a little two up three down cottage built in the 1750s . She is covered in original beams and lime plaster. I call my Cottage she because it just feels female.


How would you describe your home?

cottage cosy lounge

My homestyle is a bit of a mixture. Some traditional and rustic, some vintage shabby chic with a little modern thrown in for good measure.

quirky cottage interior

I’m a bit of a believer that the home chooses the style. What works in a newer home doesn’t always suit a cottage and vice versa. I love pink and flowers.

vintage floral cottage kitchen


Which is your favourite room in the house?

pink cottage bedroom

My mind changes often with this question. But at this moment I love my bedroom. I always wanted a really girly room with a vintage feel. It’s a bit of a romantic room and I love the open exposed beam ceiling.


How does your home reflect any passions or interests?

pink bathroom

Well I have a passion for flowers and pink. I love styling rooms and seeing it all come together. But I get bored easily and I like to change things around or could just decide I want to change it all.  I’m the pain in my husband’s neck.

pink cottage bathroom


What are your favourite items in the home?

vintage table

I bought an old specimen table and convex mirror from a local antique shop the first week I moved in.


I wanted something really old and from the area. I love them imperfections and all.

vintage convex mirror


When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?

Somewhere in between but not a major renovation project no walls knocked down or rebuilt.


What renovation have you done and you learnt any new skills?

grey exterior cottage

pink cottage exterior

I’m very lucky my husband is an all round handy man. When we moved in the cottage exterior was a dirty grey colour which had been painted in acrylic paint so it all had to be stripped, allowed to breath and re render before lime painting it the beautiful pink it is today.

renovations interior

staircase wooden

He also discovered the original staircase within a case so he completely renovated those and some repairs to the roof. We painted the whole of the inside mainly in white lime wash. In an old property most little jobs turn into bigger ones.

cottage living room limewash

I’ve recently learned how to lime wax furniture having got the inspiration from some Instagram accounts.


Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?

After sanding the staircase my whole cottage was covered in a layer of thick saw dust and I had to remove all the furniture to clean. My husband stained it and I hated the colour so much he sanded it again.


What is your top home styling tip?

cottage styling ideas

Its your home no-one else’s. You have to live with the decor so it has to be something you love. I actually keep most of my rooms neutral and add coloured furnishings because it’s much easier to freshen up or update your style.


Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?

log burner in brick surround

My log burner is fantastic and well used but for me it’s the people who live or visit that make a home not the possessions


They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?

Caroline laughing

Oh my probably that a pink loving flower addict who’s poor husband doesn’t get a say in any decor decisions lives there. (It’s true ).




The Home Edit


Lived-in or showhome?

Lived in but not cluttered.


If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?



What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?

I hate mess in mine but nothing in other people’s homes bothers me. Live and let live


Favourite front door colour?



Carpet or Floorboards?

Floorboards i have carpet


Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?

Both I have neither


High gloss or rustic?



Wallpaper or Brick Walls?

Brick walls


Want More?

If you enjoyed being at home with Caroline, 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 see more of these "at home with" articles here

You can view Caroline's colourful instagram account here It's well worth a look! 

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