At Home With Kim @willowdalecottage
This week we are at home with Kim, the lovely lady behind the very popular instagram account @willowdalecottage where she shares images of her beautiful 18th century country cottage and keeps us up to date with her day to day life. We love the interior of Willowdale cottage and think you will too. Read on to find out more...
Tell us a bit about you
I am Kim and I am happily married with 2 daughters. My daughters are grown up and have homes of their own. I share Willowdale Cottage with my husband Graham and our cat Tortuga. It is set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside and it very close to the Kennet and Avon canal.
Tell us about your home
Willowdale Cottage was built in 1773 and since then has been extended twice. The original cottage and extensions have added much character to the cottage over its lifetime and it has many features of its time including oak beams, beautiful stone walls and character fireplaces. With its wonky walls and sloping floors this home definitely has a cosy cottage style.
How would you describe your home?
I thought I didn’t have a style, if I like something I buy it (or make it) however looking around the cottage I notice that I have mostly a country/ rustic theme in the rooms.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My favourite room is the kitchen. This was also my favourite room when I viewed the cottage though we have changed it a lot. It had these wonderful oak kitchen cupboards which we loved but as this is a dark cottage room they just made the kitchen look too dark. We painted the cupboard doors and added an island, suddenly the room transformed and we fell in love with the kitchen all over again.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests that you have?
We have a passion for DIY, a small piece of us in every room. It really pleases us to look around the cottage and think “we did that”. We are very average skilled DIY home owners but what we can do we are proud of.
What are your favourite items in the home?
Willowdale Cottage has the most wonderful beams, they are a joy to simply sit and look at, the cottage itself has so much personality we could just admire it all day. When we added the island to the kitchen this became our favourite addition. We bought a couple of second hand kitchen units and formed the island around these, we wanted open ends to the island to let the light through. We treated ourselves to a custom cut worktop though, mainly because we were worried we wouldn’t be able to cut the worktop ourselves!
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
In our heads the cottage was not a project! However we had never lived in an older property before and we didn’t realise that older properties constantly need work and some of that work can be time consuming and expensive. Saying all that though we love living here and don’t regret a single day.
What renovation have you done and have you done any DIY?
The cottage has had so much done to it, new roof tiles, new bathroom and ensuite, walls tanked and replastered, new windows and new hot water system however all of this work was carried out by external trades people. We have developed our DIY skills though and have improved our furniture making skills as well. We have had to be adept at gardening, we have only had small gardens before and it has taken us sometime to learn about plants and maintaining a garden.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
I wouldn’t say disasters but I tend to buy furniture and items because I like them and sometimes they just don’t suit anywhere in the cottage. This means we often spend a lot of time moving furniture around. It always works out okay in the end but it does mean the cottage changes every time someone visits.
What is your top home styling tip?
Be patient. Many a time I have rushed and done something or bought something and changed my mind a few months later. It has taken me years to slow down and be patient, I now try and save something I like, be it a style or item, in to a mood board and if I still like it months’ later then I go for it.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
The ensuite. The cottage had one family bathroom upstairs, we have a large bedroom and decided to remove the built-in cupboard (which we didn’t like anyway) and replace it with an ensuite. It has a large shower and is simply the best thing ever!
They say that a every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
I think it says that we are quiet, uncomplicated and peaceful.
The Home Edit
Lived-in look or showhome?
Lived-in but tidy!
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
We do mostly have one colour and that is dulux light and space, coastal glow. This is a light reflecting paint which works well in darker homes.
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Lack of storage space
Favourite front door colour
Carpet or Floorboards
Floorboards but with rugs!
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
If you enjoyed being at home with Kim, 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
Kim's instagram account is stunning and can be found at https://www.instagram.com/willowdalecottage/