At Home With Leanne @leanneandthecottage
This week we are at home with the lovely Leanne. Meet the stylish, home interiors mad lady behind the popular instagram account @leanneandthecottage where she shares images of her beautiful 18th century stone cottage, her dogs and country life in general. Read on to discover more about Leanne, her home and family
Tell us a bit about you
I’m Leanne and I am a Property Acquisitions Manager for a national retailer, I’ve also recently started my own side hustle in Interiors. I live with my partner Jamie, a Web Developer and our two border terriers Benny (Hill) and Betty (Badass). We live in a beautiful village in Somerset just outside of the town we both grew up in. Having lived in various locations across Devon and Somerset we came back this way 4 years ago and bought our first home together 2 years ago. We have country walks on our doorstep and our nearest beach is 30 minutes away so it’s a great place to live.
Tell us about your home
We live in a 4 bedroom semi-detached cottage that was built in the 1780s and extended in the 2000’s by a previous owner.
We believe it was lived in by blacksmiths or footmen to the Manor House next door many years ago, as we have a trough in the front garden and I’m constantly finding old buried horseshoes!
How would you describe your home?
I think my style is a bit of everything really, except minimalist! It kind of evolves - that’s Instagram for you! Like with a lot of things your taste changes too. If I had to sum it up, I’d say Modern Rustic. I like to be bold but I also like things to be simple. One thing I absolutely adore is natural wood and rustic, old features across all materials and items.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
Ooo toughy! I have a few… am I allowed a few?! I love our kitchen, we transformed it on a small budget and I adore the colours and tones as it changes throughout the day.
I love our lounge because of its rustic features, the stone fireplace, beams and bread oven, it’s cosy in the Winter yet cool in the Summer.
Finally our bathroom, we renovated all the bathrooms in one go and it was stressful trying to think and plan and some of the decisions were rushed but it just all came together beautifully. I love the mix of old and new with the vintage £30 washstand and herringbone white tiles and painted bath. It’s rarely used too so it always look’s tidy!
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
My passion is Interior Design, DIY and the dogs! Apart from the big jobs that required a professional we have done everything ourselves. I am dangerous with a drill and a serial interior faffer! I love everything from the painting stage onwards, the prep is the worst. Once I have a paintbrush in hand, I’m in my happy place. There is also no escaping the fact we have 2 dogs, they feature in different ways throughout most of the house.
What are your favourite items in the home?
I love all the original features the most – the trough, beams, stonework, stable doors and original internal doors that we have had stripped. In terms of furniture, it has to be our leather sofa, it’s starting to look a bit old now but it makes me love it more.
I am particularly fond of my second hand vintage items such as the dresser, trunk , chest of drawers and vanity because they all have a back story and were preloved.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was a project; it was completely liveable thankfully but dated and needed bringing into the 21st century.
What renovation have you done?
We have decorated nearly every room floor to ceiling, all the bathrooms were fully replaced which included levelling the main bathroom floor as it was on a slope!
We removed some parts of the kitchen, changed worktops and had it hand painted by a professional (that wasn’t a task I wanted to take on) and it has completely transformed it. We knocked a small wall down in the hallway/snug to make the hallway a bigger more useable space.
I’d say my painting and drilling skills have improved along with the confidence to go for it on style and design and I’ve discovered Jamie is pretty good with wood (pun intended)!
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
A few! We had our flooring taken right up to the front door but due to the uneven floor this meant we couldn’t have a mat or anything on the inside. Really annoying in Winter. I’m now waiting for a carpenter to adjust the front door and threshold to help with this and the door to open more freely. We also plastered over some original panelling on the stairs and I’ve kicked myself ever since, it was one of those rush decisions being done amongst other jobs that I didn’t think through properly and I was working away so it was all over the phone. Anyway, I’m gearing up to remove it because it bugs me daily! Finally, I wanted to be a bit more creative in our spare room and paint a semi-circle around the bed. I enjoyed it for a few months, now I’m over it so it’s getting painted very soon!
What is your top home styling tip?
Don’t make rush decisions! I am so guilty of this - clearly! I think I get overexcited because I enjoy it so much and I have a ‘get sh*t done’ attitude so I don’t like dithering over things for too long.
When you’re doing a biggish renovation and you have to make so many decisions quickly, it’s easily done no matter how long you’ve been planning, thinking and pinteresting!
Moral of the story – it’s ok to dither – a bit!
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
The log burner…. it brings a cottage to life; it’s how we all envisage living in a period property and it doesn’t disappoint.
Oh and the wine rack….. a renovation necessity!
They say that a every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
That our dogs are killers! Well, you’d think that when you ring the bell. They aren’t.
I think our home says cosy, country and a little bit crazy – like us.
The Home Edit
The lived-in look or showhome?
Lived-in although I used to be more showhome (that’s dogs for you)
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’ve had it in every period property I’ve owned and my heart sinks when I see it, it’s such hard work to reinstate. We have an entire attic here of painted beams. There may have been tears….
Favourite front door colour
Inchyra Blue F&B
Carpet or Floorboards
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
Brick walls NOT painted
If you enjoyed being at home with Leanne, 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 visit Leanne's beautiful instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/leanneandthecottage/