At Home With Ramona @monalogue
This week we are at home with the lovely Ramona (Mona), the lady behind the incredibly popular instagram account @monalogue which features life from her cottage in the English countryside. Her account shares stunning images of her beautiful home and garden, along with amazing cottages and country life from the area around. Mona also features her partner and her dogs too. Don't miss the beautiful images of Mona out and about. If you love the countryside and country lifestyle, you'll love this account
Tell us a bit about you
I’m Mona, I’m 27 and I live in an 18th century miners cottage in Somerset with my partner Aaron and our two dogs - Eppie and Silas. I work full time as an influencer, and our home is often the backdrop of my content. I love cottages and old buildings, they bring me such a sense of comfort and my aim is to share this with as many people as possible!
I’ve lived in Somerset my whole life, and I don’t think you’ll find me going anywhere else. I adore the countryside and the wonderful unspoiled villages we are surrounded by here.
Tell us about your home
Our cottage was built towards the end of the 18th century. It’s a former miners cottage. The cottages on our street are terraced, and you can see there was a lot of collaboration between folk who used to live here. Our garden is part of a plot that was used as a shared smallholding. We use the old pigsty was a log shed now. There is also an outbuilding that was once used as a shared bakery, we still share the building with neighbours, but now we use it for laundry!
The cottage itself is made of welsh pennant stone. It was originally ‘two up two down’ but benefitted from an extension in the 1980s built in cottage style. Before the extension there was no bathroom or kitchen, which is quite shocking really! When we moved in we uncovered a lot of the original materials, and I restored the original flagstone floor in the living room. We now have plenty of stone and wooden beams on display, which makes the cottage feel much more homely and characterful.
There is one place we welcome modernity into the cottage and that is in our heating. We use an air source heat pump to warm a radiator in every room, and it has been a great investment.
How would you describe your home?
My style is largely traditional and rustic but with a few elements of playfulness. The house is a bit of an ode to old cottage life - I still dry herbs from the ceiling and our living room is full of logs for the fireplace. I like a happy birthday of clutter and we have various antiques dotted around the place. I’m also fond of happy pastel tones, our living room is painted with Dayroom Yellow by Farrow & Ball, which brings a bit of sunshine indoors.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
My favourite room is the spare bedroom because it’s a very tiny and quirky space. The floor plan is an L shape with the bed tucked against the window at the bottom. It feels small and cosy, and I use it as a safe place to have a cup of tea when I’m feeling stressed.
How does your home reflect your passions or interests?
My partner and I are both creative types. We are never going to be tidy people, no matter how much we might like the idea! If you visited right now you would find guitars, books, notepads and camera gear in plain view. I live for the garden, so there are currently about 500 flower bulbs on the kitchen table waiting for me to plant them. There is always some sort of happy artsy chaos in our home that very much reflects us as people.
What are your favourite items in the home?
I have an old Victorian horsehair chaise in the living room that I find quite amazing. The fact that old items were designed to last and can outlive their modern counterparts with ease. I also have a stack of vintage Le Creuset pans in volcanic orange that I am very fond of - they remind me of my mum and I find that to be very comforting.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It depends which perspective you’re looking from. For most people, it was the finished article. But unfortunately that meant many of the original features were hiding under modern covers. We ended up doing a lot of work just to revive the original character of the place. The work wasn’t functionally necessary, but it felt like we were doing the cottage a disservice to leave its character hidden away.
Have you done any renovation?
I’ve learned a lot about raw materials - the different types of stone and wood, to use lime mortar instead of concrete, how lovely water based paints are and to never trust a leading chain brand to do work on an old home (but that’s a story for another day)! I’ve installed some wonky plastering, shelves and skirting boards myself and I love their imperfections.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
My DIY work is far from professional, but I’m happy with that. I will admit I have had some disasters that involve panic buying in an antique dealers... I bought a gorgeous Victorian mahogany chest of drawers for the bedroom, only to discover on arrival that it didn’t fit up the stairs. Sometimes the excitement of finding something completely overrides any sense of practicality. My partner has also made it clear that I’m not allowed to buy any more statues of dogs!
What is your top home styling tip?
To listen to your own taste and not other people’s. I’ve learned through Instagram that there will always be people who both love and hate your style, so you have to do it for yourself. I feel now that I’m at a point where my home is just an extension of myself. I feel expressive and comfortable here and that’s the best thing to aim for.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
My dogs. Don’t get me wrong, I could easily use a break from them! They are chaos at the best of times. But I always find myself wanting to be with them when I’m away from them.
They say that a every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
The funny thing is, I feel very at home here. I feel normal, when out in the world I often feel like an alien trying to fit in. Visitors often comment that our home is unusual, and I suppose that is a reflection of me feeling comfortable enough to express myself here. They usually conclude by saying it’s homely, which I do agree with.
The Home Edit
Lived-in look or showhome?
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Dusky limewash pink
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Favourite front door colour
Somewhere between green and blue
Carpet or Floorboards
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
A big pine kitchen table is the dream!
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
Wallpaper over brick, but stone over wallpaper
If you enjoyed being at home with Mona, 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" interviews here