At Home With Tonja@thelittlecornercottage
This week I'm at home with Tonja the lovely creative lady behind the popular instagram account @thelittlecornercottage where she shares stunning images of her Victorian cottage in Somerset. Read on to learn more about Tonja, her home, lifestyle, and top tips for home styling.
Tell us about you
Hi, my name is Tonja and I live with my husband Stuart and our fourteen year old twins in a picturesque Somerset village, between Bath and Frome. We moved here almost 4 years ago from a town house in Frome. We were hoping to live in the countryside but within a close distance from town.
Tell us about your home
Our home is a detached cottage, dating back to 1850, making it early Victorian.
It is grade 2 listed building and situated in a conservation area as well as an area of Outstanding natural beauty.
The cottage has many original period features such as leaded windows, fireplaces, mullion windows, exposed beams etc.
How would you describe your home?
I would describe my style as a mixture of French, British and Scandinavian period styles with romantic and traditional feel.
I also use lots of neutral, soft colours as well as faded florals.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
One of my favourite rooms is our little office/guest room. It is very quirky and has a beautiful leaded window and it is a very unusual shape with many nooks and crannies with unusual angles. It was a bit of a challenge to decorate but I was very pleased with the end result.
How does your home reflect any passions or interests?
I enjoy knitting, crochet, sewing and upholstery. My projects (either finished or unfinished) are visible everywhere; curtains, cushions, blankets, armchairs and lots of knitting yarn in wicker baskets.
What are your favourite items in the home?
Our dining room table; I bought the Victorian scrub table from eBay cheap. I sanded, waxed and painted it afterwards.
Vintage extendable wooden, farmhouse style sofa bed, which I bought from Finland and got it shipped together with our sauna. I absolutely love it after I painted it with ’Elephant’s breath’ by Farrow & Ball. It reminds me of my home country.
I have couple of reindeer hides, which I brought over from Finnish Lapland. They are now on the armchairs by the fireplace, making the area so much cosier.
When you moved into your house was it the finished article or was it a project?
It was definitely a project. We lived in our cottage whilst doing the renovations. We literally went through every room in the house and did much of the work ourselves.
What renovation and decorating have you done?
We removed all the carpets and exposed the wooden floorboards and painted them. We removed couple of walls, added a new kitchen, utility room and renovated bathroom.
I have learned additional DIY skills along the way and now quite confidently hold a drill or a sander.
Have you had any DIY or styling disasters?
Not massive disasters, but I regret that we started our renovation downstairs rather than upstairs. By the time the upstairs was finished, we had to re-paint the walls downstairs as they had marks and scuffs from the renovation.
What is your top home styling tip?
Take your time and live in your home before you make any big, expensive renovation decisions.
Is there anything in your home that you couldn’t live without?
I think it would be our garden sauna. We got it shipped over from Finland 3 years ago and now that we have got used to it, I don’t think I could live without one anymore. As I am originally from Finland, I grew up with sauna culture and always dreamed of having one in the UK.
They say that every home tells visitors a story about who lives there. What do you think your home says about you?
I think our home definitely reflects the fact that we love our home and love spending time here. It also shows my love for creative projects.
The Home Edit
Lived-in or show home?
Show home (rarely a reality though!)
If you could only paint your walls one colour, which one would it be?
Shaded white by Farrow and Ball
What is your pet hate when it comes to your own or other’s homes?
Making period homes too modern by removing any character features.
Favourite front door colour?
Portland Stone by Little Greene
Carpet or Floorboards?
Floorboards, without a doubt.
Kitchen table dining or formal dining room?
Kitchen table dining
High gloss or rustic?
Wallpaper or Brick Walls?
If you enjoyed being at home with Tonja, 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 Tonja's instagram account here. It's well worth a look!