Renovation Tour - An Idyllic Thatched Cottage







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This week's renovation tour is of an absolutely beautiful thatched cottage, set in the gorgeous Cheshire countryside. The exterior is picture perfect and the inside is just as stunning too. The style is sympathetic to the period of the home, with lovely creams and deep blues used throughout, and the large hallway makes an impressive welcome too.

We chat to Katie (@our_cheshire_country_home on Instagram) and find out more about her renovation story. We particularly love the story of how Katie and her partner stumbled across their dream home!

The stunning thatched cottage

Can you tell us about your home and renovation project?

Our home is a characterful thatched cottage set in the very picturesque Cheshire countryside. Parts of the cottage are believed to date back to the 18th century and it sits on about four acres of grounds with pretty gardens, woodland, paddocks and a lake. There's a detached pool complex, outbuildings and a separate self contained annex (which is our project number two that we started last week!). 

The house wasn't exactly a dilapidated building plot when we bought it, it was a lovely family home, but we knew we'd have to do some work to update it and make it our own. I don't think either of us imagined the size and scale of the project it turned out to be as the project unravelled.

We used to spend our weekend driving around the countryside, looking for the perfect location and homes for sale. We'd spend our Saturday's with estate agents looking around potential properties, which really was fun. We didn't really know what we wanted so we looked at anything from new builds to run down barns...we'd always pop to the pub for lunch and a wine while we talked through the ones we'd seen, very Location Location Location! I have very fond memories looking back on that time :) 

We were driving back from a pub one afternoon and as Ali (my other half) tends to do, took a little detour down a country lane that we'd never ventured down before and there it was half way down the lane, a stunning thatched cottage with a for sale sign outside. I never considered a thatched cottage, although I like the thought of them at Christmas (very much like Kate Winslet's little cottage in The Holiday :)). I also thought they were high maintenance, with low ceilings and small rooms.

But when we looked through the particulars it seemed pretty spacious inside and the roof had been replaced only a few years ago, we thought it would be worth a look. I remember to this day looking around it and just thinking, this is fun but we'll never live somewhere like this...

The stunning family bathroom


Your home is a stunning period property...were there any challenges with planning permissions or any other consents?

Thankfully it wasn't listed so we didn't have any major challenges with planning. We worked with a good builder and of course made sure everything was in line with regulations.

I think the main challenges were some of the things we found along the way - like the wiring. Our electrician told us it was the oldest he's seen in any property and probably pretty dangerous - so we ended up rewiring the entire house! 

We love the deep blue walls in the lounge


What are you most proud of?

Repositioning the staircase, most people said it wasn't necessary and it was good as it was but I knew it didn't reflect the character of the property or our style, so I am glad I stuck to my guns on that one.

And if this doesn't sound too cheesy, I am proud of how we grew as a couple throughout the renovations. I'd heard some horror stories about the strain it puts on your relationship and how couples argue over the smallest things...don't get my wrong we had our fair share of disagreements but in the main, we talked things through, we compromised and just tried to enjoy the process, I think it definitely made us stronger as a couple.

The stunning staircase


Where is your favourite place in your home now?

I have different rooms on different days to be honest, I love spending my mornings getting ready in my dressing room but in the main, I adore spending time in the kitchen. This might be because it's the room that has had the most 'done' in our house, or this is where we keep the food and the wine ;-), but it's a real genuine, sociable space with lots of seating and different zones, so while you're in one part of the room it feels like you're in a different space depending on where you're sat and what you're doing.

We adore the kitchen and the beautiful island

What would be your advice for anyone about to start a renovation project like yours?

Oh I have a list that I am still adding to, but some of the main things for me would be;

If you're taking on a big project, get an architect or at least some very detailed drawings of your plans (down to the very last millimetre). Your thoughts interpreted by someone else in real life might be nowhere near what you had imagined it to be, so be as detailed and specific as you can to avoid problems later down the line.   

As tempting as it is, don't buy too much furniture until most of your rooms are complete, if possible try to live in the space first so you understand what works and how you'll use the rooms. When you do buy furniture, use masking tape to map it out in your room - it gives you a better idea of the space it will take up.

I am sorry to say this but whatever you think it's going to cost, double it and how ever long you think it's going to take...double it too! Having said that, it's the most rewarding thing and it's so worth it!

The en-suite is gorgeous...we love the concrete effect tiles

What do family and friends say about your home?

Mainly - when can they come and stay?! Overall most people are just stunned with the amount of work we've done (and still what's left to do) and they love the guest suite and say it's like a 5* hotel, they are staying for free so I guess they have to say that hey! Whilst we have plenty of room in the house for them, it'll be amazing to have the annex as a private space for when our family comes to stay.

They all love walking around the gardens and can't wait to have a swim in the pool!

How amazing is the boot room

If you are thinking about a renovation project in the near future and need some help finding an architect or designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

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Published: July 27, 2020

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