Photo credit: with permission from Maria. Follow her on Instagram at @petal_and_primrose
American readers, I have a feeling this home tour is going to leave you open-mouthed. And British readers? I think you're going to be pretty impressed too. And that's because Maria lives in a beautiful yellow-stone village on the outskirts of Northampton where her neighbours live in similarly pretty cottages with thatched roofs.
Quaint, traditional and everything you'd hope a classic country cottage in the English countryside would be, I simply had to find out more about Maria's beautiful home.
Inside, Maria's opted to decorate her house in a style she defines as 'modern country'. It's traditional, but fresh and light-filled and makes the most of the cottage's original features. From vases of blooms to clattering latches on wooden doors, and roaring log fires to limestone floors, I think you're going to fall head over heels for this wonderful home...
Shop Maria's Style
Bluebell 3 Seat Country Cottage Sofa
3 Drawer Wide Grey Sideboard
Country Style Large Wall Clock
Buse Hand-Braided Tan Rug
Hi there, Maria! Could you tell me a little bit about your home?
Hi! Our cottage is in a village on the outskirts of Northampton. There are three of us living here: myself, my boyfriend Michael and our very spoilt spaniel, Poppy. The cottage was built around 1750, so I'm sure it's walls have seen a lot over the years! We don't know who originally lived in the cottage, but we've read some history books on the village and believe it would have been a workers cottage involved with the estate at the time.
What made you decide to live in an older property? Have you always wanted to?
I grew up living in older properties, so when we came to look I knew I wanted something with character and a bit of charm.
That makes sense. What do you love most about the village you live in?
The thing I love most about our village is that the pub is only a few doors up from our house. this is both wonderful and slightly dangerous at the same time..! And also, I love how everyone in the village takes pride in their houses and gardens to keep them looking so lovely.
That's a good thing to point out! It makes a big difference when your neighbours feel the same way you do, doesn't it? So, how would you define your interior style?
I would define my style as 'modern country' as I love to contrast older characterful features with newer, fresher decor.
Where do you tend to shop for your home?
What do you love most about your home, and is there anything that frustrates you?
I love the cosy, homely feel to the cottage. I can't wait to get the fire lit come winter time.
It was slightly frustrating when decorating the cottage as all the walls are wonky and uneven, so a roller wouldn't do it... a paintbrush was the only option, which took forever! Also, the old boiler was condemned by our plumber in the mid-winter, just as we were due to move in. It wasn't ideal, but we got there in the end!
People seem to love the images you share of your cottage on Instagram. Where do you get your design/style inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a lot of beautiful accounts I follow on Instagram. Also, I love nothing more than unwinding the day with a cup of tea, some relaxing candles and a home & interior magazine!
Same here! What interior/DIY advice would you give yourself if you could travel back in time to when you moved in?
If I could go back and give myself some advice along the way, it would be to not stress and worry. If something's got to be done, it always gets there eventually. It's just that sometimes there will be a few obstacles to cross first.
We've done a lot of work to the cottage since moving in, and both worked really hard to get it how we pictured it. So, I'm proud of what we've achieved so far.
Finally, if money were no object, what would you like to do to your home?
If money wasn't an issue, I would love to put an extension on the back to knock through to a large open-plan kitchen, complete with beams, an island and an Aga. As the cottage is Grade 2 listed, we're not sure an extension would be possible. It's something to explore in the future, maybe..!
But for now, we are enjoying our first year in the cottage. And I'm looking forward to many more happy years here.
Ah, we're all wishing you many happy years in your beautiful country cottage too, Maria! Thank you so much for letting me nosey round your cosy little cottage, and for answering all of my questions.
Don't forget you can follow Maria on Instagram at @petal_and_primrose if you fancy seeing what she's doing in her home... and who knows - perhaps we'll start seeing signs of that Aga and kitchen island before too long!