When June Willison, her partner Barry and their two children moved into their new cottage in Kent, the property had been converted from three tiny cottages, but was in good shape structurally. However, the house lacked character.
Owners: June Willison, who runs vintage and antique furniture business, Cloudberry Home, and Barry Monk, a marketing consultant, live here with daughter Louisa, 18, and tabby cat Summer.
Property: A three-bedroom semi-detached Victorian house converted, together with its neighbour, from three cottages in the 1980s.
Location: Crouch, near Sevenoaks in Kent.
Essential repairs: The property was in reasonable condition, so work was undertaken to add character and to make the space work better for a family.
Layout: The couple replanned the ground floor space to improve the flow and add storage and a new bathroom upstairs.
The kitchen was the biggest part of the renovation. ‘It was challenging with builders, plumbers and electricians all vying for space.’ explains June. ‘It is now our most used space – homework, sewing, socialising and cooking all happen here – and it’s definitely my favourite room.’
At first it was a fairly characterless cottage and it was important for June to put her personal stamp on it. Previous owners had removed fireplaces and other period features, but the couple restored them sympathetically, asking a local builder to leave a rough, uneven finish to recreate some rustic charm.
Traditional cottage planting creates a bright, welcoming entrance to the couple’s home
The country- style kitchen features cabinets in Farrow & Ball’s (opens in new tab) Shaded White, oak worktops and a freestanding unit from local antiques shop Mark Maynard, with blinds made up in Cath Kidston (opens in new tab) fabric
The hall was the living room of one of the original cottages, and is spacious enough to double up as a study. Matching lamps on top of the French console table are from Biggie Best, with a mirror from Nutley Antiques
The chairs around the Victorian wind-out table are junk shop finds, which June has painted in Farrow & Ball’s (opens in new tab) Off White. The seats are covered in pretty fabric offcuts
Sofas from Marks & Spencer (opens in new tab) are accessorised with cushions in fabrics bought from Ardingly Antiques Fair and Vanessa Arbuthnott. Eclectic bird and landscape prints displayed in painted frames tie in with the colour scheme
Summer the cat sits on an Edwardian chair reupholstered in soft red ticking, which provided the inspiration for the room scheme. The wood-burning stove creates a focal point, with the wooden mantel above and alcove shelf filled with vintage accessories from June’s antiques business
The décor in the master bedroom has been kept simple so as not to detract from the views. Bedside tables from Mark Maynard (opens in new tab) are painted in Shaded White, the bespoke wardrobes in Pointing, while the walls are in Wimbourne White, all by Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). The plain roller blind (opens in new tab) is from John Lewis (opens in new tab) and the French linen panels are from Biggie Best (opens in new tab)
Originally a playhouse for their youngest daughter Louisa, the summerhouse is now home to June’s business, and is filled with antique and car boot sale finds. June has adorned the walls with vintage seed packets and bunting
June chose a calming palette for the bathroom, adding tongue-and-groove panelling in Farrow & Ball’s (opens in new tab) Light Blue; the Lloyd Loom chair was an Ebay (opens in new tab) find. The Cow Parsley roller blind is from John Lewis (opens in new tab) and the towel ladder from Cloudberry Home (opens in new tab). Hooks from Homesense add character, and complete the fresh, nautical theme
Louisa’s room is every young girl’s dream, with walls in Duck Egg White from Laura Ashley, and a blind and bedspread by Cath Kidston (opens in new tab). The wire hooks are from Mark Maynard (opens in new tab)