Renovated thatched holiday cottage

An mud and stud cottage, built in the 1800s, has been refreshed with a new, soft interior scheme

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Alison started her search for a rural property project in Norfolk. ‘The idea was to have a country bolthole, within easy reach of the coast,’ she adds. ‘Somewhere to escape to with my labrador Flora, and that I could eventually turn into a holiday let.’

Property prices were on the rise, though, and Norfolk seaside homes were edging beyond Alison’s budget. A friend suggested she consider the largely undiscovered Lincolnshire coastline, around Anderby Creek, so she headed north.

Hill Farm Cottage, not far from Louth in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, was the result: a two-bedroom, early-18th-century thatched house, with a pretty garden surrounded by gently undulating countryside, originally built as a farm tenant’s dwelling. The property had belonged to an antiques dealer and his wife, and when Alison viewed it, it was difficult to see round the heaps of antique furniture crammed into the tiny rooms.

Alison is currently renovating a Victorian house in Grantham, and comes up to Hill Farm Cottage at weekends ‘to enjoy a bit of luxury after all the dust on my building site during the week,’ she says. Alison lets the cottage for weekends and holidays.

Thatch and stone cottage

(Image: © Jeremy Phillips)

dining area in a wood panelled room

(Image: © Jeremy Phillips)

A shepherd's hut in the garden serves as the perfect summerhouse

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The unusual ‘witch’s hat’ fireplace in the dining room is a real talking point with dinner guests. The table, from Silver Apple Furniture, is painted in Paris Grey by Annie Sloan to match the dining chairs, covered in a vintage chintz fabric by Jean Monro

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Flora finds a cosy spot in front of the Rayburn. Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey also coats the larder cupboard from Notion Antiques

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Tucked into a corner is a small cupboard that Alison painted in Moonstone Grey from Craig & Rose

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Alison has painted a vintage butcher’s block, adding a decorative ribbon motif, all in Laura Ashley paints

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Alison freshened up the downstairs bathroom with a lick of paint. The sanitaryware was fitted by the previous owners

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She decorated the second bedroom with younger guests in mind. The bedside cabinet is from The White Robin, and the curtains and antique bedlinen are from Decorative Country Living

White bedroom in a cottage

(Image: © Jeremy Phillips)