Claire & Nick's Traditional English Cottage

Claire & Nick's Traditional English Cottage

Rebecca Proctor
Nov 26, 2012

Name: Claire & Nick Walton
Location: Hampshire, England
Size: 1,300 square feet
Years lived in: 5 years; Owned

Claire & Nick Walton live in a traditional 17th century thatched cottage with their two young daughters Celeste and Penelope. Set in the village of East Meon in Hampshire, England, their home is filled with characterful details such as rustic beams, traditional leaded lights and solid oak floorboards. The couple have also added a contemporary kitchen extension at the back of the house, creating a light-filled space perfect for busy family life.

Their historic home is complemented by comfortable antique furniture and a warm palette of soft and welcoming paint, papers and textiles. The result is a cosy home with plenty of inviting nooks and relaxed places to linger. Each room is full of unique, quirky details such as low ceilings, sloping walls and thatch-framed views through tiny windows, all of which lend this home its traditional fairytale charm.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Classic country cottage.

Inspiration: Natural, soft colours of the countryside and also the house itself. It's a 17th centrury thatched cottage, so I feel the interior has to complement the fabric of the building or it would look incongruous.

Favorite Element: Our lovely mercury glass mirror above the living room sofa. It came from an antique shop on London's Golborne Road.

Biggest Challenge: We did a lot of building work in the house and lived without any heating or hot water for 2 months in the middle of winter while the builders smashed things up around us! My daughter was 2 and I was pregnant with our second child at the time.

What Friends Say: I have the world's biggest collection of Farrow and Ball sample pots! And that they love the colours of the rooms.

Biggest Embarrassment: The very scruffy oak floorboards in the hall and livingroom. We think they look awful, and yet everyone else seems to really like their aged look!

Proudest DIY: All the shelves, curtain poles etc that I put up on my own, and also the kitchen dresser, which was a horrible orange pine ebay purchase, and was transformed with a paint job.

Biggest Indulgence: Pure black granite worktops in the kitchen - we paid a lot more to get granite that wasn't sparkly - I didn't want it to look like a footballers mansion!

Best Advice: If you have a particular look in mind, be patient and build the room up bit by bit - no room in my house is ever 'finished' and I'm always adding to a room/tweaking it. Also, painting the walls can make a huge difference to the ambience of a room - take your time and choose the colour very carefully.

Dream Sources: Antique shops

Resources of Note:


    Farrow and Ball throughout • Blue Gray in the living room • Matchstick in the bedroom • Light Gray in the kitchen • New White in Celeste's bedroom • Slipper Satin in the bathroom


    • Wallpaper by Neisha Crossland • Dresser from ebay • Framed prints - antique shop off Kings Road • Lamp Laura Ashley bought from Ebay • Rug, inherited


    • Rug inherited • Walls panelled in mdf • Cushions handmade using Romo 'Licia' fabric • Both tables inherited from family • Pineapple on windowsill from a skip at my work • Fire surround came from ebay cost only £35 • Mirror from antique shop on Golborne Road, London • Sofas and armchair all from ikea, bought off ebay • Footstool from the Dormy House


    • Kitchen units and worktop by Kit Stone kitchens • Dresser from ebay • Table and chairs from ebay • Wall lights, original BTC • Kitchen tiles from Fired Earth • Stools from Packhouse Antiques, Farnham, Surrey


    • Bed from Heals • Embroidery above bed - present from parents from a junk shop • Clothes mannequin from ebay • Stool from Baileys Home and Garden • Antique gold mirror from ebay • Tallboy inherited • Ciel de Lit from ebay • Fabric drape material by Susie Watson • Fabric cushions by Cabbages and Roses


    • Bed handmade by Grandpa • Rug bought in souk in Aleppo, Syria • Flower embroidery bought off ebay • Wooden chair made by Grandpa • Wallpaper by Laura Ashley • Rug from Ikea


Thanks, Claire & Nick!

(Images: Rebecca Proctor)

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