Kelly & Ed’s Modern English Country Cottage & Studio

published Oct 24, 2014
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Name: Kelly and Ed Smithson
Location: Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom
Size: 1,400 square feet
Years lived in: 8 years; Owned

This cottage — home to Kelly, who runs jewelry business Cabbage White England from her studio, husband Ed, their two children and Herbie the border terrier — is a fresh and vibrant take on a traditional English country home.

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The front door is reached along a little path by the garden. (Image credit: Cathy Pyle)
(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

With its Victorian tiled floors, original cottage-style windows and doors, beamed ceilings and its location tucked away from the road, it feels at first as if you’ve stepped away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Inside, Kelly and Ed have brought this cottage up to date with their cheerful, eclectic mix of vintage and modern furniture, patchwork throws and Cath Kidston fabrics, fashion-inspired accessories, and impressive collection of urban art. The result is a fun, welcoming, contemporary-meets-traditional family home and work space.

From the entrance hall, with its original tiled floor and little window looking out to the front, there are doors to the living room and kitchen and a narrow staircase rising to the first floor. The cosy living room has windows overlooking a patio area and the garden; and the spacious kitchen-dining room at the back has Cath Kidston-upholstered sofa, a retro-style Smeg fridge and a large family-sized table. To one side of the kitchen is a small study, and to the other are patio doors that lead out to a courtyard, across which is an outbuilding housing a utility room.

Upstairs, you’ll find the master bedroom, with its lovely rural views; daughter Poppy’s room, which has a cushion-filled window seat any young (or not-so-young!) girl would love to snuggle in; and the small family bathroom. A second flight of stairs takes you, via more art on the wall, to a small landing area and Albie’s cool surfing-inspired bedroom.

Until recently, Kelly ran her jewellery business from the small study off the kitchen, but as her business grew she started to needed more space. She looked to the old garage at the bottom of the garden that was used to store bikes and surfboards, and was in a serious state of disrepair. With a new roof, flooring and lighting, white paint and fitted with a mix of Ikea and vintage furniture, it’s a seriously stylish and inspiring base for her burgeoning business. Enjoy the tour!

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: modern country

Inspiration: Colour, fashion, art, interiors magazines

Favorite Element: The location

Biggest Challenge: Working out where best to put my studio

What Friends Say: They love the fact it feels as if we’re in the countryside but it’s only a ten minute walk from town.

Biggest Embarrassment: The utility room

Proudest DIY: Converting an original garage into the studio

Biggest Indulgence: Art — we’ve been collecting contemporary pieces for two to three years now

Best Advice: Buy what you love!

Dream Sources: Graham and Green, Cox and Cox

(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Resources of Note:


  • Farrow and Ball Blackened, Strong White
  • Other rooms painted in basic brilliant white


  • Walls painted in Farrow and Ball’s Strong White
  • Painting above fireplace – Cyclops
  • Sofas from Ikea
  • Cushions – Graham and Green
  • Dresser/table – vintage
  • Colourful throw – RE





  • Wall sticker letters by Oakdene Designs
  • Cushions – from Apple Juice, Cath Kidston, Cabbages and Roses
  • Print – Above
  • Quilt made by Kelly
  • Desk and chair decoupage by Poppy and Kelly



(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

Thanks, Kelly and Ed!

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