Sienna Miller’s English Home Is the Cottagecore Dream

published Aug 3, 2022
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With a thatched roof and cozy fireplace, Sienna Miller’s 16th-century cottage in Buckinghamshire, England is peak cottage-core. The British beauty opened the doors of her dreamy getaway for Architectural Digest’s September Style Issue, and it’ll have you dreaming of taking off for the English countryside in no time. 

Miller says she bought the historic home when she was 25, “in a moment of real panic.” 

“It was a time when there was a lot of press attention on me, and I wanted somewhere to escape. I bought the house on a whim — it offers a sanctuary. I also wanted somewhere where family and friends could gather. It has a nurturing feeling;  it is a home with a heart.” she said. 

But it was during the pandemic that Miller buckled down to renovate the property. She turned to her friend Gaby Dellal, who made a deal with Miller: The movie star wasn’t allowed there for six months until she completed the project. But in traditional renovation style, it was no minor production. Now completed, the home is exactly what you’d hope for in a private country cottage. In the kitchen, a long farmhouse table and chairs provide a gathering place for frequent guests. Blue-green tile floors sit beneath, while vintage lighting hangs above. Miller cites her favorite thing as the oversized Lacanche stove, since she’s an avid cook. 1920s Crittall doors allow natural light to stream in, and also open out to the yard. They “bring me a lot of joy,” says Miller.

Wanting a big space for lots of people to hang out, a dining room with high ceilings looks up a the balcony above. An “enormous” brick fireplace adds an extreme cozy vibe, as does the pink corduroy armchair that sits next to it. Nearby, there’s a piano that was “a gift from my first boyfriend,” Miller shared. There are several mirrors featured throughout the home to create an illusion of more space. 

The “snug” is a room where everyone hangs out to watch TV. Helmed by another large fireplace, it’s the “old, old part of the house,” with incredibly low, beamed ceilings Miller can reach with her hands. Still, she finds it “magical and cozy.” Cream-colored walls have a hint of pink, while the fuchsia couch adds a burst of color. An antique scissor lamp and Victorian sconce add extra character. 

The original narrow staircase leads up to a bookshelf filled with children’s books, which was created when they opened up and exposed the wall. In Miller’s 10-year-old daughter Marlowe’s room, which “feels like something out of Jane Austen,” dual twin beds feature headboards of Welsh blanket fabric covered with sheepskin. The tiny window is too small for real curtains, so a fabric flap is pulled down at night. In the hallway outside Marlowe’s room, Miller created a reading nook for her daughter. During the homeschooling period, they placed a desk by the window so she could look outside at the meadow.

In Miller’s bedroom, you’ll find wall of wallpaper featuring “naked witchy ladies dancing, which I think is appropriate for my mood,” says Miller. That complements the white peaked ceiling. Her bed faces the oversized window, where old doors open out to a balcony. A Morano lantern hangs overhead. Behind a divider, Miller has a large bathtub for soaking. 

“It is heaven sleeping in my room and waking with the morning light filtering through the curtains,” she shared.

Outside, you’ll find a “poetic wildflower meadow” and a little pond, as well as Marlowe’s playhouse and a barbecue. But the most unique feature is the old garage that was transformed into a guest bedroom, referred to as “the outhouse.” Old green doors open up to the space, which has a wood-burning stove and a table by the window to write or read. On the interior roof, old signs Dellal found were embedded into the ceiling.

 “I could not believe the transformation — I knew it had massive potential, but arriving to see this meadow in front of the house planted with wildflowers, I started to  cry,” said Miller.  “And it was all achieved in such a short space of time. Gaby is a true artist. Everything has a story, like the kitchen cabinets that were made from old school desks, and there is a real sense of place — it is an artistic retreat but not in any sense precious. Every time I stay here, I discover new aspects.”