Ideas and inspiration for easy entertaining and a fun home life


Quick Lessons from an English Countryside House

June 18, 2018

Some of you might have seen that we have popped over to England for a friend’s wedding.   We decided to make a week of it so that we could catch up with family (and better wifi!) and have been staying with my aunt in the countryside.    Her house has always been a favorite of mine, both cozy and pulled together, inviting and grown up.    Over the last twenty odd years they have made changes and additions, the latest being the expansion of the most beautiful rose garden as seen in the previous post.    I absolutely love this house, and without wishing to reveal too much of it for privacy’s sake, there are just a few “notes to self” which I have made as we continue to create our first home.

The house is filled with endless cozy layers and textures.   Rugs upon rugs, endless pillows and cashmere blankets, perfect to fight off winter cold (which can sneak into summertime here in England too).    The house is also filled with endless reading material:  books, magazines and the best coffee table books which I have been hungrily leafing through.   It really does make you want to grab a cup of tea and sink into one of the plush chairs for a good long read.

The center of a cozy English home is of course the kitchen.   This one is made particularly warm by an AGA, an oven which is always on.   It makes the floors toasty and delivers the most delicious dry heat.   The dogs curl up next to it for an afternoon nap and we have also dried clothes and other things on it.  One week living with one and Will and I are itching to get one of our own, although it is obviously not suitable for the Charleston heat!

The dogs.   How I miss having them!  We grew up with three and it has been so hard not to have one but, with all of our travel, it just isn’t fair right now.   Dogs are wonderful companions, make a house extra cozy and provide a rhythm to the day which I miss.

A place for everything.  Twenty years of living somewhere could create massive build up but my aunt has done such a phenomenal job of staying organized.   There is a place for every plate, spare lightbulb and pillow case.  It makes tidying easy and it is a pleasure to see everything stacked away in its place.

Deep bathtubs with lots of bubble bath options.   We take lots of baths in Charleston and are lucky to have pretty big tubs.  These are so beautiful and deep, our son has never enjoyed a bath so much (I think it feels more like a swim).  We’re struggling to pry him out of it at the end, even after it has run cold.

Last, an oasis outside.   English summers are short and spectacular.  The days are so long, and every bit of sunshine should be soaked up outside.