Our Cottage Renovation Update

Apologies it’s been so long between cottage renovation updates. A lot has been going on between photo shoots for Home Beautiful magazine, daily life, family life, and renovating the cottage. Unfortunately, not much to show for it… until the last few weeks!

We finally installed wallpaper in our entry, and had our kitchen cabinetry installed and painted. Our side fencing is finally being finished this weekend (after a long wait for approvals), along with our patio. Think boxwoods and pea gravel! I’m literally bursting at the seams to share it all with you. And although I can’t do a proper reveal yet, I wanted to share a few snippets and sneak peeks! You can also follow me on Instagram to see progress as it happens.

Entry Wallpaper

I bought this stunning William Morris wallpaper from Gumtree many months ago (for ⅓ of the retail price!) and as soon as I saw it I knew it would work in the cottage. It’s called Bird & Pomegranate and I can’t even begin to express how much I love it and how happy it makes me. It’s been a while since I’ve done wallpaper (usually for my design clients) and first time in our own place.

Cottage entry with William Morris Bird & Pomegranate wallpaper

This wallpaper was actually the starting point for deciding on a grey-green kitchen, as our entry is just off our kitchen so needed to connect with that space visually. There was only 1 roll for sale, which wasn’t enough to do the entire entry from floor to ceiling. So, I decided we’d do v-groove wainscotting below, and wallpaper above, which also ties in with the v-groove panelling in the laundry and bathroom. It was quite finicky to install as it was our first time doing it ourselves. Next time, I think I’ll outsource this task!

Cottage entry with William Morris Bird & Pomegranate wallpaper

We still have the panelling below to do, plus installing the beautiful Thomas O’Brien Reed Sconce (the same one we have in our kitchen) that will go in the corner (above). I’m also doing textural, natural looking roman blinds on the front door & entry window.

Cottage entry with William Morris Bird & Pomegranate wallpaper
Replacing Trims

Another change that has made a BIG difference was replacing all the architraves in the cottage. It already had lovely cornices and skirting when we bought it, but for some reason a previous owner had installed bland, cheap, generic architraves that didn’t match the age of the cottage. I was thrilled to partner with Intrim Group who supplied all the new architraves. And to say we love them would be an understatement! That gorgeous William Morris wallpaper would look totally inadequate next to a generic architrave. These beautifully detailed trims have bought the cottage to life again, and reinstated its character and charm.

Cottage entry with William Morris wallpaper and architraves from Intrim Group

In the kitchen, we’re still waiting for our marble benchtops, then we can finally install our exquisite new Brodware tap and beautiful big butlers sink. We’ve also got to install our v-groove splashback, open shelving and custom range hood with a very pretty copper detail (which I can’t wait to share).

We’ve gone for a much more traditional look this time, opting for hand painted inset cabinetry. We actually painted it ourselves and I’ll be sharing that process in a kitchen reveal blog post.

How gorgeous is our copper finished bridge tap from Brodware?! This has been sitting in the box since June, so I cannot wait to get this installed. Probably the most beautiful tap I’ve ever had.

Brodware copper bridge tap - Cottonwood & Co

We are beyond thrilled with how the cabinetry has turned out! I’ve wanted this style of traditional cabinetry for many, many years and I designed every last detail in this kitchen. Seeing it come to fruition is very rewarding.

After having 3 previous poly kitchens, I don’t want to go in that direction ever again. They’ve always felt plasticky and mass produced to me. They’re also not as hard wearing as many will have you believe. Unfortunately that’s what 90% of kitchens are these days, so it’s hard to find people who’ll do things differently and “old school”. I’ll be including all this in the kitchen reveal blog post and sharing our brilliant kitchen cabinet makers too. They were a dream to partner with, and I can’t wait to work with them again.

Inset dark green grey cabinetry & Falcon Elise

We were originally painting the cabinetry a mid blue grey, but after coming across the William Morris wallpaper AND some vintage William Morris curtains back in June, we changed direction. So, our cabinetry is a deep grey green with hand painted knobs, colour matched to the vintage William Morris fabric. We absolutely LOVE the colour! I’m more excited, and passionate, about this style of kitchen than any other I’ve ever done before.

The colour and cabinetry also tie in beautifully with our European style cooker, the Falcon Elise 90, which I am obsessed with. It’s such a dream to cook with and having 2 ovens is a revelation! A thorough product review coming on that in the finished kitchen blog post.

Inset dark green grey cabinetry & Falcon Elise

This beautiful Kilim that I bought from Bowral Rug Gallery for my office/sunroom was the other piece that inspired the kitchen colour, as well as throughout the cottage. I’ve also taken a lot of inspiration from the environment outside. Pinks and greens from the garden, with accents of copper, and shades of yellow.

Soft Furnishings

In an effort to keep a lot of our upholstery clean, I’ve started layering linens over the furniture. Like this pretty Kantha quilt over our upholstered ottoman. I got so sick of wiping it clean (even though it’s an indoor/outdoor fabric), that I decided to cover the upholstery. Usually blankets, quilts and tablecloths. This is something I’ve noticed the English do a lot, and I’ve become a big fan of the mix n’ match pattern clash in many English country homes. It’s VERY practical with small children around. And much cheaper than getting things reupholstered!

English Cottage Style - Cottonwood & Co - kantha quilt

It’s currently spring, so garden is bursting to life (which you can read about here). I’m also super excited to get our timber fencing and patio done so we can also do a bit of entertaining. Will be sharing lots more in the coming weeks, especially on Instagram.

Will be heartbreaking to sell this beautiful little cottage, but I know the new owners will love this place. And we need a home that’s a size suited to a family of 4!

Nicki xo

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  1. Hi Nicki!
    Could you share which colorway you got the William Morris paper? I cannot seem to find this particularly colorway, yet it’s my favorite one I’ve seen!

    1. Hi Kate, I bought this roll off someone on Gumtree and can’t recall but I think it’s Bayleaf/Cream. It’s not quite as yellow as it appears online, but I’d get a sample as it is quite creamy.The most accurate colourway is if you go to William Morris site direct. Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Love the kitchen cabinetry! I will eagerly await your kitchen post/reveal. I’ve been looking at having a DeVOL kitchen made and sent out here, but if I can have the same thing made locally (I’m in Picton) that would be brilliant!

    1. Thanks Valerie! Gosh I love your commitment to a traditional style kitchen that you were prepared to have it sent out here. ha! Wow. You definitely won’t need to do that though, I don’t think. Excited to share more details of our kitchen as soon as it’s finished. xo

      1. Whoo hoo! Can’t wait 🙂 xo

  3. Malissa Ankeney says:

    Just stunning! Love all the color and detail. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much, Malissa. Much appreciated! Excited to get it finished and share more. x

  4. Sarah Stubbs says:

    All looks so lovely and that cabinet colour is just beautiful! Also adore the William Morris wallpaper 💚

    1. Aw thanks so much, Sarah. Can’t wait to get it actually finished! xx

  5. Absolutely love your cottage. Love the William Morris wallpaper too. Great taste…inspirational.

    1. Thank you so much, Libby! I see a lot more wallpaper in my future, for sure! haha. This was such a lucky find but I hope I can find some again next time. xo

  6. Tanya Bowling says:

    Lovely Nicki, I’m with you on hand painted cabinetry,Ihave them in my kitchen and knew I would never compromise, they are THE best.I was lucky to find an “old school”cabinet maker who was on the same page as myself.

    1. Tanya Bowling says:

      Oops, a few spaces missed in my email😁

    2. Oh, you’re a girl after my own heart, Tanya! Going for hand painted inset cabinetry was a non-negotiable for me (hence the reason our kitchen took so long!) and I am just sorry I didn’t do it sooner. Definitely not easy finding cabinet makers that understand that type of cabinetry. Lucky you found some! x

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