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Elle’s Modern Country Home | Downstairs

Author: Lauren Coleman

Many of you will be familiar with the lovely Elle who has written pieces on both Rock My Style and Rock My Family. Elle’s insta feed is filled with beautiful photos of her modern country home and I’ve been dying to get her Victorian semi on these pages for ages. So make yourself a cup of tea and let’s put our feet up in the downstairs of Elle’s cosy house.

We have been in this house just a few weeks short of three years. Not only has that flown by, but the house has been pretty much transformed in that time. I am actually struggling to think of one thing that has stayed the same? Here begin the confessions of an interiors addict….

The house had two bedrooms when we moved in; it now has three. We moved the bathroom into half of the original second bedroom, and created another smaller room out of the other half. The old bathroom then became a bedroom. Like most Victorian semis, it is typical in its layout; sitting room at the front, a dining room in the middle of the house, and the kitchen to the rear. Upstairs now has a main bedroom, a bathroom and two smaller bedrooms.

Sitting Room

The sitting room was the first room in the house to be “finished”. We replaced the floor, added shutters to the bay window, and had a wood burning stove fitted into the fireplace to warm up this once draughty room. The fitted cabinets were here, but we removed shelving and added wooden panelling to the back for a more finished look. We also built in log storage to the other side of the chimney breast; useful, but most people comment on it as a lovely feature in the room. I always get asked where our mirror is from; all of the over mantle mirrors I have in the house are from One World. The side tables in here are both antique market finds, the footstool I made, the chest under the window is Etsy and the big arm chair is Cotswold Co.

Hallway and Landing

The hallway and landing were all decorated around the time we completed the building work upstairs. The banisters had been dark mahogany, so we painted them in F&B Elephants Breath for a lighter finish. We also replaced all of the carpets throughout.
We added a downstairs toilet/ cloakroom underneath the stairs into what had once been an under stairs cupboard. Dropping the floor and adding match board panelling to the walls has made it feel as though it as always been there.

Dining Room

The dining room has probably been changed the most times since we moved in. I think I am happy (for the moment?!). We removed a gas fireplace and filled the space with logs, then added a beam as a mantle piece. It also doubles up as a workspace in here, so I have my desk in the corner from Swoon Editions, with a cosy chair to curl up and write in (One World).
I always get asked about our table; my husband made it. The chairs and bench are all old, a mix of purchases from eBay and Gumtree, all have been painted. The bench is an antique Hungarian settle.

Kitchen

The kitchen was the most recent room to be re-vamped. We are planning a kitchen extension and side return next year, so we just wanted a quick pick-me-up in here to make it liveable. We painted all of the cabinets and removed hideous tiles. My husband fitted new work tops and I changed the tap on the sink to suit. The thing I get asked about most in here is the shelf on the wall; it’s just an old off cut of a board from a reclamation yard, and the brackets are from an antique market. We painted the cupboards in F&B “Hague Blue” and the lower units in Cornforth White. As it was just a temporary fix we used basic white tiles and really inexpensive worktops to finish it.

We’re back next week with the upstairs of Elle’s abode and I can’t wait to share all the gorgeous details.

{STEAL ELLE’S STYLE}
  • Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot Mug
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  • KitchenAid 175 Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer
    KitchenAid 175 Artisan Stand Mixer
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  • Kindling Bucket
    Garden Trading Kindling Bucket
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  • Letter Boards
    NOTHS Letter Boards
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32 thoughts on “Elle’s Modern Country Home | Downstairs

  1. It’s so beautiful Elle! I could happily move in tomorrow! Just gorgeous. Can I ask where your lovely pink velvet cushions are from please?! I’m in love with a pink velvet sofa from Loaf but don’t think it’ll work with toddlers 😂 so maybe some cushions are a good compromise! Thank you! Xx

    1. Thank you so much. Cushions are from Also Home. You can find most things tagged on my Instagram feed if you tap my pictures.

  2. I’ve followed Elle on insta for a while, and I never very tired of seeing photos of her home. I love the neutral colours and lovely accessories. For your painted furniture (e.g. the dining chairs), can I ask did you do it yourself? If so, what type of paint did you use? I’ve tried chalk paint which I feel gives quite a “brushy” finish, and Lauren’s technique of sanding then priming and applying satinwood, but I’d find this depends on the original varnish more. I just spent the whole weekend painting a set of shelves and they’ve peeled off despite sanding, priming and undercoat. I think the varnish underneath had a lot to do with it. Sigh. Anyway, your painted furniture looks like it has a really good finish and just wondered what technique you use. Thanks x

    1. The chairs and the underneath of the table are all painted in Farrow & Ball interior wood & metal paint. No special techniques, just a quick sand down first. Xx

  3. I’ve been waiting for this for ages so ALL the questions
    (1) Kitchen
    How did you paint the cupboards? What prep work and how much paint? We need a temporary fix until we do an extension. Were they originally wood and you went over or did they have an Ikea style laminate? How easy was it to get a work surface? Did you have to go to a kitchen shop or buy direct? And did you replace the tiles or just paint over?
    (2) Living Room
    Maybe I’m being an idiot but where do you buy ‘neat’ looking wood? Is it the wood you use in your burner?
    Can we talk about hearth options – do tiles work? And any recommendations for a non horrific looking cast iron fire guard? Do they even work? Like, does the iron not get hot?
    (3) Dining Room
    How did you put the beam over? Did you do it or get someone in? Was it expensive to source the wood and is it imbedded or stuck on?

    Sorry. Not Sorry.

    1. I don’t know how Elle has done it – but in this crazy world you can actually buy decorative logs cut to the same length for this purpose, lol! We looked at doing this but didn’t in the end up. There loads of sites like this one http://www.decorativelogs.co.uk
      We have a smooth slate hearth. I wanted a textured one but we were advised smooth is much easier to keep clean…….I actually really like it now. But the tiles do look fab!! 🙂

    2. The kitchen details are all over on my blog, I did a whole blog post on this project.
      Firewood; I just buy kiln dried logs from our local log man and we use these to burn and re-stock them.
      I tiled the hearth myself before we had the wood burner installed. Just will tiles from Topps. Natural stone tiles absorb heat and don’t crack, so they only get warm, never “hot”.
      The beam was just from a seller on Etsy, made to measure and finished in our chosen finish with fixings at the back to be easily hung. It was £65 as I recall, I can’t remember the seller as that was nearly three years ago?!
      I hope this all helps. Xx

      1. Headed over to your blog to read alll about the kitchen details, but none of the pictures are showing? I’ve tried on my phone and on my laptop but still nothing.

  4. Gorgeous! So excited to finally see this 🙂 I’d love to know where everything is from… but mainly where the stone urn on the dining room table is from. Been looking for one for ages. Thanks!

  5. Hello Elle. What a beautiful home. Just to add to the list of questions, could I ask where your cloakroom sink is from? We are in the middle of an extension and the sinks the builder has given me to choose from are all horrible! Congratulations on all your hard work. X

    1. Thank you so much. We got it from a local bathroom company, but it’s made by a brand called Roper Rhodes. You can see their designs online and hopefully find a stockist local to you. X

  6. Beautiful home! I have followed you on Instagram since you started your blog!!
    Can I ask where your tv unit is from? And the ‘top tips’ for creating a modern country home..I love this style and feel mine is similar. I’ve recerntly bought a house and want a few things that will make it really homely, like yours. However, we can’t afford to do all of this at once!
    Your hard work has really paid off – just wonderful! Xxx

    1. Thank you Francesca. I didn’t have a big budget to create our rooms either. Most of our pieces of furniture are things I’ve found on eBay or gumtree or at antiques markets. The TV unit included. I think I paid £22 for it from eBay and it was hideous yellow pine. I painted it in Farrow & Ball “Cornforth White” and used Liming wax on the top. Then got some handles on eBay for about £2.99 each (they are the same ones used on the dressing table on the landing, that also started its life as hideous piece of yellow pine with a velvet padded stool!).
      If you look around you can find some real bargain pieces, you definitely don’t have to spend a fortune. I hope this helps. Xx

      1. Thank you so much!!! That does help!!
        Just love your home! Been waiting a long time for this blog post on Rock My Style! Xx

  7. Okay a few lounge questions.
    1- are those wide plank floorboards or did you put them in yourself? If they are original stained wood, what colour stain is that because I love it.

    2- does you’re house have the original sash windows? Ours are getting old and will need to be replaced soon. If they are originals do they shutters work well to keep the place warm in the winter? Thanks!

  8. How gorgeous Elle , it all looks so lovely and relaxing . Your little haven. Boris looking handsome as always. Very impressed to see the cat xxx

  9. Hi. I’m wondering what colour the living room walls are painted in? They look a really nice off white. Thanks, Caroline

  10. WOW this house is literally my dream home, i’ve just moved into a lovely old farmhouse cottage, and have got so much inspiration from Elle’s beautiful home! Any idea where she went to to get the inexpensive kitchen work tops?!

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