In America, we are accustomed to homes with drywall, laminated floors and maybe a vaulted ceiling. Ikea cabinets round out the kitchen charm. It tends to give us less to work with when we select the canvas of our home we wish to decorate. But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. The classic Cotswold cottage in the country has many charms and adding only one element can significantly up-level the attempt we make to create a charming home.
The floors in a Cotswold cottage are usually flagstone or wide plank wood. Outside there are stone walls and a thatched roofs. There may be shutters secured with hand forged dogs. Inglenook fireplaces hide out in various corners allowing residents to cook, make soap, stay warm and sit comfortably. Low windows allow light to wash over the rooms and bathe the floors in sunshine. Exposed timbers speak to a time when hand-made was the only way things were made. Many pieces of furniture were built in over the years. Almost all Cotswold cottages have cellars, a necessity for maintain constant temperatures to preserve foods. And the gardens provided the flowers to grace the rooms and the food to present on the dining room table.
These cottages are the essence of charm. They make the heart skip a beat and bring the mind to a state of stillness. The craftmanship that created these gems is now very expensive. And we can’t create patina and history overnight in a factory. The stone they used profusely in their construction was more of a nuisance hauled from the fields they were clearing so they could plant the crops. It seems so simple and practical but it became the essence of charm.
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