Decorate A Dreamhouse - English Country Cottage (Cont'd) + Afternoon Tea Biscuits Recipe

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Written By: Patricia Lynne

Editor: Sarahjoy Crain

In my current SB Journal entry "Decorating A Dreamhouse" I'm imagining I'm living in a thatched-roof, English-country cottage, like the one at left. 

The cottage:

* is wonderfully comfortable and welcoming
* abounds with overstuffed sofas and chairs
* has lots of snugly woolen shawls to toss over one's shoulders at the first sign of a chill

The Gardens:

The gardens that surround English homes, including
my own cottage, are so important to the English landscape - they are their own art form. Famed author Andy Garnett has stated,

"The Italians have their opera and the French their cuisine, but for the English, it will always be the garden."

Thus in my daily life here I always have at the ready my favorite sun bonnet, sweater and basket of pruning tools.

The garden in the front of the house is slightly more subdued. The cottage's rear yard garden is less so, it is more free form.

English Vernacular And My Garden:

This is a good place to talk about the vernacular or indigenous manner of the English, of the people of my new home Country. They tend to speak in a manner that downplays and is even sometimes mildly self-deprecating. For example, the English don't cross the Atlantic Ocean, they 'cross the pond'.

Thus, if I am complemented on my garden, I will adopt the English habit of responding in a way that understates its beauty and grandeur, and even its stunningness.  So, in answering a compliment about my garden, I'll respond, "oh, thank you - it's in the process' (of becoming a garden)." (Ha! I can speak English!)

My Eco-friendly Thatched Roof:

Thatched roofs are naturally cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Thatching consists of dry vegetation; mine like many of England's thatched roofs consist of the indigenous building material, water reed.

The roof of my English country cottage is green and eco-friendly.

Across the Globe architects are seeking methods to provide design styles which provide positive effects for buildings, inhabitants and the environments. Thatched roofs, or green roofs, meet one of the essential conditions of sustainable development, the reconciliation between economy and ecology.

I love excellent design and architecture derived from generations of living and learning from the land, as in, English country cottage thatched roofs. Woo-hoo!

We're going inside now, so join me as I decorate my Dreamhouse English Country Cottage.

Decorating My Dreamhouse English Country Cottage 

Entryway / Mudroom:

Living in the English countryside requires a functioning mudroom, a catchall area for shoes and other gear. Children do better with open areas - they are more likely to hang their coat on a hook than to open a closet door and pull down a hanger. Kids also can easily hang their bags on rows of hooks; and are more likely to kick off their shoes if you provide a convenient bench.

Colorful, whimsically friendly artwork greets you in my casual entryway. At right, Brown Boy Dog and Girl Dog are both by Layla Grace. The Frisco Coat Rack and the Amish Style Bench are casual and comfortable; and the handmade area floor rug, Loloi Taylor, is available here. Two square decor pillows, Heart Orange Pillow and I Love You and then the adorable 8" x 22"  XOXO needlepoint pillow are charming and inviting.

Decorating My Dreamhouse English Country Cottage Sitting Room:

Although my country garden abounds in beauty, acclimating to
England's climate means living with endless cloudy, overcast days. To say it nicely, sunshine isn't in abundance.

I love my home interiors to be light, welcoming and full of color.
My walls will be painted this light, calming pear-green, a great background for my awesomely colorful artwork. The three whimsical
pieces at left are original oil paintings by Elisa Root.

My Martine Slipcovered Sofa from Layla Grace  blends nicely with my wall colors and makes for a nice background for the two decor pillows by Thomas Paul Yokohama.

The use of soft green on my walls and on my biggest furniture piece, my sofa, allows the high-colored accents (artwork, the arm chairs, pillows, etc.) to 'pop'.

(Product specifications:  Adele Foyer Pendant, Tudor Coffee Table, Avery Antiqued Ivory Arm Chairs, Providence Vergne Table , Clear Floral Vase , Birdies Sculptures).

Let me take time to mention the original watercolor paintings by Terrece Beesley. They're so fabulous.

About "Pears," artist Terrece Beesley states she, "especially enjoyed capturing the strong light against bright green pears and colorful advertisements." It is an exquisite piece. But let's talk about  "The Prom Committee," also an original, selling for $1,700.00, Beesley states, "This watercolor painting depicts a group of little old ladies posing for their club photo, with 'Little Orphan Annie,' comics as a backdrop." The artist imagined how fun it would be to let these women plan a high school dance. You gotta' love it!

Decorate My Dreamhouse Cottage Kitchen and Dining Room:

This Somerset Table is small perfect for my dinette area, only 36" square. But check out its great color - jellybean green!

The chairs are also from the Somerset Collection, Somerset Bay Carmel Arm and Side Chairs shown in Vanilla Bean.

These pencil-like sketches, Jockeys and Etude de Cheval, by French born Edgar Degas are subtly beautiful.

I opted for this classic-white dinnerware from Pottery Barn (Caterer's Dinnerware Set).

With the purchase of these beaded-edge, gilt charger plates it's a 'piece of cake' to present a more formal look.

Easy beautiful - I like that much.                                    

Decorating The Master Bedroom of my Dreamhouse English Country Cottage:

This room is artsy, lively. Happy.

The bedding is Scalloped Organic Patchwork Quilt and Sham from Pottery Barn. Night stands of some sort are crucial for every bed; this is the Carrie Pedestal Table.  Atop it is the darling Pocket Watch Clock, the Boule Accent Lamp and the Clear Floral Vase with some fresh live roses bringing a nice scent into the room.

The fabulous and splendid Madison Chair is so inviting I could not do this room without it. It has served as the start and finish of many books. Every good chair benefits from a scuunci pillow, and mine is the "Stacked Animals With Poms." 

I have long considered art to be the soul of the home.

My artwork is a continuation of my love for my home, my family and for life.

These pieces are "Little Print Sunny Flowers," "Hello Beauty Full,"and "Hello I Love You."

My Decorate A Dreamhouse English Country Cottage Natural Pool

Yeah, life is good.

Children and future grandchildren will be visiting our Cottage and swimming, playing and building dreams in our natural pool among the reeds. Life is good.

I could so live in my Decorate A Dreamhouse English-country cottage, thatched-roof home (surrounded by beautiful gardens),couldn't you?

Afternoon Tea Biscuits or Cookies Bonus Recipe

'Light as a feather' and meltingly crisp English style biscuits, or cookies.


  • 5 ounces soft butter
  • 3 ounces caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces self raising flour
  • desiccated coconut or oats
  • glace cherries

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking trays.
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar until very light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla essence or extract.
  3. Stir in the flour and mix well.
  4. Roll walnut sized pieces of the mixture into rolled oats or desiccated coconut
  5. Cut each glace cherry into quarters
  6. Place on baking trays, flatten slightly and place a small piece of cherry on each biscuit. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown but NOT dark brown.
Note: To help "ball" type biscuits, slightly dampen the hands.

Recipe from Food .Com

Want more? Click here to read more "Decorating A Dreamhouse" articles.

If decorating isn't easy for you or if you are in need of some particular interior design assistance, our designers at the Something Beautiful Shoppe will be happy to work with you - working with professional helps assure you get the look you deserve while helping eliminate costly mistakes.

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