Living in a Chocolate Box!

Thatched cottage Nicola here, looking out of my study window on a sunny summer day. I am lucky enough to live in a cottage in a village in the English countryside. There is a cherry tree on the village green outside, roses around the door (or there will be when my rose bush grows big enough) and a duckpond down the road. At the moment the fields around us are full of combine harvesters. It feels oddly like being surrounded by a beseiging army!

Mean Habitations

Two hundred years ago, of course, we would all have been out working in those fields rather than Ruined cottage watching someone else bring in the harvest. This village and a half dozen others around here were "tied" villages, belonging to the local Craven estate and populated entirely by their estate workers and servants. The cottages were pretty basic, one room up, one down, and a shared privy out at the back. They were not built to last and they certainly weren't built to be gentrified as all the chocolate box thatched cottages in this village have been. Originally they were, not to put too fine a point on it, hovels or "sad little hutts" as the traveller Celia Fiennes commented on her travels in the 1690s. In his dictionary Dr Johnson defined a cottage as a "mean habitation."

An inventory of the possessions of the cottage-owners at the time of their death is revealing of their poverty. Furniture was sparse; in the "hall" – the kitchen/living and dining room - there would be some coppers for cooking, a table, a couple of benches, a stool, one armchair and a chest or two. Upstairs in the "chamber" would be a bed with a flock mattress to fall into after you had exhausted yourself working in the fields. Those who were not simply labourers but had a trade might own a feather bed, some linen, pewter plates to eat off and a leather bottle or two.

Model Villages

Blaise Hamlet Not all villages grew up with cottages of different ages higgledy-piggledy like mine. By the eighteenth century landowners who wanted to extend their landscape parks might uproot entire communities and demolish the cottages that spoiled their view. The most famous case was at Nuneham Courtenay in Oxfordshire where Lord Harcourt wanted a new Palladian villa built. The site was chosen to make full use of views across to the dreaming spires of Oxford. Unfortunately the village of Nuneham was in the way so Lord Harcourt had it demolished and rebuilt out of sight of the house, along the London Road.  It took the form of two parallel rows of cottages of brick and timber with two rooms on the ground floor and dormer windows lighting two rooms on an upper floor. In 1788 the Rev. Stebbing Shaw describes Lord Harcourt's gesture thus: "forty families may here, by the liberal assistance of his lordship, enjoy the comforts of industry under a wholesome roof who otherwise might have been doomed to linger out their days in the filthy hut of poverty." The writer Oliver Goldsmith, in contrast, referred to Lord Harcourt as "the man of wealth and pride" taking the villagers homes for his own selfish purposes.

The most beautiful "model village" that I have seen is Blaise Hamlet near Bristol. It is so ridiculously pretty that it looks like a cottage theme park. This was created in 1810 by John Scandrett Harford for the benefit of his family retainers. Nine thatched stone cottages were built around a green in a woodland setting, with a village pump and a sundial. The privy had a sloping roof so that it was both convenient and pretty, and all the cottages had differently patterned moulded brick chimneys to add to the picturesque effect. The houses were all given picturesque names too: Vine, Diamond, Dial, Sweet Briar, Oak, Circular, Jessamine, Rose and Double. Each porch was designed so that the door was not overlooked by another cottage although in her book on Regency gardens Mavis Batey comments that privacy was shortlived since this model of the picturesque village appeared in every guidebook from 1810 onwards.

Internally the cottages were quite simple, two chambers above and a sitting room, kitchen and pantry Blaise hamlet 2 downstairs. A note in the estate papers shows thar Harford was conscious of the expense of building his servants such elegant quarters for it stipulates that the gardener must: "find out the smallest sized coppers and ovens that would be sufficient for the sort of people who are to live in the cottages." In building Blaise Hamlet Harford was fulfilling his sense of social responsibility. He saw it as his duty to improve the living conditions of his tenants – as long as it didn't cost too much and the properties were not too grand for their social status!

The Gentleman's Cottage

At the end of the eighteenth century cottages were no longer only for labourers and estate workers. In Persuasion Jane Austen writes of a farmhouse in the village of Uppercross that has been elevated to the status of cottage by the addition of a veranda and pretty windows. Robert Ferrers in Sense and Sensibility declares: "I am exceedingly fond of a cottage. There is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them." He was not talking about the sort of cottage that a farm worker would live in. The idea of the cottage that grew out of the picturesque and the Romantic Movement was a little country retreat fit for a gentleman.

Regency Cottage Endsleigh In 1802 in Designs for Villas the architect James Malton suggested that a gentleman should have several such villas in several distinct neighbourhoods – a hunting box at one place, a shooting box in another, a cottage for the amusement of angling and a dwelling on the sea shore to give "marine advantages." Such houses would have stabling and outbuildings and be reasonably substantial. Inside there would certainly be sufficient room for card tables and supper parties, and the garden, unlike the cottage gardens of those lower down the social scale, would not be full of barrels, ladders and other equipment that a labourer needed. There would be roses around the door, a rustic arbour, an orchard, a pond, maybe even fish, ducks and geese but these would all be kept for display and design, not to eat!

The Craven family themselves illustrated this idea very well. They had their hunting lodge (Ashdown House) and whilst their farm and estate workers were living in "real" cottages they also had Craven Cottage on the River Thames, surrounded by woodland and incorporating part of Anne Boleyn's hunting ground. Craven Cottage was about as far removed from the mean habitations of their workers as it was possible to be. It contained only three rooms, but those were extremely elaborate. The 'principal saloon' was Egyptian 'supported by large palm-trees of considerable size, exceedingly well executed, with their drooping foliage at the top supporting the cornice and architraves of the room…The furniture comprised a lion's skin for a hearth-rug, for a sofa the back of a tiger, the supports of the tables in most instances were four twisted serpents or hydras' . The room gave into a large Gothic dining room, while the third room was a semicircular library.

Meanwhile this is a description of a "real" country cottage from the Morning Chronicle 1849: "The room which you enter is so dark that for a time you can with difficulty discern the objects which it contains… At one corner stands a small ricketty table, whilst scattered about are three old chairs – one without a back – and a stool or two… The bedroom is gained by means of a few greasy steps… The whole room is begrimed with smoke and dust and replete with vermin… The beds are large sacks filled with the chaff of oats." The name of "cottage" might have been the same but the experience of living in one decidedly was not.

Would you have enjoyed living in a Regency "gentleman's cottage"? Would you have had your cottage built in a wood or on the seashore, and what sort of decoration would you have liked? I think I might have given the lion rug and tiger sofa a miss…

85 thoughts on “Living in a Chocolate Box!”

  1. I currently live in a 1916 Art and Crafts Bungalow in Northern California. It’s basically an early 20th century return to ideal of the “gentleman’s cottage”, LOL! I’d love to live in an actual 18th century one with a thatched roof and a view of the sea (or a river).
    My parents are going house hunting in Ireland this autumn (they want to retire there). I’m sooooo hoping they fall in love with a small cottage in some picturesque spot (with a good local pub!).

    Reply
  2. I currently live in a 1916 Art and Crafts Bungalow in Northern California. It’s basically an early 20th century return to ideal of the “gentleman’s cottage”, LOL! I’d love to live in an actual 18th century one with a thatched roof and a view of the sea (or a river).
    My parents are going house hunting in Ireland this autumn (they want to retire there). I’m sooooo hoping they fall in love with a small cottage in some picturesque spot (with a good local pub!).

    Reply
  3. I currently live in a 1916 Art and Crafts Bungalow in Northern California. It’s basically an early 20th century return to ideal of the “gentleman’s cottage”, LOL! I’d love to live in an actual 18th century one with a thatched roof and a view of the sea (or a river).
    My parents are going house hunting in Ireland this autumn (they want to retire there). I’m sooooo hoping they fall in love with a small cottage in some picturesque spot (with a good local pub!).

    Reply
  4. I currently live in a 1916 Art and Crafts Bungalow in Northern California. It’s basically an early 20th century return to ideal of the “gentleman’s cottage”, LOL! I’d love to live in an actual 18th century one with a thatched roof and a view of the sea (or a river).
    My parents are going house hunting in Ireland this autumn (they want to retire there). I’m sooooo hoping they fall in love with a small cottage in some picturesque spot (with a good local pub!).

    Reply
  5. I currently live in a 1916 Art and Crafts Bungalow in Northern California. It’s basically an early 20th century return to ideal of the “gentleman’s cottage”, LOL! I’d love to live in an actual 18th century one with a thatched roof and a view of the sea (or a river).
    My parents are going house hunting in Ireland this autumn (they want to retire there). I’m sooooo hoping they fall in love with a small cottage in some picturesque spot (with a good local pub!).

    Reply
  6. Absorbing as usual, Nicola. I remember when I was studying History, that I was so surprised to learn that, after the enclosure act, many villagers had no where to grow their own food.
    I also visited a friend staying in a “tied cottage” in the West Country, and their front door opened up on chewed up mud – it was on the path where the cattle passed on their way to the field from the dairy. And that was in the l970’s!

    Reply
  7. Absorbing as usual, Nicola. I remember when I was studying History, that I was so surprised to learn that, after the enclosure act, many villagers had no where to grow their own food.
    I also visited a friend staying in a “tied cottage” in the West Country, and their front door opened up on chewed up mud – it was on the path where the cattle passed on their way to the field from the dairy. And that was in the l970’s!

    Reply
  8. Absorbing as usual, Nicola. I remember when I was studying History, that I was so surprised to learn that, after the enclosure act, many villagers had no where to grow their own food.
    I also visited a friend staying in a “tied cottage” in the West Country, and their front door opened up on chewed up mud – it was on the path where the cattle passed on their way to the field from the dairy. And that was in the l970’s!

    Reply
  9. Absorbing as usual, Nicola. I remember when I was studying History, that I was so surprised to learn that, after the enclosure act, many villagers had no where to grow their own food.
    I also visited a friend staying in a “tied cottage” in the West Country, and their front door opened up on chewed up mud – it was on the path where the cattle passed on their way to the field from the dairy. And that was in the l970’s!

    Reply
  10. Absorbing as usual, Nicola. I remember when I was studying History, that I was so surprised to learn that, after the enclosure act, many villagers had no where to grow their own food.
    I also visited a friend staying in a “tied cottage” in the West Country, and their front door opened up on chewed up mud – it was on the path where the cattle passed on their way to the field from the dairy. And that was in the l970’s!

    Reply
  11. Isobel, I love the sound of the Arts and Crafts bungalow! My ideal would be a cottage by the sea as well, I think. And what could be finer than a cottage on the picturesque coast of Ireland, definitely with a good pub nearby!

    Reply
  12. Isobel, I love the sound of the Arts and Crafts bungalow! My ideal would be a cottage by the sea as well, I think. And what could be finer than a cottage on the picturesque coast of Ireland, definitely with a good pub nearby!

    Reply
  13. Isobel, I love the sound of the Arts and Crafts bungalow! My ideal would be a cottage by the sea as well, I think. And what could be finer than a cottage on the picturesque coast of Ireland, definitely with a good pub nearby!

    Reply
  14. Isobel, I love the sound of the Arts and Crafts bungalow! My ideal would be a cottage by the sea as well, I think. And what could be finer than a cottage on the picturesque coast of Ireland, definitely with a good pub nearby!

    Reply
  15. Isobel, I love the sound of the Arts and Crafts bungalow! My ideal would be a cottage by the sea as well, I think. And what could be finer than a cottage on the picturesque coast of Ireland, definitely with a good pub nearby!

    Reply
  16. Thank you for dropping in, Margaret! Yes, I didn’t mention the enclosure acts but they were of course an enormous problem and the cause of a lot of rural poverty.
    How funny about the tied cottage! The ways of the country can be strange, even these days. For many years one of our local villages was known as a “closed village” ie: no one but Craven employees could live there and no one left and no one new arrived! It sounded rather sinister. To this day the place has an odd reputation, not least for inbreeding!

    Reply
  17. Thank you for dropping in, Margaret! Yes, I didn’t mention the enclosure acts but they were of course an enormous problem and the cause of a lot of rural poverty.
    How funny about the tied cottage! The ways of the country can be strange, even these days. For many years one of our local villages was known as a “closed village” ie: no one but Craven employees could live there and no one left and no one new arrived! It sounded rather sinister. To this day the place has an odd reputation, not least for inbreeding!

    Reply
  18. Thank you for dropping in, Margaret! Yes, I didn’t mention the enclosure acts but they were of course an enormous problem and the cause of a lot of rural poverty.
    How funny about the tied cottage! The ways of the country can be strange, even these days. For many years one of our local villages was known as a “closed village” ie: no one but Craven employees could live there and no one left and no one new arrived! It sounded rather sinister. To this day the place has an odd reputation, not least for inbreeding!

    Reply
  19. Thank you for dropping in, Margaret! Yes, I didn’t mention the enclosure acts but they were of course an enormous problem and the cause of a lot of rural poverty.
    How funny about the tied cottage! The ways of the country can be strange, even these days. For many years one of our local villages was known as a “closed village” ie: no one but Craven employees could live there and no one left and no one new arrived! It sounded rather sinister. To this day the place has an odd reputation, not least for inbreeding!

    Reply
  20. Thank you for dropping in, Margaret! Yes, I didn’t mention the enclosure acts but they were of course an enormous problem and the cause of a lot of rural poverty.
    How funny about the tied cottage! The ways of the country can be strange, even these days. For many years one of our local villages was known as a “closed village” ie: no one but Craven employees could live there and no one left and no one new arrived! It sounded rather sinister. To this day the place has an odd reputation, not least for inbreeding!

    Reply
  21. I love bungalows. They’re (usually) small and were tied to the “back to nature” ideals of the era. Lots of wood (wainscoting, built-in sideboards and bookcases) and stone and brick (fireplaces and the piers and columns for the large front porches). Clean, simple lines. They’re just very restful, esp when compared to Victorians, which are the other main style of home where I live.
    I feel very honored to own my little piece of history. I’ve been having great fun restoring it to something approaching its original glory (tackling the 1990s “remuddle” of the kitchen is my next big project).
    I really hope my parents find something in Ireland. It would be so wonderful to have an excuse for yearly jaunts “over the pond”!!!

    Reply
  22. I love bungalows. They’re (usually) small and were tied to the “back to nature” ideals of the era. Lots of wood (wainscoting, built-in sideboards and bookcases) and stone and brick (fireplaces and the piers and columns for the large front porches). Clean, simple lines. They’re just very restful, esp when compared to Victorians, which are the other main style of home where I live.
    I feel very honored to own my little piece of history. I’ve been having great fun restoring it to something approaching its original glory (tackling the 1990s “remuddle” of the kitchen is my next big project).
    I really hope my parents find something in Ireland. It would be so wonderful to have an excuse for yearly jaunts “over the pond”!!!

    Reply
  23. I love bungalows. They’re (usually) small and were tied to the “back to nature” ideals of the era. Lots of wood (wainscoting, built-in sideboards and bookcases) and stone and brick (fireplaces and the piers and columns for the large front porches). Clean, simple lines. They’re just very restful, esp when compared to Victorians, which are the other main style of home where I live.
    I feel very honored to own my little piece of history. I’ve been having great fun restoring it to something approaching its original glory (tackling the 1990s “remuddle” of the kitchen is my next big project).
    I really hope my parents find something in Ireland. It would be so wonderful to have an excuse for yearly jaunts “over the pond”!!!

    Reply
  24. I love bungalows. They’re (usually) small and were tied to the “back to nature” ideals of the era. Lots of wood (wainscoting, built-in sideboards and bookcases) and stone and brick (fireplaces and the piers and columns for the large front porches). Clean, simple lines. They’re just very restful, esp when compared to Victorians, which are the other main style of home where I live.
    I feel very honored to own my little piece of history. I’ve been having great fun restoring it to something approaching its original glory (tackling the 1990s “remuddle” of the kitchen is my next big project).
    I really hope my parents find something in Ireland. It would be so wonderful to have an excuse for yearly jaunts “over the pond”!!!

    Reply
  25. I love bungalows. They’re (usually) small and were tied to the “back to nature” ideals of the era. Lots of wood (wainscoting, built-in sideboards and bookcases) and stone and brick (fireplaces and the piers and columns for the large front porches). Clean, simple lines. They’re just very restful, esp when compared to Victorians, which are the other main style of home where I live.
    I feel very honored to own my little piece of history. I’ve been having great fun restoring it to something approaching its original glory (tackling the 1990s “remuddle” of the kitchen is my next big project).
    I really hope my parents find something in Ireland. It would be so wonderful to have an excuse for yearly jaunts “over the pond”!!!

    Reply
  26. Is there anyone who doesn’t dream of living in a cozy cottage? Mine would be on the beach in Hawaii with, heh, what else, an English garden. How’s that for having many slices of your cake and eating it, too?

    Reply
  27. Is there anyone who doesn’t dream of living in a cozy cottage? Mine would be on the beach in Hawaii with, heh, what else, an English garden. How’s that for having many slices of your cake and eating it, too?

    Reply
  28. Is there anyone who doesn’t dream of living in a cozy cottage? Mine would be on the beach in Hawaii with, heh, what else, an English garden. How’s that for having many slices of your cake and eating it, too?

    Reply
  29. Is there anyone who doesn’t dream of living in a cozy cottage? Mine would be on the beach in Hawaii with, heh, what else, an English garden. How’s that for having many slices of your cake and eating it, too?

    Reply
  30. Is there anyone who doesn’t dream of living in a cozy cottage? Mine would be on the beach in Hawaii with, heh, what else, an English garden. How’s that for having many slices of your cake and eating it, too?

    Reply
  31. From Sherrie.
    Nicola, I’m an avid old house lover. I read your post with great enjoyment. My own 100-yr-old home was originally built as a 50′ long chicken house. It was never occupied by chickens, and eventually they put it on logs and “rolled” it from the back 40 to its present location, where it was converted into a dance hall.
    Eventually the house was turned into a residence. When I moved in 37 years ago, the house came with its own colorful history and a contingent of ghosts. (And yes, there have been unexplainable ghostly happenings here, including the impish child-ghost who makes colorful Crayon marks on my kitchen floor) According to ghost experts who have investigated my house twice, my ghosts are friendly and stay here because they like me and my house. *g* I’m not a big believer in ghosts, but mine are welcome to stay as long as they don’t send things whizzing through the air!
    I adore old homes, but the maintenance and upkeep can be staggering. Every time you patch something, a new boo-boo appears elsewhere. At least my home has “character.” *g*
    Nicola, is that a picture of your home at the top of your post? It’s lovely!

    Reply
  32. From Sherrie.
    Nicola, I’m an avid old house lover. I read your post with great enjoyment. My own 100-yr-old home was originally built as a 50′ long chicken house. It was never occupied by chickens, and eventually they put it on logs and “rolled” it from the back 40 to its present location, where it was converted into a dance hall.
    Eventually the house was turned into a residence. When I moved in 37 years ago, the house came with its own colorful history and a contingent of ghosts. (And yes, there have been unexplainable ghostly happenings here, including the impish child-ghost who makes colorful Crayon marks on my kitchen floor) According to ghost experts who have investigated my house twice, my ghosts are friendly and stay here because they like me and my house. *g* I’m not a big believer in ghosts, but mine are welcome to stay as long as they don’t send things whizzing through the air!
    I adore old homes, but the maintenance and upkeep can be staggering. Every time you patch something, a new boo-boo appears elsewhere. At least my home has “character.” *g*
    Nicola, is that a picture of your home at the top of your post? It’s lovely!

    Reply
  33. From Sherrie.
    Nicola, I’m an avid old house lover. I read your post with great enjoyment. My own 100-yr-old home was originally built as a 50′ long chicken house. It was never occupied by chickens, and eventually they put it on logs and “rolled” it from the back 40 to its present location, where it was converted into a dance hall.
    Eventually the house was turned into a residence. When I moved in 37 years ago, the house came with its own colorful history and a contingent of ghosts. (And yes, there have been unexplainable ghostly happenings here, including the impish child-ghost who makes colorful Crayon marks on my kitchen floor) According to ghost experts who have investigated my house twice, my ghosts are friendly and stay here because they like me and my house. *g* I’m not a big believer in ghosts, but mine are welcome to stay as long as they don’t send things whizzing through the air!
    I adore old homes, but the maintenance and upkeep can be staggering. Every time you patch something, a new boo-boo appears elsewhere. At least my home has “character.” *g*
    Nicola, is that a picture of your home at the top of your post? It’s lovely!

    Reply
  34. From Sherrie.
    Nicola, I’m an avid old house lover. I read your post with great enjoyment. My own 100-yr-old home was originally built as a 50′ long chicken house. It was never occupied by chickens, and eventually they put it on logs and “rolled” it from the back 40 to its present location, where it was converted into a dance hall.
    Eventually the house was turned into a residence. When I moved in 37 years ago, the house came with its own colorful history and a contingent of ghosts. (And yes, there have been unexplainable ghostly happenings here, including the impish child-ghost who makes colorful Crayon marks on my kitchen floor) According to ghost experts who have investigated my house twice, my ghosts are friendly and stay here because they like me and my house. *g* I’m not a big believer in ghosts, but mine are welcome to stay as long as they don’t send things whizzing through the air!
    I adore old homes, but the maintenance and upkeep can be staggering. Every time you patch something, a new boo-boo appears elsewhere. At least my home has “character.” *g*
    Nicola, is that a picture of your home at the top of your post? It’s lovely!

    Reply
  35. From Sherrie.
    Nicola, I’m an avid old house lover. I read your post with great enjoyment. My own 100-yr-old home was originally built as a 50′ long chicken house. It was never occupied by chickens, and eventually they put it on logs and “rolled” it from the back 40 to its present location, where it was converted into a dance hall.
    Eventually the house was turned into a residence. When I moved in 37 years ago, the house came with its own colorful history and a contingent of ghosts. (And yes, there have been unexplainable ghostly happenings here, including the impish child-ghost who makes colorful Crayon marks on my kitchen floor) According to ghost experts who have investigated my house twice, my ghosts are friendly and stay here because they like me and my house. *g* I’m not a big believer in ghosts, but mine are welcome to stay as long as they don’t send things whizzing through the air!
    I adore old homes, but the maintenance and upkeep can be staggering. Every time you patch something, a new boo-boo appears elsewhere. At least my home has “character.” *g*
    Nicola, is that a picture of your home at the top of your post? It’s lovely!

    Reply
  36. What a perfect chocolate box cottage you live in, Nicola! Of course the reality, as you deftly explain, was not as pretty as the modern gentrified version.
    Personally, I like gentrification. *g* Having grown up in a crumbling Civil War farmhouse, it’s not surprising that my sibs and I all opted for contemporary houses with all mod cons. But it would be lovely to have a cottage like yours as a pied a terre…

    Reply
  37. What a perfect chocolate box cottage you live in, Nicola! Of course the reality, as you deftly explain, was not as pretty as the modern gentrified version.
    Personally, I like gentrification. *g* Having grown up in a crumbling Civil War farmhouse, it’s not surprising that my sibs and I all opted for contemporary houses with all mod cons. But it would be lovely to have a cottage like yours as a pied a terre…

    Reply
  38. What a perfect chocolate box cottage you live in, Nicola! Of course the reality, as you deftly explain, was not as pretty as the modern gentrified version.
    Personally, I like gentrification. *g* Having grown up in a crumbling Civil War farmhouse, it’s not surprising that my sibs and I all opted for contemporary houses with all mod cons. But it would be lovely to have a cottage like yours as a pied a terre…

    Reply
  39. What a perfect chocolate box cottage you live in, Nicola! Of course the reality, as you deftly explain, was not as pretty as the modern gentrified version.
    Personally, I like gentrification. *g* Having grown up in a crumbling Civil War farmhouse, it’s not surprising that my sibs and I all opted for contemporary houses with all mod cons. But it would be lovely to have a cottage like yours as a pied a terre…

    Reply
  40. What a perfect chocolate box cottage you live in, Nicola! Of course the reality, as you deftly explain, was not as pretty as the modern gentrified version.
    Personally, I like gentrification. *g* Having grown up in a crumbling Civil War farmhouse, it’s not surprising that my sibs and I all opted for contemporary houses with all mod cons. But it would be lovely to have a cottage like yours as a pied a terre…

    Reply
  41. That sounds beautiful, Isabel, and very much like the picturesque movement here that gave rise to the gentleman’s cottage ideal in the 19th century.
    LOL, Keira, I love the idea of combining a seaside cottage in Hawaii with an English garden. Pefect!

    Reply
  42. That sounds beautiful, Isabel, and very much like the picturesque movement here that gave rise to the gentleman’s cottage ideal in the 19th century.
    LOL, Keira, I love the idea of combining a seaside cottage in Hawaii with an English garden. Pefect!

    Reply
  43. That sounds beautiful, Isabel, and very much like the picturesque movement here that gave rise to the gentleman’s cottage ideal in the 19th century.
    LOL, Keira, I love the idea of combining a seaside cottage in Hawaii with an English garden. Pefect!

    Reply
  44. That sounds beautiful, Isabel, and very much like the picturesque movement here that gave rise to the gentleman’s cottage ideal in the 19th century.
    LOL, Keira, I love the idea of combining a seaside cottage in Hawaii with an English garden. Pefect!

    Reply
  45. That sounds beautiful, Isabel, and very much like the picturesque movement here that gave rise to the gentleman’s cottage ideal in the 19th century.
    LOL, Keira, I love the idea of combining a seaside cottage in Hawaii with an English garden. Pefect!

    Reply
  46. What a wonderful history you house has, Sherrie! My dh is fascinated by the concept of moving buildings from one place to another and watches all those shows where they pick up the house and roll it somewhere else. no, the house in the picture isn’t mine. When we bought we agreed we wanted to live opposite a thatched cottage not in one, so that we had the view and none of the hassles of thatch. The insurance is very costly.
    And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. I’m torn over the old house versus the new idea. On the one hand I love the atmosphere and character you get with an old cottage. On the other I also love big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. My ideal would be a converted croft in the highlands of Scotland with big windows for the fabulous views.

    Reply
  47. What a wonderful history you house has, Sherrie! My dh is fascinated by the concept of moving buildings from one place to another and watches all those shows where they pick up the house and roll it somewhere else. no, the house in the picture isn’t mine. When we bought we agreed we wanted to live opposite a thatched cottage not in one, so that we had the view and none of the hassles of thatch. The insurance is very costly.
    And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. I’m torn over the old house versus the new idea. On the one hand I love the atmosphere and character you get with an old cottage. On the other I also love big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. My ideal would be a converted croft in the highlands of Scotland with big windows for the fabulous views.

    Reply
  48. What a wonderful history you house has, Sherrie! My dh is fascinated by the concept of moving buildings from one place to another and watches all those shows where they pick up the house and roll it somewhere else. no, the house in the picture isn’t mine. When we bought we agreed we wanted to live opposite a thatched cottage not in one, so that we had the view and none of the hassles of thatch. The insurance is very costly.
    And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. I’m torn over the old house versus the new idea. On the one hand I love the atmosphere and character you get with an old cottage. On the other I also love big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. My ideal would be a converted croft in the highlands of Scotland with big windows for the fabulous views.

    Reply
  49. What a wonderful history you house has, Sherrie! My dh is fascinated by the concept of moving buildings from one place to another and watches all those shows where they pick up the house and roll it somewhere else. no, the house in the picture isn’t mine. When we bought we agreed we wanted to live opposite a thatched cottage not in one, so that we had the view and none of the hassles of thatch. The insurance is very costly.
    And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. I’m torn over the old house versus the new idea. On the one hand I love the atmosphere and character you get with an old cottage. On the other I also love big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. My ideal would be a converted croft in the highlands of Scotland with big windows for the fabulous views.

    Reply
  50. What a wonderful history you house has, Sherrie! My dh is fascinated by the concept of moving buildings from one place to another and watches all those shows where they pick up the house and roll it somewhere else. no, the house in the picture isn’t mine. When we bought we agreed we wanted to live opposite a thatched cottage not in one, so that we had the view and none of the hassles of thatch. The insurance is very costly.
    And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. I’m torn over the old house versus the new idea. On the one hand I love the atmosphere and character you get with an old cottage. On the other I also love big windows, high ceilings and lots of light. My ideal would be a converted croft in the highlands of Scotland with big windows for the fabulous views.

    Reply
  51. Love the post Nicola! I’ve always loved the idyllic English cottage. Every jigsaw I ever bought has been of various thatched cottages and their gardens…lol.
    Guess I’m not alone in this but the mental picture I have always had of my favourite place to live is in a small cottage along the NZ coast somewhere with a veranda overlooking the ocean. Even sitting out there wrapped up warm in the winter with a good book and a hot drink sounds perfect!!

    Reply
  52. Love the post Nicola! I’ve always loved the idyllic English cottage. Every jigsaw I ever bought has been of various thatched cottages and their gardens…lol.
    Guess I’m not alone in this but the mental picture I have always had of my favourite place to live is in a small cottage along the NZ coast somewhere with a veranda overlooking the ocean. Even sitting out there wrapped up warm in the winter with a good book and a hot drink sounds perfect!!

    Reply
  53. Love the post Nicola! I’ve always loved the idyllic English cottage. Every jigsaw I ever bought has been of various thatched cottages and their gardens…lol.
    Guess I’m not alone in this but the mental picture I have always had of my favourite place to live is in a small cottage along the NZ coast somewhere with a veranda overlooking the ocean. Even sitting out there wrapped up warm in the winter with a good book and a hot drink sounds perfect!!

    Reply
  54. Love the post Nicola! I’ve always loved the idyllic English cottage. Every jigsaw I ever bought has been of various thatched cottages and their gardens…lol.
    Guess I’m not alone in this but the mental picture I have always had of my favourite place to live is in a small cottage along the NZ coast somewhere with a veranda overlooking the ocean. Even sitting out there wrapped up warm in the winter with a good book and a hot drink sounds perfect!!

    Reply
  55. Love the post Nicola! I’ve always loved the idyllic English cottage. Every jigsaw I ever bought has been of various thatched cottages and their gardens…lol.
    Guess I’m not alone in this but the mental picture I have always had of my favourite place to live is in a small cottage along the NZ coast somewhere with a veranda overlooking the ocean. Even sitting out there wrapped up warm in the winter with a good book and a hot drink sounds perfect!!

    Reply
  56. I am a house addict and would love the chance to move from one to the other, fixing things up and making them habitable and cozy and then moving on to the next. (Seaside would be my very first choice!) But having gone through any number of houses and greatly admiring the far superior workmanship and materials in old houses, I’m sticking to newer ones these days. Replacing plumbing and electricity gets really old after a while!

    Reply
  57. I am a house addict and would love the chance to move from one to the other, fixing things up and making them habitable and cozy and then moving on to the next. (Seaside would be my very first choice!) But having gone through any number of houses and greatly admiring the far superior workmanship and materials in old houses, I’m sticking to newer ones these days. Replacing plumbing and electricity gets really old after a while!

    Reply
  58. I am a house addict and would love the chance to move from one to the other, fixing things up and making them habitable and cozy and then moving on to the next. (Seaside would be my very first choice!) But having gone through any number of houses and greatly admiring the far superior workmanship and materials in old houses, I’m sticking to newer ones these days. Replacing plumbing and electricity gets really old after a while!

    Reply
  59. I am a house addict and would love the chance to move from one to the other, fixing things up and making them habitable and cozy and then moving on to the next. (Seaside would be my very first choice!) But having gone through any number of houses and greatly admiring the far superior workmanship and materials in old houses, I’m sticking to newer ones these days. Replacing plumbing and electricity gets really old after a while!

    Reply
  60. I am a house addict and would love the chance to move from one to the other, fixing things up and making them habitable and cozy and then moving on to the next. (Seaside would be my very first choice!) But having gone through any number of houses and greatly admiring the far superior workmanship and materials in old houses, I’m sticking to newer ones these days. Replacing plumbing and electricity gets really old after a while!

    Reply
  61. ***And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. **
    It wasn’t that interesting, Nicola.*g* YOu could see irregular hand made nails in the cellar beams, and the style was a classic upstate New York farmhouse, but my current contemporary has the huge windows and a great cathedral ceiling, plus really good HVAC and a view right into the trees.
    My brother has a similar house, and my sister’s contemporary has a view for 40 miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Not that old houses aren’t amazing and beautiful, but until I make my third or fourth million, I don’t think I could afford to buy and restore what I’d really like. *g*

    Reply
  62. ***And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. **
    It wasn’t that interesting, Nicola.*g* YOu could see irregular hand made nails in the cellar beams, and the style was a classic upstate New York farmhouse, but my current contemporary has the huge windows and a great cathedral ceiling, plus really good HVAC and a view right into the trees.
    My brother has a similar house, and my sister’s contemporary has a view for 40 miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Not that old houses aren’t amazing and beautiful, but until I make my third or fourth million, I don’t think I could afford to buy and restore what I’d really like. *g*

    Reply
  63. ***And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. **
    It wasn’t that interesting, Nicola.*g* YOu could see irregular hand made nails in the cellar beams, and the style was a classic upstate New York farmhouse, but my current contemporary has the huge windows and a great cathedral ceiling, plus really good HVAC and a view right into the trees.
    My brother has a similar house, and my sister’s contemporary has a view for 40 miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Not that old houses aren’t amazing and beautiful, but until I make my third or fourth million, I don’t think I could afford to buy and restore what I’d really like. *g*

    Reply
  64. ***And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. **
    It wasn’t that interesting, Nicola.*g* YOu could see irregular hand made nails in the cellar beams, and the style was a classic upstate New York farmhouse, but my current contemporary has the huge windows and a great cathedral ceiling, plus really good HVAC and a view right into the trees.
    My brother has a similar house, and my sister’s contemporary has a view for 40 miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Not that old houses aren’t amazing and beautiful, but until I make my third or fourth million, I don’t think I could afford to buy and restore what I’d really like. *g*

    Reply
  65. ***And a Civil War farmhouse, Mary Jo! I am seriously envious. **
    It wasn’t that interesting, Nicola.*g* YOu could see irregular hand made nails in the cellar beams, and the style was a classic upstate New York farmhouse, but my current contemporary has the huge windows and a great cathedral ceiling, plus really good HVAC and a view right into the trees.
    My brother has a similar house, and my sister’s contemporary has a view for 40 miles over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
    Not that old houses aren’t amazing and beautiful, but until I make my third or fourth million, I don’t think I could afford to buy and restore what I’d really like. *g*

    Reply
  66. That’s the thing about old houses, isn’t it, Pat – the maintenance. The builder who does all our stuff grumbles the whole time about the leaning walls and the lack of right angles!
    Well, Mary Jo, to me it sounded very romantic! That said I love the sound of your huge windows and cathedral ceiling!

    Reply
  67. That’s the thing about old houses, isn’t it, Pat – the maintenance. The builder who does all our stuff grumbles the whole time about the leaning walls and the lack of right angles!
    Well, Mary Jo, to me it sounded very romantic! That said I love the sound of your huge windows and cathedral ceiling!

    Reply
  68. That’s the thing about old houses, isn’t it, Pat – the maintenance. The builder who does all our stuff grumbles the whole time about the leaning walls and the lack of right angles!
    Well, Mary Jo, to me it sounded very romantic! That said I love the sound of your huge windows and cathedral ceiling!

    Reply
  69. That’s the thing about old houses, isn’t it, Pat – the maintenance. The builder who does all our stuff grumbles the whole time about the leaning walls and the lack of right angles!
    Well, Mary Jo, to me it sounded very romantic! That said I love the sound of your huge windows and cathedral ceiling!

    Reply
  70. That’s the thing about old houses, isn’t it, Pat – the maintenance. The builder who does all our stuff grumbles the whole time about the leaning walls and the lack of right angles!
    Well, Mary Jo, to me it sounded very romantic! That said I love the sound of your huge windows and cathedral ceiling!

    Reply

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