We may be 'urban' size but we know that small space living isn't specific to cities. There are many cottages, cabins and petite homes that pepper our landscape and rural areas. We recently turned our hand to renovating a small Devon cottage and had the opportunity to experience firsthand the challenges of furnishing a small quirky space. Small historic cottages are often packed with original features that lend themselves to creating a homely, cosy space. So embrace those strange angles and not quite straight walls and highlight the parts that make your cottage truly unique.
Characterful cottages are often devoid of built in storage so make the most of areas like alcoves to give you the hiding space you need. In the cosy front room next to the woodburner, we used our alcove small cupboard to create a significant amount of extra storage for winter blankets, board games and books. This used up an otherwise empty void underneath a wall cupboard so didn't encroach onto the rest of the room.
Use natural materials and textures
Cottages are often built from the natural materials in the surrounding area so stay true to these origins by using earthy natural textures to bring the cottage to life. Use cotton or linen fabrics for curtains, lay a jute rug and use sustainably sourced wooden furniture. In the main bedroom we used the Urbansize oak bed and oak bedside table
Working with the quirks of the small space makes functional areas sing. The second bedroom in our Devon cottage is somewhat snug but has the best views across the estuary. We snuck in our school desk to create a work from home space with a view. What would have been an awkward corner becomes an idyllic writing spot.
Make the fireplace the focal point
Most cottages are blessed with a fireplace and with luck, a woodburning stove. Make this the focal point of the living area, a place for people to gather round on a winter evening to drink hot chocolate and relax after a bracing coast walk.