cottage decorating

Grey as a Neutral

Exterior Rosewood


The shutters and flower boxes added a "cottage" feel.

After :The shutters and flower boxes added a “cottage” feel.











Annie Sloan Paris Grey paint proved to be the inspiration I needed to paint the kitchen units and instantly transform them to a kitchen that looked edgier than the original wood finish with which we started.

J and I decided that the first phase of cottage redecoration would be purely cosmetic. We would work with what we had and add freshness and colour to put our stamp on it. The outside looked so good with the white and duck egg blue finish that I wanted to work with the same tranquil colour palette inside.

Grey in the kitchen proved to be such a success that I decided to paint all the skirting boards and woodwork in the same grey. I spent happy hours up cycling wood finishes on pieces of furniture with Annie Sloan chalk paint. Brian, our fabulous handyman and master of all things DIY, transformed the interior using the colours I had chosen.

Pine always reminds me of a sauna, and I was delighted that the fresh ivory, aqua and grey colour palette provided the perfect backdrop for the treasures and pieces that I have collected.

The Kitchen

The walls were yellow, probably my least favourite decor colour, and the tiles were a kind of multi colored-not-very-attractive mosaic.

The Wood Finish

The Wood Finish

I enlisted the help of my cousin Rita and we transformed the kitchen within a day. All I had to do the next day was wax the cupboards and paint the tiles. We achieved a very low budget kitchen facelift. It certainly inspired me to continue with the “grey as a neutral” interior plan.Tile paint is a two step process and I have found it to be extremely effective.


Paris Grey And Tile Paint.

Paris Grey And Tile Paint.

 The Dining Room

This room is potentially the darkest area in the house as there is no direct light coming through windows. I decided to make it a space that will come alive at night with banks of candles reflected in sparkling light. I think a chandelier is fabulous in a cottage and exactly the type of shabby chic lighting that adds the mix of old to the new.

I painted the pine dresser in the corner, with more Annie Sloan Paris grey. The ladies at the paint shop told J that he had better tell me to slow down as they needed to re-order stocks! We painted the doors and woodwork a complementary grey which looked good with the ivory walls.

The grey paint transformed the already beautifully handmade dresser into something special.

Dresser Before

The Pine Dresser

Dining Room from side

Paris Grey Armoire and Mirror.

Armoire painted with "Silver Birch"

Dining Room With Chandelier

Posted in Decor.


  1. Wonderful style Anna.
    Definitely my taste.
    So relaxed and heartwarming, yet elegant.
    Thanks for your inspiration

    • Hi Liz, thank you for your lovely comment! It’s so great to know that my project has been inspirational in some small way x

  2. My gosh, some haven you have created for yourselves there Anna! Love your taste and touch of love. Note to self to include a sun room on my wishlist for my next home! Oh and Annie Sloan chalk paint is the business, I’ve tried it recently and vowed to use it again on a bigger project!

    • Thanks so much Julia. I am dying for you to come out and see it. I will have to organise a ladies lunch in summer 🙂 x

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