Rosewood Cottage

Adding Kerb Appeal to Rosewood Cottage

I have long dreamed of  decorating a little cottage in the countryside. Luckily my man bought into this dream and we spent months looking online and going to visit places that had potential. His criteria were more practical than mine,which speaks volumes about both of us of course. The thatched cottages that I fell in love with, nurturing romantic notions of wisteria clad doors and country flower gardens are exorbitant to insure and the maintenance of thatch roofs poses problems. They also needed “Grand Design” jobs to create a solution that would bring in light  as the tiny windows which are part of the  exterior charm keep them all very dark. Many showed signs of rising damp and who knows what else if we had assessed them properly. As we had  a small budget that wasn’t going to work, so we viewed the Less-Exciting-Cottage-With-Limited-Kerb-Appeal  options.

The search went on for a year, six months half heartedly and a further six with real purpose. J had relaxed his  location criteria to include dwellings more than half an hour from the city as he commutes daily. Most of my work is done from home, so proximity to the city wasn’t top of my list.

In South Galway, on the Clare border we found our spot. It was a country bungalow with little charm but neat as a pin inside with no visible damp or obvious problems. The area is heartbreakingly beautiful. It is in the Slieve Aughty Mts (well they are mountains by Irish standards) with lakes and woods, streams and rivers and wonderful views. The engineering surveyor gave it the thumbs up and our offer was accepted. Roses proliferated in the garden even in early spring, the woods added to our inspiration, so Rosewood Cottage was duly christened.

We moved in late Spring 2014. Mid May to be exact. In retrospect I am glad it wasn’t earlier as my superb handyman and I had to spend weeks painting and decorating in fairly bleak conditions until the painting was complete, the carpets were fitted and the furniture more or less in situ.

The first two weeks were chaos as we tried to find which box or black bag we had stored things in.  It didn’t help that I was travelling five days a week to various corners of Ireland and not in the mood to throw myself into house mode at night.

Note to self, Labelling a box “Contents of Second Drawer in Lounge Unit” is too vague to be useful. Eventually the mists cleared, we felt settled and I had the time to dedicate to decorating.

Adding Charm to a Bland Exterior :Rosewood Cottage in the Making


It didn’t have much. I didn’t love the magnolia exterior and from the outside it was just a bland little dormer bungalow. The roses in the driveway are probably the most eye catching aspect at this point.

It needed massive doses of charm so a colour change and shutters in duck gave it fresh appeal. I was so pleased with the colour contrast that flower boxes in the same shade seemed like a great idea…they were!

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

We decided on flower boxes filled with hydrangeas to add further charm.Brian,wonderful handyman, created the perfect containers to fill with splashes of glorious colour. I’m very impatient and would like to be able to have  blooms tumbling from each one straight away.  Delayed gratification will have to do!

Flower Boxes

Flower Boxes Adding Colour

Posted in Decor.


  1. The transformation of the cottage is magnificent, Anna is such a talented person. I have seen first-hand the many hours of work Anna put into this, she works with such passion and enthusiasm. What a classy makeover, one that is unique. Anna’s love for what she does shines through and she has a natural talent for it. I would highly recommended working with Anna, not only will she transform your home or wardrobe she will also bring a sparkle into your life 🙂

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