Cottage-style architecture celebrates cozy, small-scale living. It invokes images seen in children’s stories. The houses are influenced by rural architecture found throughout Europe and usually consist of exaggerated gabled rooflines, front porches and stucco siding. Oftentimes, cottages are built together in neighborhoods to create a village-like setting.
This particular 1927 storybook cottage boasts arched windows, stenciling above and between the windows and steeply pitched dormers.
Storybook Cottage: Exterior Details
To reintroduce charm to the storybook cottage, Brett commissioned an artist to paint a family crest above the window. An elipitical door with wrought-iron detail, a scalloped awning and English-cottage porch lights complete the enchanting look.
Storybook Cottage: Living Room
Inside, Brett draws attention upward by having the same artist who did the exterior fresco handpaint the barrel-vaulted ceiling to look like pyramid-shaped panels. The effect brought a huge transformation to the living room. Brett also added hand-forged iron curtain rods and kept the gorgeous aqua-colored fireplace tiles that the homeowners had previously restored.
Storybook Cottage: Breakfast Room
Carrying the blue-green colors throughout the home and into the breakfast room, Brett had embossed linoleum embedded into the lower half of the plaster walls. The antique handblown window over the desk used to be an unopenable single piece of glass. Brett had it cut into two pieces so it could be opened. It was one of the most delicate pieces in the restoration.
English Cottage: Exterior
What makes English cottage architecture so charming is the white-washed concrete walls and pitched shingle roofs. Brett restored this 1927 English cottage by painting the trim light gray, which helped the diamond-pane windows stand out. He cut back the overgrown trees so you can see the A-frame and added simple landscaping, so the house stands out from the street.
English Cottage: Side Exterior
After peeling back some layers of this home, Brett found that the side of the house was originally a porch with a seperate entrance. Now, after the restoration, Brett made the space an outdoor/indoor area that can act as a mudroom and utility area.
English Cottage: Dining Room
Vintage French doors bring in a ton of natural light and add character to the dining room. Brett had matching sidelights made that can swing open to let even more breeze blow through.
English Cottage: Kitchen
With beautiful details throughout the restored kitchen, this space feels like it would have in the 1920s, but with modern updates including the gas range, an integrated fridge (not pictured), and more countertop space made of white Carrara marble. One neat touch the homeowner loved was the exposed hinges on the cabinets.
French Normandy: Exterior
French Normandy architecture was brought to the U.S. by returning soldiers after World War I who fell in love with this style while in France. It features steep roofs, manicured gardens and provincial details. After restoration, this beautiful 1926 French Normandy home features an antique arched door and private garden off the side of the home. It's a small package of 778 square feet, but full of gorgeous details.
French Normandy: Arched Entryway
The door that host Brett Waterman is standing by serves as a gate that leads to an open-air vestibule and the home's front door. Brett found a gorgeous antique door and decided to use it instead of a traditional gate to provide the homeowners more privacy.
French Normandy: Living Room
This gorgeously restored living room's statement piece is the fireplace. Brett found a mix of salvaged 1920s tiles to create the fireplace surround. The blue tones in the tile are brought out by the soft-blue curtains, both of which help complete the pretty French-country style. He also refinished the wood mantel, reopened the formerly closed window to the right of the fireplace and brought quality, period-specific design back into the home.
French Normandy: Breakfast Nook
Tucked off the kitchen is a private, little breakfast room looking out over the garden. Even though it was small, Brett's designer wasn't afraid to go big in this space with a bold floral wallpaper — helping to bring the outside in.