Houzz Tour: A Tiny Cottage Gets a Bright, Space-enhancing Update
Thoughtful design ensured this compact worker’s cottage gained space and light without losing its vintage appeal
Phil added a pitched-roof side-return extension and opened up the living and dining rooms to create more space, but he paid attention to detail in his design to ensure the home kept its vintage feel.
Who lives here? A couple
Location West London
Property A Victorian worker’s cottage
Size Three bedrooms and one bathroom
Designer Phil Thomas of Albert’s House
Photos by Charlie McKay
To increase space in this small worker’s cottage, the kitchen was extended to the side. “The couple were keen to have an island for sociable eating,” Phil says. He positioned it to face out to the garden, so diners have a view, and away from the side wall, so it didn’t block the passage to the back door.
The bespoke, Shaker-style cabinets have been spray-painted in two shades; the base units are lead grey and the wall units are an off-white, which helps to open up the space.
Kitchen cabinets; Carrara marble worktops, all Yew Tree. Base cabinets painted in Railings; wall cabinets painted in Cornforth White, both Farrow & Ball. Sink; tap, both CDA.
Metro tiles on the wall keep the look simple and are echoed in the bathroom upstairs.
Brass door handles, Optimum Brasses.
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Phil left the London stock brick exposed on the party wall to add character. The back door, which mirrors the Shaker look of the kitchen cabinets, is half glazed to let in light.
Three rooflights brighten the space even more, while angled wall lamps illuminate the way in the evening.
Walls throughout the house painted in Strong White, Farrow & Ball. Angled lights, Urban Cottage Industries. Bar stools, Cult Furniture.
“The dining table and chairs were reclaimed from a project our builder had recently finished nearby,” he adds, “and the fireplace surround was from the same renovation.”
Ceiling lights, Urban Cottage Industries. Lamp, Oka. Shutters, Plantation Shutters.
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The wall between the kitchen and living spaces wasn’t completely opened up. “These cottages are really cosy, so we wanted to keep a bit of that,” Phil explains. “It’s also more practical for them, as they have a dog. They can pull a baby gate across the larger opening when they come in from a muddy walk.”
The original kitchen door on the left was blocked up, but the top half has been left open to provide a view of the kitchen and as a nod to the original architecture of the house.
Fireplace painted in Railings, Farrow & Ball. Rug; sofa; armchair, all Marks & Spencer.
Bed, Loaf. Bed linen, The White Company. Cushions, PB Home. Bedside cabinets, Newark Antique Fair. Bedside lamps, Original BTC. Nordic knot loop wool carpet, John Lewis & Partners.
Wardrobes painted in Ammonite; walls painted in Pavilion Gray, both Farrow & Ball.
Bed linen, The White Company.
A vintage-style towel rail hangs on the wall to add to the traditional look. Phil painted the side of the cast-iron bath the same colour as the kitchen units to give the home a harmonious look.
Bath painted in Railings, Farrow & Ball. Toilet, Burlington. Towel rail, Marks & Spencer. Blind, Swift Blinds.
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The pendant light is in the same style as those in the living spaces on the ground floor.
What’s your favourite room or feature in this small worker’s cottage? Share your thoughts in the Comments.