Saturday, March 31, 2012

Inspiration | Country Living UK

A couple weeks ago I got an email picture from my good friend, Holly.  We exchange a lot of emails {grammatically incorrect ones with lots of typos! kindred spirits, I say} about a lot of things that have nothing to do with design, but every once in a while she'll send an email with just a picture and very few words because none are needed.  She knows my style very well.  Having worked on two design projects together in my home certainly helps!  Anyway, typically these emails result in me high tailing it to the store to pick up a copy of whatever magazine she spotted.  Once I was out with Jimmy on a date when I got the email and I made him pull in a bookstore before the movie started because I couldn't handle waiting till the next day to see the home. {for the record, I blogged about that home here...}

Most recently, it was this image...

Of course I loved it. For its open shelves that are delightfully un-styled, for the linen skirt hanging from the counter, for the muted and neutral color palette perfect for a kitchen. Yep. Love. Just looking at it makes me want to bake a pie.

Well, it took me a few weeks to find the magazine. A couple days ago Andrew and I stopped at a bookstore after lunch and there was the magazine, front and center on the rack.  I believe it was saying "you-hoo, Tessa darling, here I am."  And just look what else was in the same issue...

A C-H-A-R-M-I-N-G stone cottage in Cornwall!

I recognized several Laura Ashley fabrics before I even read the article.  I've blogged about my love for her old fabrics and gorgeous design catalogues here and here.  The Laura Ashley of today is sadly not the same anymore. When Jimmy and I lived in our first apartment together in Boston I used to walk to the huge Back Bay Laura Ashley store and spend HOURS daydreaming how I would someday decorate our first home and the combinations of fabrics I would use.  Anyway, after staring at this cozy cottage for a bit I read the article, and low and behold, the owner is a former Laura Ashley visual merchandiser.  And you should see the stockpile of fabrics she has just waiting to be used.

I can picture myself here so easily.  There are more photos of this home in the March British edition of Country Living.  If you can get your hands on a copy, do. Have a lovely weekend!!


  1. How lovely & wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Oh I love that cottage too! You are so right about today's Laura Ashley not being the one of old. I used to love their big store at Lenox in Atlanta. I remember buying my first maternity dress there...wasn't really a maternity dress but the cut was perfect for one- a sailor collar on a periwinkle blue small floral. When the company changed their style we lost one of the best places for "charming design."
    Your pictures today are especially cozy to me on this cloudy day. Love the potting bench and daffodils!

  3. Tessa, I'm so glad you shared...I'm picking up a copy this evening! I have a few old treasured Laura Ashley catalogs on my bookshelf and I love pulling them out from time to time. I bought my first navy blue "interview" suit there many years ago...don't think it still fits, but I still have it in my closet! Cecilia's nursery had many pretty Ashley fabrics too. Love the AGA and the dog dishes! Have a great weekend...

  4. Thank you for sharing these pictures. I love England and the old Laura Ashley. Have you ever read Susan Branch' s blog? She talks about Laura Ashley. I believe it is under the achrived posts about England. Michelle

  5. Tessa,

    Another post I love! Can't believe there are other Laura Ashley fans out there too.

    Many years ago, the Laura Ashley store was one of my favorite spots. I was in love with all the fabrics and bought my first expensive outfit from there. I wish I had kept it. Laura Ashley reminded me all things English and I loved that.

    I will see if I can find a copy of Country Living. Love dreaming about buying one of the English Manors or cozy cottages they always have in the real estate section!

    Have a great weekend.


  6. What a lovely home. I was also a big Laura Ashley fan and used to pour over the catalogues designing rooms in my head with the wallpapers and fabrics and furniture. I bought my first Laura Ashley item (a roll of wallpaper I used to line the back of a bookshelf) back in 1978 when I discovered the store in England. We live in Canada, but every time my husband had to travel to the UK to do research he would bring me back something from Laura Ashley - and later something for me and our daughter after she was born. I have kept the dresses he bought her as I still love them and hope a granddaughter will wear them one day. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  7. Hi Tessa. just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  8. I too am a fan of Laura Ashley. My teenage and college bedrooms both were adorned with their bedding. I still have 2 lamps that I use from Laura Ashley , a fabulous Victorian style pearl bracelet and wool coat. These pieces are such classics after all they are over 20 years old!

  9. Country Living UK is so amazing! Better than the one here, in my humble opinion. I brought back every copy from my 5 years overseas. Needless to say, Mr. DD was not happy. But I certainly was. thanks for sharing, liz