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My Vintage Pad Home Tour: Sian from Sussex

I would like to welcome Sian K, a scientist from Sussex to Vintage Indie. We hope you enjoy this lovely tour of Sian's home.


Thanks so much Sian for sharing your home with us, could you please just give us a little tour sharing what your most favorite details are.

Despite only moving into the cottage in March 2008, we have really made it a home. The cottage is in a lovely little village in Sussex and sits opposite the beautiful village church. The cottage was built around 1870 and used to be the village cobblers shop. It was very sympathetically extended by the previous owners in the late 1980s to provide a dining room and an extra bedroom.



Although, as with most of our cottage, it's not yet exactly the way we want it but we are taking our time and living in the house and not rushing into renovating. Nethertheless, I am delighted with the way our kitchen has turned out. It's amazing what a lick of paint and some pretty accessories can do. The kitchen has very good quality solid wood cabinets, but they were quite dark so we painted them in Laura Ashley Eau de nil and the transformation was instant! What I love in the kitchen is the original mantel shelf and the fact that the previous owners had kept the original window on what used to be the external wall. It's little touches like that seen throughout the cottage that drew us to it when we came to view it in October 2007.


A room that seems to appeal to all the men who visit our house is my partner's office, which is actually the smaller of our two sitting rooms, and the old cobbler shop. We have tried to create a gentlemen's library/study look in this room and I'm really pleased with it. The lovely original bricks have been exposed. These bricks are made from a combination of red and blue clay [you'll notice the odd black brick] and come from the brickworks up the road, which is still open to this day. On the other wall is the original wood pannelling from the shop that has been reused her to make a wall. We got the lovely leather chesterfield sofa from my parents' neighbour for a token amount and it fits in perfectly. It was this sofa that actually inspired the whole look for this room. The dresser, which was made around the same time as the house was built, was a bargain ebay find and fits in so neatly you'd think it was made for this room.



This is my work room where I do all my crafting. I love the features in this little room, like the pretty little fire surround, the wood pannelling and the handy over-stair cupboard.


This is the new part of the house so we have tried to make it match in as best we can with the rest of the cottage by introducing the pretty Laura Ashley wallpaper and matching curtains. It's a lovely bright room and gets so much sun in the morning. It also has an amzing view over the Ashdown forest.

How do you find inspiration for decorating your home?

My inspiration comes directly from the house. I try to decorate the house how best suits it. For example, I wouldn't put in a modern kitchen or bathroom here because I don't think it would do the house justice. Ideally, when we come to rennovate the bathroom, I would like a roll top bath and I would like to use an old wash stand and plumb in an old small butler sink. I want to create a really rustic, but homely feel. I also don't think a huge open plan white kicthen would suit this house, I would prefer a lovely small cottage kitchen with an aga and pine matched in with painted pieces. 

How do vintage things play a role in your room/home?

Vintage things play a huge part in our home. I like to combine pieces from the 1940s and 50s and also some Georgian and Victorian items. I believe a home should combine lots of different things, after all a home is about mixing old with new. My favourite piece of furniture is the gorgeous French cabinet in our sitting room. I purchased this from a local antique shop, I just love the colour of the wood. I think there is always a place for wood and painted pieces together and would never dream of painting an antique item. 

Sitting Room 2

Do you have any favorite vintage items in your home?

Some of my favourite items are my 1950s GPO [general post office] bakelite phone, the dresser in our dining room - another bargain ebay find - and my desk in sewing room, which is actually an old French kitchen table.
Dining Room


Any advice on creating your look?

My advice is to try and mix and match things, old and new, wood and painted. I think things can look a bit characterless if everything matches perfectly. I also think the key is to work with what you have got. If I had a modern house then I wouldn't decorate it to look like the cottage because it wouldn't feel right. Likewise, it saddens me when people modernise lovely old houses. My ultimate goal is to create a home that's comfy and warm - something that after a long day at work I can relax in. I believe a house should be a home.


A special thank you to Sian for opening her home to us. Sian is also the proprietress of online shop Lavender Hearts please take a moment to view what she makes!



A very, very pretty & cosy home!


Snap, I know where you got your sofa from, LOL. Lovely tour, you have made your home beautiful.


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