Rebecca Lovatt has been writing about her family life in her 400 year old thatched cottage for over seven years following the huge success of her absolutely beautiful instagram @myenglishcountrycottage.


If you don't already follow her, then you must do it immediately! Not only is her home something out of a magical fairytale, it is an endless stream of inspiration for your own home and we were delighted that she agreed to talk to us all about her stunning cottage.


Rebecca has spent the past seven years making her house a home and she has put her own experiences into writing about cosy country interiors filled with florals, old books, roaring fires, oak beams and squashy sofas.


You can read her blog here or see her stunning home here.


Grab a cuppa, find a comfy chair and enjoy this wonderful interview.




Rebecca Lovatt

I am quite passionate about timeless interiors- reusing old pieces, buying antique and vintage furniture and mixing it with a few modern accessories to create a harmonious, relaxed and happy home.

Where do you live?

I live in a 17th Century thatched cottage in tiny hamlet (it’s just one lane) on the borders of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex. The cottage was originally a farmhouse so we are lucky enough to be surrounded by arable fields and a variety of animals from horses, cows, sheep and chickens to deer, badgers and pheasants. We are surrounded by nature which inextricably links us wonderfully to the seasons.

How long have you lived in your home?


We have lived here for exactly ten years now and we still can’t believe how lucky we have been. We waited months for the sale to go through and used to drive up to the cottage and peer through the windows and imagine what it could be like to actually live there (the cottage was empty, we weren’t being scary stalkers!!).

Country house with flowers and tablescape

Did it need much work or renovation?


The cottage had been empty for a year and a half so it needed quite a bit of attention. We were greeted by a world of webs and spiders and the most enormous dead rat in the hall!


The kitchen had been completely stripped except for a cheap nasty sink unit and a curmudgeonly Aga. We kept the Aga but replaced the sink unit with a Belfast sink and fitted an oak worktop with curtains to hide the white goods and used freestanding dressers for storage as well as making cupboards either side of the Aga for storage.


Many of the rooms had been painted in beautiful dark colours but after a while I realised that winter in an old dark cottage with an overhanging thatched roof was long and rather depressing so I used a variety of Farrow and Ball off whites to lighten each room and re-injected the colour with soft furnishings and accessories.


After a few years we converted an old stable block into a couple of extra bedrooms and a bathroom for family to stay in when they visited.

Would you say you have a style? If so, what is it?


Hmmmm! So tricky! It’s probably English country cottage florals. I am quite passionate about timeless interiors; reusing old pieces, buying antique and vintage furniture and mixing it with a few modern accessories to create a harmonious, relaxed and happy home.


I use cushions, flowers, lamps, rugs and books to create a cosy environment where guests feel happy to curl their legs up on the sofa and sink into my ever increasing cushion collection.

Inside country cottage with sofa and cushions

Where do you find inspiration for your home?


I constantly refer to the Ros Byam Shaw series on English design and snuffle out interiors books whenever I can. I have an enormous collection of magazines which are a constant source of inspiration for me. 


My Instagram journey has provided so many incredible opportunities but when I see an article that I have written or spot a feature that I helped to style in a magazine, I still get the most enormous jolt of joy.


What have been your influences in shaping your own personal décor style?


I love the quintessential English style of Colefax and Fowler, the blowsy romance of Cabbages and Roses, the sublime beauty of Kate Forman fabrics, vintage Laura Ashley florals and Rachel Ashwell’s eclectically beautiful Shabby chic style,

What is/are your favourite pieces in your home?


A dark oak sideboard that we inherited from my husband’s family which my mother in law still remembers hiding in as a small girl and a pine dresser that I bought and painted to sell, then fell in love with, and we became a two dresser family ! 


I love the china tea cups that we inherited from my husband’s grandmother (she was one of the first female pottery owners in Stoke on Trent).


I could never be without our scrubbed pine kitchen table that I bought for my very first house in London and has witnessed so many wonderful evenings with friends, family meals, children’s birthday parties and a world of glitter and paint. 


I also treasure our beautiful paintings by my husband’s Great Aunt Muriel Pemberton whose floral works and textile studies have absolutely informed my style and choice of decorating in the cottage.

Inside country cottage with sofa and cushions

I think pieces that have provenance, that contain a story or a link to friends and family are what create a home. They give a house soul and fill it with happiness.

What is your most recent furniture/home accessory purchase?


I recently bought a glorious vintage bedding set in a delicious yellow stripe with vintage florals woven through the pattern. I am a sucker for soft furnishings, it is such a simple way of adding colour and changing the feel of a room (yes I will hold my floral loving hands up to summer and winter cushions!).

Have you got a dream item of furniture that you would love?


I have designs on an Odd Rocker seat for the garden. One day it will be mine and I will swing gently in my garden swathed in glorious fabrics of joy.


Have you had a favourite or most memorable project?


Our first home together was a canal side cottage which was varnished dark wood throughout with three very poky rooms downstairs. I ripped out all the old carpets and sanded all the floors myself. We took down a wall between the two reception rooms and put in a huge oak beamed support,  laid new oak floorboards downstairs and painted everywhere white. The cottage sparkled with the light reflected from the canal which made me smile every day.


Country house with aga, flowers and rocking chair

When you look for an accessory or a piece of furniture, do you find the piece to suit the room or do you find the furniture and create a room aesthetic around it?


It entirely depends upon what I am doing. With our cottage I worked from the rooms and the history of the cottage and blended our furniture from our old home with this. When designing a brand new space I try to take into account the history of the space as well as the surroundings and then look for appropriate pieces - (we converted an old stable block so I kept the furnishings simple with a brick floor and weatherboarded walls and an iron bed).


When working on interiors projects, the client will often have a piece in mind which I then work from. A recent client had bought a glorious floral painting, so we took the colours from this as our starting point for her sitting room, but then she asked me to design another space that would be her work/ retreat room and having worked with her for a while I knew that her retreat room could start with a Gustavian bureau then I worked out from there, picking out the antique blue and grey paintwork in other pieces and creating wooden panelled walls in a similar style.

What inspired you to start @myenglishcountrycottage?


I had broken my heel and was housebound and bored! I decided to see what everyone was talking about with this “Instagram app” and became immediately hooked - I couldn’t believe that I could see into so many beautiful homes without leaving my sofa! I decided to post a photo of our sitting room and it just grew very quickly from there. 


Period Living magazine got in touch after a few months and asked to come and photograph the cottage for a feature - I did explain that behind the camera was mess and Cheerios and odd socks everywhere but they persuaded me that it would be ok!


Inside country cottage kitchen

I then began a website with articles on interior design and how I had decorated our home, then more magazines got in touch and featured our cottage. People began to ask me for help with their interiors and when Naomi Jones and Rob Sanderson came to photograph our home for a Christmas shoot for The English Home magazine we struck up a wonderful friendship and they asked me to join them on house shoots which was a total dream come true!


I adore working on magazine shoots and I also love writing my own articles for Preloved magazine. I have always enjoyed writing so to be asked to become a columnist on such a beautifully curated magazine was another dream come true.

How does your home work for/with your life and lifestyle?


I originally trained as an actress at Lamda and spent a few happy years in tiny theatres being brilliantly unsuccessful. Once I got married and we had children I realised that I didn’t want to be away from my family so slightly gratefully gave up the stage!


I spend most of my days working from home which has given me the privilege to be here for the children (although they are past masters at destroying a scene that I have spent all day setting up to shoot!). I only occasionally go away on shoots or design projects as I try to work locally - I am a true home bird and get quite unsettled away from home and my family.

Inside country cottage kitchen

I am so fortunate that my home is also in a bizarre way my work, it does mean I might weep occasionally when the dog has destroyed a floral arrangement and eaten my carefully curated scone and drunk the accompanying cup of tea but to make a living from creating lovely things in my home is beyond any of my wildest dreams.

For you, what is home?


A retreat. Somewhere your feel safe and loved. When my mother in law first saw our cottage she exclaimed over the enormous thatched roof:  “it feels like the cottage is giving you a huge hug”, it still feels like this ten years on and I still can’t believe our luck every time I pull into the drive.


I have been incredibly lucky and met so many extraordinary and talented people all because of one very old crumbly cottage which I love very much.

Rebecca Lovatt is a writer, stylist and blogger. She can be found on Instagram as @myenglishcountrycottage and has a lifestyle website with interior design articles, recipes, fashion, countryside living and book reviews.




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