Inspired by a mossy stone fireplace from the forests of Vermont, May’s chapter of Inspiration is Everywhere celebrates a colorfully, cozy living room in an “English Cottage” style.
Originally part of a lodge belonging to the Civilian Conservation Corps, my husband and I discovered this fireplace in all it’s vibrant, mossy glory while camping over Memorial Day weekend. The abundant moss reminded me of ivy consuming the aged stone exterior of an English cottage – and a design concept was born.
Aside from this fleeting glimpse of inspiration, the components to construct the design somehow managed to evade me… Tom Waits described it perfectly in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic: “some songs are like wild birds that you must come at sideways, sneaking up on them gently so as not to scare them into flight.” English Cottage it seems, was far enough outside my comfort zone to slow me down, but I am absolutely IN LOVE with the end result.
To create an English Cottage space, it’s all about mixing patterns. Notice the variety of color, pattern, and scale of these pillows. The casual slipcovered loveseat and upholstered armchair are quintessentially English, as is the antique floral artwork and carved wooden wardrobe. A small scale wallpaper adds to the cottage feel while also introducing the tapered profile of the fireplace silhouette. Floor length drapery panels add fullness and texture, and the amazing avocado area rug and checkered throw embrace the green tones of the lush moss.