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English Cottage Lifestyle, Issue #014 -- Cosy Cottage Issue
November 08, 2012

Welcome to monthly E-zine…Inspiration and ideas to help you discover and enjoy the English Cottage Lifestyle.

Quote of the month

The British have an umbilical cord which has never been cut and through which tea flows constantly. It is curious to watch them in times of sudden horror, tragedy or disaster. The pulse stops apparently, and nothing can be done, and no move made, until "a nice cup of tea" is quickly made. There is no question that it brings solace and does steady the mind. What a pity all countries are not so tea-conscious. World-peace conferences would run more smoothly if "a nice cup of tea", or indeed, a samovar were available at the proper time.

Marlene Dietrich

Photo Of The Month: Once a Cottage orne, now Fairlynch Museum and Arts centre, Budleigh Salterton, Devon

In This Issue:
  • Cosy Cottage Decorating
  • Timber Frame Cottage
  • Widecombe in the moor
  • Recipe Of The Month: "Simple Squash Soup."

Notes From The Editor.

November is the time of the year to begin retreating indoors for a bit of cosy warmth. The garden is displaying it’s glorious golden colours and some flowers still linger on delighting us with their presence. It looks beautiful especially when viewed from a cosy spot inside, on your favourite chair perhaps.

Now is a great time to visit arboretums and gardens before they close for winter and while they are a wash with warm hues. A gentle stroll under the last of the years sunshine with the leaves crunching under your feet. England has looked beautiful this autumn.

With the weather cooling November invites us indoors to get a little cosy. This issue celebrates the Cosy Cottage in November; tips, ideas and inspiration to cosy up your cottage.

November Cosy Cottage

Comfort is key to the November cosy cottage your cottage should welcome you in from the cold as if giving you a warm hug. Logs burning on the fire, blankets draped on the back of chairs to snuggle into. The aromas of warming soups and casseroles coming from the kitchen these hearty meals are staples for the cottager.

I have provided a very simple squash soup recipe that is easy to make, you can add to it as you like, it’s easy to prepare and is great if you are busy decorating and don’t have the time to be all day in the kitchen. You can find it below in the recipe of the month.

Cottage Decorating: Fabrics and Textures

One of the easiest ways to add instant warmth to any room is with fabrics. November is the month when lots of new fabrics and wall paper designs hit the shelves. There are some wonderful old fashioned, vintage patterns and prints out there for you to experiment with.

Colour and texture are the keys to decorating in November, bring nature indoors. There are beautiful shades and hues to be found this time of year. Maybe you have old scraps of fabric laying around that you have been wanting to do something with, why not get a little crafty and create something unique.

First we will have a look at colours that work for autumn. When choosing colours it may help to create a ‘mood board’ this is designer talk for collecting scraps of fabrics and wallpapers and ideas and putting them together on a cork board. Just by putting your ideas together you can see what works and what does not.

There are some colours that are timeless these normally are nature shades which complement the outdoors, if you are unsure, this is a great place to begin. Just look outside for inspiration.

Cosy Cottage Colours

Blackberry, plum and damson

Berry red (looks wonderful combined with mustard)

Green (think forest green, evergreen, olive, moss and lime greens or any green shade with a touch of yellow)

Dark Blue (deep shades and indigo, bright blue seen in French fabrics even denim)

Light Blue (aqua and blues fading to shades of grey)

Grey (one of the best colours to add a touch of elegance to any room, blue fading to grey works very well)

Black (use sparingly and combined with gold adds contrast and looks earthy)

Brown (earth tones work best here, think about the colour of pine cones, leaf skeletons, bark and leaves)

You can combine several colours together just test them if you are unsure with fabric samples on a mood board.

Cosy Cottage Textures

Just as important as colour the texture of fabric can make a cosy cottage look. There are many combinations of fabrics you can use here, try teaming textures together for a tactile look that makes you want to touch.

Textured furniture also brings a room together for a cosy look. Slip covers and upholstery can transform old pieces of furniture.

Velvet (green red and blackberry can look sumptuous) Natural Fleece

Wool (British wool looks superb, especially a chunky knit)

Felt (layer over crisp cotton or wool)

Embroidery (local, traditional and ethnic)

Soft Wool


Crisp cotton




Look for natural fibres and support local artisans if you are lucky enough to have them. Fabrics with botanical prints also work wonders in creating a warm cosy look. If you have scraps of wallpaper that you love use it to cover books or boxes.

Cosy Cottage Accessories

The easiest way to make a cottage cosy in November is to add a splash of autumnal colour with cut flowers. Create a cottage arrangement with deep rich purples, greens, reds and yellows. Bring in leafs to dry and make leaf skeletons, fallen twigs and pine cones can all be arranged to celebrate autumn colour.

Small terracotta flower pots from the potting shed can be cleaned up and used as decoration. Cinnamon sticks, pomanders made with oranges spiked with cloves can add a seasonal aroma to any home. Create your own pot-pourri by simmering cinnamon, nutmeg, orange juice, cloves and any other spice you like on the stove.

Candles can add ambience to any room and if you like them scented you will be spoilt for choice at this time of year. They also come in wonderful colours, perfect for your decorating scheme.

Patterned plates and dinnerware also add to the look. Traditional European blue (both French and Dutch) look the part but you can also find artists that paint on plates; partridges and wild foul, farm animals and fruit and even sea creatures.

Make the most of the warmer weather and get out and about to find your decorating style. Look for inspiration from walking in nature, antiques shops and fairs, farmers markets (squash and pumpkins look great by flower arrangements) salvage yards and large food and craft fairs (you could go shopping mad in London’s markets this time of year!)

Throw wool blankets over wooden chairs, add a few extra cushions on the sofa, layer different types of fabric on the bed, crisp cottons layered with fleece and then wool creates a snug, comforting, luxurious place to sleep.

If you dread winter coming, decorate with floral fabrics, the darker shades work well this time of year and a splash of summer may be just what you need to enjoy the long winter while you wait for spring.

Photo: Bring nature indoors with leaf skeletons and cones.
English Country Cottages.

This month we celebrate the timber frame cottage. Learn about the history of the timber frame, how it’s built and the best counties to find them. The page also connects with the wattle and daub page where you can discover a little about how it’s made and the old paint wash or stencilled ‘pargeting’ or ‘noggin’ that was applied after.

Click the underlined text to go to the Timber frame cottage

Cottage Tour Of England:


In this issue we go to Widecombe-in-the-moor, the most famous village in Dartmoor, Devon its just up the road from beautiful Buckland-in-the-moor and is a great spot for lunch.

…So get cosy with a cup of tea and travel to Widecombe-in-the-moor in Devon

Recipe Of The Month.

"Simple Squash Soup"

This recipe is so simple and easy. You can add to it anyway you wish, blend it, add cream it’s up to you. Sweet, delicious and warming…


1 ½ cups of chopped shallots (or onions)

2 cloves of chopped garlic

4 cups of chopped, mixed, seasonal squash

5 cups of stock (I used half chicken and half vegetable stock)

Fresh sage and thyme (as much as you like)

Salt and pepper (if needed, season to taste)

Double goats cream (or double cream): Optional


Warm up the stock in a large pan.

Add the vegetables and cook until soft. About 20 to 30 minutes, the longer you cook it the less sweeter and orange it will be.

You can take out two cups (or all of it if you like) and either blend it, or use a wooden spoon to crush it to add texture to the soup.

Put the blended or crushed soup back into the pot. Warm, stir and serve in a cup or bowl.

You can add cream either in the blender or when serving. Double goats cream is gorgeous with squash!

Add the fresh herbs, sage and thyme, sprinkled on top.


It is my sincere hope that the information I provide on assists you in finding inspiration from the English cottage and country life wherever in the world you may be.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I’d love to hear from you. Just reply to this E-zine and tell me what you think.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this E-zine as much as I enjoyed writing it

Yours Sincerly,

Helen Green.
English Cottage Lifestyle

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