Elgars Cottage: Interior and Exterior Design and Planning

Elgars, my little cottage in Hampshire, has been a labour of love and if I was not so patient and determined to finish it I would have sold it long ago to the many people who have enquired after it.  Once a group of sheds and a small grain store attached to the back of a shop on Lymington’s High St, in 1986 it was “all joined up” and an L-shaped cottage was created around a courtyard, accessed by a narrow alley.  Poorly designed as an abode – strange shape, badly lit, no views and no vehicle access – it became the managers flat to the next door hotel, a storage room and a chef’s office. When I purchased the cottage in 1995 along with the Stanwell House Hotel I joined the ground floor of the cottage to the back of the hotel kitchen – it made the chef’s life easier, saved on muddy footprints between the buildings and made use of the redundant passageway.  Unwittingly I thus gave the building the status of “listed” as of course the Stanwell was listed.  For more information and pictures of Stanwell House Hotel see my interior design website. For more information on Lymington visit the brilliantly informative www.lymington.com
By 2006 the cottage part was so run down that it needed a complete refurbishment and was no longer used as a managers flat.  I decided that the wisest thing to do was to give the kitchen part back to the cottage and turn the one L shaped building into two rectangular and very tiny living spaces, dividing at the convergence.  The limited space was a challenge but I have designed it around three options; the single occupant of executive status who works locally, the couple who use it as a pied a terre when they come to visit their boat in the marina or the holiday rental who stays for one or two weeks max.  All cases will require the space of a flat with a basic kitchen (as they mostly eat out, have takeaways or ready-mades) but will want the superiority of exceptional comfort in the form of good beds, good showers, underfloor heating, sound systems, intimate lighting and a cosy place to sit, plus a pretty courtyard for those balmy nights.