Cosy. Comfort. A warm hug.
I can remember stepping inside my vacation holiday rental in November a couple of years ago while visiting the north Devon countryside, and snuggling into the upholstered sofa while the rain wihpped against the house for hours. I was warm, I had my cuppa, and I had layers of warmth. The perfect evening.
I cannot quite remember when I began to gravitate toward British cottage decor, but I have for many years been saving images and exploring brands that offer aesthetics drawing my eye as I seek comfort, cosy upolstery, warmth on a cold wintery evening without being too dark or cave-like. After all, in the same breath, when I think of a cottage, I think of a cottage garden full of whimsical blooms and dancing butterflies where everything seems unplanned but in actualality is thoughtfully planted to create an aesthetic of joviality and welcome.
Living in a Craftsman, I am now taking full advantage of the opportunity to add Arts & Crafts decor touches and create a home with cottage furniture – items that have a story, that are deeply comfortable, begging you to linger and make you happy just to walk in the door and view the space.
While there are many British decor companies I have yet to learn about or be introduced to, today I would like to share the first of what I am sure will be many, posts sharing the brands I have now shopped and recommend for welcoming the British cosy cottage decor aesthetic.
For Signature Table Lamps & Fabric Shades
I have been looking for a slender table lamp for my console counter in my kitchen. My goal is to create a living space that is the kitchen, so that no matter what the time of day, the kitchen is as cozy and welcoming for conversation as it is functional for delicious meals. By offering softer lighting options, made possible by a table lamp, complete with a fabric shade, this will be the perfect touch for cosy comfort whether the light is on or off.
Pooky is based in Britain, and does ship internationally. As soon as I saw their many different styles, finishes and fabrics, I knew this would be where I purchased that particular lamp for my kitchen. Offering both classic and modern lamps and lighting fixtures, they also offer, and this is what I especially love about them, a variety of fabric shades in oodles of prints and colors.
Trafalgar table lamp in antique bronze (shade available)
For Snuggly Comfort, Classic & Modern Upholstered Furniture
2. Arlo & Jacob
Arlo & Jacob are a company I worked with for over eight months on a custom upholstery project for my living room. Seeking the classic cozy British reading chair complete with ottoman, their Poirot chair and Hastings small ottoman (seen in #8 below) weere just what I was looking for. As well, they have modern takes on classic styles as well (seen in their Aragon modern wingbacks that Norman has claimed as his new favorite chair below). Handmade in their factories in Britain, you can choose from their fabric options or send them your custom preference, and speaking from experience, I could not be more pleased with the comfort the Poirot chair offers. Affordable luxury offering classic British upholstered furniture.
If you having been looking for the classic cozy, rolled armed British sofa or armchair with large pudding cushions, and you want the sofa to last forever, but you don’t want to have to pay for the top of the line Howard piece, seek out George Sherlock. Filled with down and feather, their bespoke sofas are built to order customized to the “T” – fabric, legs, finish, fixtures, fill percentage – and while you will have to wait 14 weeks approximately and yes, you will have to invest, you will receive a sofa of your dreams. You can ship to the United States. Simply reach out to Sharone Einhorn of Ruby Beets, the interior designer as she is the US George Sherlock representative.
Recommended by Rita Konig in her Create Academy online decor class, it took me a year to finally discover where to find a classic British sofa (many widths are available) that would provide the warmth of a British cottage design as well as be available in a print fabric of my choosing.
The recommended advice I have heard over and over again when it comes to decorating your home is to invest well in a sofa. Take your time, do your homework, layout the room and measure three times, then invest. You will have a frame and filling that will stand the test of time and all you will have to do if you every change your mind regarding the fabric is have it reupholstered.
4. 1st Dibs
A British cottage aesthetic will have secondhand finds sitting right along side an antique with decades, maybe centuries of stories to tell, and finding those antiques is a treasure hunt in and of itself. While I highly recommend visiting your local shops, brocantes, yard and estate sales, for online antique shopping, be sure to check out 1stDibs.
I found the 19th century Provençal cookbook stand from a dealer located in Britain. We haggled back and forth on the price, but I could not be more tickled with my find. Of course, depending upon where the item is located (it may be with a dealer in the states just as easily), you will have to factor in shipping, but if you find that one-of-a-kind piece, it will likely be with you for quite some time, and it will had a signature touch to your sanctuary.
From British cosys for the teapots to side drink tables, I have found many different unique and lovely items on Etsy. Certainly an online destination to check out when you have a ballpark idea of what you are looking for.
For Home Decor Items
For a clean aesthetic or a simple vase or glasses, The White Company is certainly a shop online or in-person to check out. I have purchased two handblown vases from them as well as linen pillow shams, and everything, once it arrives (which is quite promptly being that it is arriving from Britain) is exactly as I had hoped.
Looking for apothecary vases, I found the one I would bring home at Sophie Conran. Making home decor, kitchenware and many other home details available, British interior designer Sophie Conran offers wonderful items at affordable prices that are worth shopping.
Fabric printed in Cumbria in northern England, Cabbage & Curtainrail’s designs are spearheaded by one woman, and the inspiration for each season’s collections are drawn from her everyday life. I have had the opportunity to communicate with Michaela for the past nine or more months as I chose her Cumberland Cow in Ochre for my fireplace chairs, and I could not recommend her small business more to anyone who is seeking lovely, signature British upholstery and fabric.
If you look closely at the fabric, you’ll notice the designs are of four cow faces – nose-to-nose-to-nose-to-nose. The whimsical, stunning designs make you smile and feel right at home.
The classic of classic British fabrics, Colefax & Fowler. Simply to look at their fabrics is to dream of luxury and comfort, so I dared to dream and as I have lived by the edict to invest in quality so that I need not have to purchase again multiple times, but rather enjoy something for a long-breadth of time, upholstered my Poirot chair and Hastings ottoman in their Tapestry Flowers design.
American Companies offering British style & designs
10. Serena & Lily
From their caned Bedford trays which remind me of being at the coast to their printed wallpaper created in England, Serena & Lily are a decor destination to check out for the quality staples you are seeking to create a welcoming cottage decor with a nautical undertone. AND, through this Thursday, October 29th, you can save 20% off everything when you use promo code LOVEHOME. I will be taking advantage of this sale to scoop up the wallpaper I have loooooong been waiting to purchase since last spring I knew immediately it was perfect for my primary bedroom. I have shopped a few items for you below, but be sure to shop the entire site for yourself.
~S & L’s Square Bedford Tray is used daily in my home as it sits atop my coffee table in my living room. Measuring 24″ by 24″, it is oversized and perfect for multiple items and functions.
If you are looking for wallpaper companies to explore to bring the ultimate British aesthetic to your cottage, be sure to check out this post – 10 British Wallpaper Companies to Know. As someone who loves wallpaper and is planning on adding more to my home (my mudroom was my first project with British wallpaper and I could not be more tickled with the result), finding playful, yet complementary prints is a fun challenge.
Creating our sanctuary is an on-going journey of exploration as it involves exploring and getting to know ourselves. As more is learned about what brings us comfort, as we travel and bring home items that hold not only a function but memories of the life we have lived, where we wish to invest becomes all the more clear, and where we wish to add whimsy and fun, clearer still.
I hope this list has helped point you in directions that will help you find exactly what you are looking for, and if you have British decor brands you have found worth shopping, please do share. You are amongst the company of Anglophiles, and we would all appreciate your sharing. 🙂
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