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LMK Pure, 16th Century Cottage, Cotswolds

The meticulous renovation and extension of this idyllic 16th-century thatched cottage in the Cotswolds by interior designer Bee Osborn is a masterpiece  

Epitomising the country idyll, this enchanting chocolate-box, thatched cottage with its Cotswolds stone walls appears to be straight out of a fairytale. The Oxfordshire home of talented interior designer Bee Osborn, founder of Osborn Interiors, was once the village bakery. It dates from the 16th century and was a derelict property before Bee wove her magic on it. When Bee first chanced upon the property, it was, she reveals, ‘a falling down, two up two-down cottage, hidden by brambles.’ The cottage’s appeal lay in the fact it was located on a plot that offered potential to extend, and this was a crucial factor as Bee planned to create a home that accommodated herself and her partner, and her three daughters and their partners. 

‘My intention was to create a really cosy, calm, relaxed family home and very much a living feeling space,’ she explains. ‘The goal was to restore the cottage to its full glory, while modernising it by adding an extension to the rear that doubled the size of the property.’ Extensive ground works involving digging down two metres in both the original cottage and contemporary wood-clad addition to lower the floors to elevate the feeling of space. The extension undeniably introduces further wow factor to the property, housing an expansive open-plan family room and kitchen that is separated from the dining room (located in the original kitchen), with wall-to-wall steps linking the two levels. Generous metal-framed glazing immerses the open-plan space in light and opens to the beautiful garden, emphasising the indoor-outdoor feel. 

That connection with nature was core to the renovation. Soothing lime plaster wraps the extension walls in a nuanced, earthy finish that is instilled with a sense of movement. Washed wooden planks clad the floor and the ceiling, providing a backdrop that is an enticing celebration of natural materials. Complementing the chalky, muted scheme, inviting slouchy linen sofas and chairs induce relaxation in the sitting area, while natural texture also flourishes in the kitchen where mesh decorative inserts adorn the island doors, low-level rattan-topped lamps light the way and beaded vessels stand sentry beside the French doors. ‘I like places to flow easily and feel immensely calm, inviting and comfortable,’ says Bee, ‘so I use a lot of natural materials, such as reclaimed wood, rattan, cotton and linen.’  

Bee is a devotee of Samuel Heath’s skilled craftsmanship, and the expansive kitchen island showcases the LMK LMK Pure Kitchen Tap in a Stainless Steel finish that mimics brushed nickel. ‘The kitchen tap and the Everhot range were pivotal in the kitchen, everything else was designed around them,’ Bee explains. ‘What I love most about my kitchen tap is that it is both form and function. The fact that it swivels is incredible. I love the combination of the more natural fibres and materials with the tap’s sleek industrial look.’ 

The original cottage is where the bones of the property are most evident and here a mix of exposed stone and plank-clad walls rub shoulders with the ancient beams that lace the vaulted ceilings. The character-filled upstairs spaces exude modern rustic chic against the backdrop of period features. In a nod to the hotel luxe aesthetic, statement roll top baths provide elegant focal points in the bedrooms with their soaring ceilings. 

In one of Bee’s daughters’ bedrooms, for instance, an impressive tin bateau bath injects an element of sophistication in front of the ancient leaded windows. ‘I designed this room with the bath being a real statement because I was taught once that you should see the most beautiful thing in the room the minute you enter,’ Bee explains. ‘I would like someone walking into this room to feel immensely special.’ In juxtaposition with the rugged exposed stone walls and rustic painted floorboards, the stately bath evokes a sense of escape. The opulent feel is enhanced by the LMK LMK Pure floor mounted single lever bath/shower filler in an Urban Brass finish, with its elegant form working in both classic and contemporary schemes. The combination of the glacial hue of the metal rolltop and the rich golden warmth of the brassware elicits a frisson of visual intrigue. LMK Pure’s unlacquered brass finish develops over time into a rich and inviting patina, enhancing the brassware’s unique character and, in addition, complementing the period features of the room and echoing their evolution. ‘The Urban Brass living finish is one of my favourites because it gains a patina over time naturally,’ explains Bee. ‘It will darken, and I think these two natural materials together are incredibly attractive. I chose them so that the two would blend and there is the organic feel of them ageing.’ Softening the scheme and enhancing the inviting feel are an oversized linen headboard, relaxed linen bedding and textural cotton throws, all in a soothing neutral palette.  

Bee’s bedroom and ensuite, meanwhile, are the ultimate in indulgence. Plank-adorned walls evoke a cabin-like cosy feel. ‘The elegant bateau bath takes centre stage at the foot of the bed and in front of the fireplace for a luxurious bathing experience that nods to boutique-hotel chic. ‘I wanted to create a cosy sanctuary in which to relax after work,’ notes Bee. She chose a painted bateau bath to heighten the sumptuous and refined aesthetic. The LMK LMK Pure bath filler in Stainless Steel Finish elevates the bathing space further. ‘I chose the finish because it’s so clean and I felt it went really well with this bath. It also picks up on the silver in the cladding. It’s a very strong, elegant yet simple and calm look.’ 

The master ensuite teases through the plank cladding theme with a bespoke washstand designed by Bee incorporating plank drawers and a quartz countertop. ‘I’ve always had a passion for a double vanity unit with two basins,’ explains Bee. LMK LMK Pure Wall Mounted Basin Fillers in Stainless Steel heighten the drama. ‘This is my favourite Samuel Heath design,’ she notes. ‘I love the shape of the levers. They have a modern look to them, yet their design is clean. I particularly love the juxtaposition of the industrial stainless steel with the texture of the cladding and the way they sit together.’ 

Bee holds Samuel Heath and its products in the highest esteem. ‘The integrity of materials and handmade designs are investments that will stand the test of time,’ she explains. ‘The quality is unparalleled, and the detail is amazing, as well as the longevity of the products. I also love that Samuel Heath is a family-run British company that has passed down through the generations.’ 

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