Moving to The Cotswolds Q&A

Moving to The Cotswolds Q&A

4 years ago Charlie and I moved from our beautiful little home in Clapham to our wonderful new home in The Cotswolds. To mark this milestone, Charlie and I answered many of your questions about moving to The Cotswolds in a recent YouTube video. We didn’t have time to answer all of your questions in the video, so here are the answers to more of your fabulous questions!



Did the move to The Cotswolds lead to a change in your personal style?

The short answer is a big yes from both of us, both in terms of fashion and interiors. Our sense of style has transitioned significantly since our London days. For Charlie, this means less of the white trainers and of suede Chelsea boots, and more wellies, more practical footwear, and many more gilets! My fashion sense has shifted majorly too; I don’t attend as many occasions where stilettos are needed, so I’ve swapped these out for more utilitarian footwear day to day, including wellies of course, but also comfortable slip ons for gardening. We both favour different brands than we did when living in London. While I still love brands such as Reiss and Chloé, country brands such as Holland Cooper and Beaufort & Blake have become key parts of my everyday wardrobe.

In terms of interiors, while living in London we were anti dark-brown furniture and antiques. Oh, how times have changed! Over the first year or so of living here, our historic Cotswold home showed us the kind of furniture that suits it. We really took a lesson from that as we realised that the French style furniture that we brought from London just didn’t look right in a fourteenth century English farmhouse. As we became obsessed with exploring beautiful country properties, such as national trust properties, our interior design evolved into what it is now.



Do you do the interior design yourself?

Yes, we have done the bulk of the interior design ourselves. We have taken inspiration from friends houses & from period properties we have visited. In fact, we couldn’t afford an interior designer when we first moved in, and I’d say we are now grateful for that, as we are both very particular about what we like; plus it’s been a lovely adventure developing our own style. And we are certainly not done yet – we often come across pieces of art or little finishing touches to make each room even more homely and personal to us. If you’re moving into a new property and you’re in a real rush to get things finished, or perhaps if you’re very busy with work, we would recommend hiring an interior designer as it will give you finished rooms within a much speedier time frame.

What is the most loved room in your home?

The answer to this question really depends on when you ask us, as it differs seasonally. We love the drawing room in the cold months particularly, as it is the most festive room in the house. It’s simply perfect for socialising with friends and family in front of the roaring open fire, snuggled up on the beloved George Smith sofas and chairs, where you can snooze after a tasty Sunday roast. During spring and summer, I’d say the most loved room is the garden, if that counts! We particularly love spending time on the terrace; listening to the birds and the buzz of bees visiting the herbaceous borders. The outdoor sofa on the terrace is perfect for enjoying breakfast and a morning coffee, while the dining table is perfect for al fresco dining in the summer months. The greenhouse is also a fabulous spot, particularly during spring and autumn, as it can get a little stuffy in there during the summer.


In terms of the moving process, would you do anything differently?

As many of you guys will know, we moved during the first COVID lockdown – the dreaded April 2020. The moving process was therefore fairly unusual. We were very lucky that we were working from home through the second half of March, which happened to be during the lead up to moving. This meant we had more time available to pack everything up. I was very hot on organisation during the packing process – I even colour coded the boxes!

If we were ever to move again (although we don’t ever plan to!), I’d stick with this level of organisation, as it made unpacking a much smoother process. However, we probably should have done a bigger clear-out before moving. We brought stuff such as furniture and planters that we then got rid of quite quickly after moving, as they just weren’t right of the house. It’s also a good idea to take photos and videos of each room of your new house before moving in, so you can start planning where furniture will go, realise which pieces you don’t want to take with you, and work out which new pieces you will need.

Check out our home instagram account here!



If you have children, what would you change about your home?

This question is quite tricky to answer as things will naturally evolve when and if the time comes. We do hope to eventually start a family and have children, and therefore, we will need to turn one of our guest bedrooms into a nursery. We will also have to take some safety precautions within the garden, such as by making the pond area safer. Really though, we will just see how it goes if and when the time comes!

Did you have any prior knowledge of gardening before you moved to The Cotswolds?

I’d say we had a basic understanding of gardening when we moved from London. Both Charlie and I grew up in families where both parents loved gardening, so we both spent a lot of time in the garden growing up. We therefore both had early exposure to gardening, although our plant knowledge wasn’t particularly strong. We had a very small garden in Clapham which we loved dearly, although there are many things we did to that garden, such as putting in an artificial lawn, which we would never do now! If you’re trying to learn about gardening and don’t know where to start, try watching Gardener’s World on the weekends, as well as educational YouTube channels, such as Huw Richards and Charles Dowding. Through watching these channels and through lots of practise, our gardening knowledge has changed considerably, which has changed our lives for the better!

Advice to young adults saving for their first home?

It’s not easy or straight forward to purchase your first home. Property prices are high and mortgages are not that easy to get nowadays. Your first home is likely to be a stepping stone, rather than your forever home, so it’s a good idea to look for an area which is up and coming; with the hope that you’ll make money from it when you move on.

We were very fortunate in that our first house was on the edge of Brixton, which wasn’t a great area when we bought the property, but by the time we left it was a much more desirable area. We couldn’t have predicted this so there’s certainly an element of luck when it comes to choosing a property that will increase in value. Another tip is that you don’t have to view your first house purchase as somewhere that you have to live yourself. If you live in London for example, but can’t afford to buy in London, you could buy a property elsewhere and rent it out, as at least then you’re on the property ladder.



If you had to live somewhere in the UK that wasn’t The Cotswolds, where would it be?

This is a very difficult question to answer. We have totally fallen in love with the English countryside, and particularly The Cotswolds. We love the rolling hills, the wildlife and the big open skies. These are things that you certainly don’t get in cities. If we had to live somewhere else, I think we would look to live in another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, (now a National Landscape); somewhere with lots of farms and beautiful countryside such as Norfolk perhaps. Equally, here in the UK we are blessed with a stunning coastline, so an area like Devon could also be an option.

How do you find the inspiration for your interior design & furniture choices?

When it comes to interiors, we are forever learning and growing. There are many decisions that we make with interior design, that over the years we have revised and changed. We gradually realise that certain pieces of furniture should be moved or replaced, and we move around and add various pieces of artwork. Magazines such as House & Garden are fabulous for inspiration, as well as interior design instagram accounts. And as we’ve said, visiting old properties is a great source of inspiration. We’ve absolutely loved growing into our home and designing as we go, and we will continue to make little tweaks as our tastes continue to develop!

If you’d like to know where we purchase our antiques from, read Charlie’s online antiques black book post here.