Weaving sustainability into everything we do

How we renovated sustainably

Elsie's cottage is in a stunning location, and renovating it came with all the sensitivities of working  in an AONB close to an area designated as an SSI. We wanted to keep our imprint on the land as minimal as possible.

Our work began with removing a wooden conservatory to make way for a single storey extension, We kept the footprint small, and that allowed for as little concrete as possible to be used. The conservatory has been re-purposed into a greenhouse for growing veg at home too.

We built the extension in wood, which meant no blocks or mixing of mortar on site, which again reduced impact to wildlife with less dust and waste.

The second biggest construction job was building a terrace at the rear of the property. Again we used all the stone on site to build up levels, sleepers lined the perimeter, and we used old corrugated sheets to panel the underside of the terrace.

Much of the work inside the cottage was about uncovering the original features, rather than adding too much. We Opened up rooms, discovered a huge inglenook fireplace, stripped beams, but kept them rustic. The old wallpaper fragments still hang from the ceiling, as a nod to Elsie's past life.

Our aim was to celebrate the quirkiness of this little cottage, old boards were lightly sanded, quarry tiled floors remain and stone walls left untouched after the layers of paint were removed.

Partitioned were taken down, and doorways opened up. So the once pokey cottage had room to breathe.

Re-purposed, Recycled, Reused, Restored

When renovating and decorating, our approach was very much about recycle, reuse and reclaim.  To be honest as a lover of hunting around reclamation yards and afternoons rummaging in flea markets this was not a hardship or difficult.

It is a great way to find unique pieces and make the experience for our guests really special. We sourced old doors with an unusual finish as panels behind the bath with a wonderful verdigris finish.

Lights were found in flea markets and antiques stores. Wall decor was found in reclamation yards along with mirrors and panelling.

The roll top bath was bought as a second and restored.

Old beams were repurposed into tap mounts, and to support shower screen glass. Whilst old elm planks made rustic headboards.

The curtains, blinds and cushions were made from fabric remnants and where we could we bought recycled furniture.

It all took Just a little imagination!

The wonderful world of reclamation

Much of the beauty of finding and using old stuff is that it makes for originality whilst at the same time delivers sustainability.

The wonderful mixes in texture bringing together rusted finishes, next to copper or feather with glass, provide a deep richness that is often lacking in modern bathing pieces.

We even found our stairs handrail in the reclamation yard - an aluminium reproduction of a tree branch - I have no idea what it was originally made for, but it works at Elsie's.

We found rusted stars to hang on the walls, old cigarette card collections as art, and even a pile of old leather bound accounting ledgers which, stacked made a perfect bedside table.

These interior touches are not only fun and surprising for our guests, they are also what makes us unique. Staying at one of our cottages is not a cookie cutter experience, we hope to surprise and delight in the little things.

Cleaning that doesn't cost the earth

Even the most mundane of things such as cleaning has a huge impact on waste and sustainability.

I hated throwing away J cloths and plastic sponges, so now all our cleaning cloths and scrubbers are washable and reusable.

We use eco products too, from laundry detergent to antibacterial spray, dishwasher tablets to washing up liquid.

The toiletries provided are all in refillable bottles and are also eco friendly - good for you and the planet.

We've even ensured that you can wipe with a free conscious, using eco friendly toilet paper, which donates profits into building toilets where they are needed.

When it comes to rubbish, we recycle all we can. We provide guests with a bag for general waste and a green bag for all recyclable waste. This includes, metals, card, paper, glass and plastics.

We will be adding a composting bin for for waste and hope to collect rainwater for use in the garden.

Supporting Local

When it comes to food we support local.  It not only reduces the impact on the environment, it supports small businesses and the community but most of all it tastes the best!

Our hampers are locally sourced, all our produce packs are from wonderful local suppliers and we think about how its all packaged and waste too.

We deliver milk in old fashioned bottles, eggs are from our hens  - when they are laying, morning pastries from award winning artisan bakers and meats from butchers who source produce reared in the county!

Cider is grown on ur doorstep as well as some wonderful English wines, so there is much to choose from.

We are lucky to live in an area which produces so much amazing produce so when guests stay they can really celebrate our county with us!

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