Cover A view of the living area

The award-winning British designer masterfully reimagines a weekend retreat into a luxuriously cosy, modern rustic abode that embodies the essence of cottagecore

Nestled in the heart of the English countryside, this country house exuded quaint British charm. But the well-loved home was in need of a refurbishment and a modern update for its interiors. So the homeowners enlisted top British interior designer Kelly Hoppen to create the perfect weekend retreat spot for them.

“The client wanted somewhere peaceful to go for a bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of London. We made sure to balance the space for having guests over but also to keep it really cosy and personal so it feels like a home away from home,” says Hoppen, a recipient of the prestigious British CBE award for making a positive impact through her work.

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Known for her signature East-meets-West style and her modern minimalist leanings, Hoppen drew on key hallmarks of her design work, such as a harmonious blend of neutral tones and a lush mix of interesting textures to create a homey, inviting space to luxuriate in.

“I wanted to blend that English countryside cottage charm with a contemporary, Belgian artistic feel,” says Hoppen. “The interiors are laidback and charming; the curious sculptural pieces and textures throughout keep it captivating and adventurous.”

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For a warm welcome, the comfortable living room features a statement hearth where firewood logs are stacked against forest green accent walls to emphasise the countryside aesthetic. At the request of the clients, who wanted a deep sofa they could lie on, Hoppen’s team designed the sofa in close collaboration with London manufacturer The Sofa & Chair Company. Hoppen quips: “I was so happy we were able to get it through the front door!”

To achieve this comfortable yet coordinated ambiance, she started with her signature neutral base palette—“it never fails!”—and layered varied textures, organic materials and earthy fabrics. “The bold, oversized coffee table and sculptural ceramics add a contemporary lift and the beautiful linen upholstery and relaxed, organic fabrics are super homely and inviting,” she added.

Some of the smaller walls were knocked down to create an open-plan kitchen featuring a pantry and dining area to maintain a seamless flow when entertaining. To emphasise the country appeal, she incorporated natural wooden accents and furnishings, such as a vintage work table and an organic coffee table.

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For the master bedroom, Hoppen envisioned it to be a “haven of calm” with soft neutral tones and greys to complement the warmth of the wooden rafters. “The sharper lines of the timber vaulting are offset by the soft, curved headboard and relaxed textures throughout,” she says.

An antique Chinese-style sideboard featuring intricate carvings adds just the right touch of Asian craftsmanship that showcases the designer’s effortless East-meets-West style. As a final touch, the team also reworked the architecture of the space by shifting the staircase to incorporate a little “snug” area in the master bedroom. Elegantly furnished with comfortable seating, sophisticated monochromatic art and a round Italian marble table, this is the perfect place to enjoy a moment of respite.

“I adore this project and the feeling of instant relaxation and calmness as soon as you step in,” Hoppen reflects. “It was a real passion project for me and the team. We had a lot of fun creating a more country-chic interior—introducing certain contemporary details while preserving the essence of the space and celebrating what it is, what it has been, and what it has seen through the years.”

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