English Cottages

A Man Shows His 400-Year-Old House in an English Сountryside. How Does He Live There?

This beautiful house is located in a tiny village called Little Faringdon, where only 63 people live. Among them is James Mackie, well-known in business circles. He used to hold high positions in auction houses (including Sotheby’s) and now enjoys life in rural England, collecting vintage items and providing interior design consultations.

The 17th-century house where Mackie lives is perhaps the best illustration of his refined taste. Rare antiques (such as a redwood bureau from the 1750s) blend perfectly with whitewashed wooden beams and countryside-style curtains. However, most things in this old house are vintage. Due to his profession and personal hobby, James has been collecting antiques for almost his entire life.

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© James McDonald

James bought this house in 2016. It took 10 months for renovation, remodeling, and reconstruction.

He now lives in this house year-round. Initially purchased as a country retreat for weekends away from the hectic pace of the city (James lived in London for almost 20 years), he was so charmed by rural life that he decided to move here permanently.

Since 2020, after leaving the auction house and moving to the village, James Mackie has been working remotely as an interior designer. It can be said that buying the old house opened up new career opportunities for him.

Let’s see how a lone Englishman lives in a picturesque village and what he has turned a 17th-century house into.

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© James McDonald

The house walls are adorned with black-and-white etchings, lithographs, and paintings that James Mackie has been collecting since the 1990s. In the photo, there are engravings by an unknown artist and that luxurious redwood bureau. It’s hard to believe it’s over two hundred years old.

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© James McDonald

This is another part of the living room. In the relaxation area, there’s a couch from the 1920s (James personally chose the fabric for reupholstering the furniture) and a cozy home library with many books on design, architecture, and British history.

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© James McDonald

From the living room, you can enter another room, serving the same purpose. Here, James relaxes, reads books, and enjoys morning coffee at an 18th-century table with a fold-down top. And notice how stylish the bright blue couch looks against the whitewashed walls.

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© James McDonald

From the outside, the house may seem large, but inside there isn’t much space. So every square foot here is occupied by something. For example, this nook is designated as a home bar. The curtains are made from Bennison Fabrics – a British company specializing in hand-printed fabrics based on 18th and 19th-century English and French textiles.

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© James McDonald

The house isn’t big, but there’s still room next to the kitchen for a small dining area. Here, there’s an oak table and 18th-century chairs.

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© James McDonald

And here’s the kitchen itself. The cabinetry is old but ordinary and inexpensive. It’s painted in a herbal color from Farrow & Ball.

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© James McDonald

An original 17th-century stone staircase leads to the second floor. It’s hard to imagine how many people have climbed it to their bedrooms over the years.

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© James McDonald

Upstairs are the bedroom, dressing room, and bathroom. In the main bedroom (there’s also a small guest room), the accents are on an antique quilt that’s over a hundred years old, as well as curtains and a rug that are coordinated in tone.

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© James McDonald

Next to the bedroom is the bathroom with a large window (unfortunately, it’s barely visible in the photo). The interior features “Knurl” wallpaper from Howe.

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© James McDonald

And this is the guest bedroom, where guests from London and other cities stay. Once (under the previous owner), this room was just a storage space. To decorate the bedroom, James used wallpaper from the legendary Morris & Co.

Thank you for reading until the end. Share your thoughts in the comments!

Source: houseandgarden.co.uk

Qualified interior designer and article author specializing in home and residential interiors since 2021. My favorite topics include Scandinavian design, reviews of English cottages, as well as simple and light ideas for apartment decoration.

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