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Designed by James Elliott, TP Bennett London, United Kingdom

Neston Hill

Herefordshire, United Kingdom

James Elliott

Tp Bennett’s James Elliott and his wife’s goal: turning their neglected cottage into a liveable home. Their professional backgrounds and design-awareness kept them engaged throughout the process. “We wanted to be sympathetic to the building, without making it a pastiche of a cottage.”


The original structure is a farmer’s cottage circa 1914. “When we bought it, we debated knocking it down or refurbishing it completely. I figured we could breathe a little life into it, long enough to see if we would like the country life. It turned out we love being here, so after six years and several roof patches later we decided upon a complete refurbishment.”

“We didn’t want to use faux vintage, so that any signs of age are authentic and our own.”

The right aesthetic

“We deliberated for a long time to find the right aesthetic. We wanted it to be a modern interpretation of a cottage, and we decided to keep the basic structure for cost reasons and extend in areas. That posed a challenge: absolutely everything is out of plumb with low ceilings in places, so we had to save every millimetre in headroom. That’s one of the reasons why we spec’d Hakwood: their range and tailoring options allowed us to have the flooring finishes and dimensions we wanted. Together with the textures, the ceiling heights and levels have been key in creating intimacy to the spaces we wanted to save.”

Design solutions

Finding functional design solutions was a rewarding challenge for the Elliotts’. “We both work from the cottage from time to time, so we needed an occasional work space. There is a seating area, with the most spectacular view over the countryside, where we integrated a flip-up desk from a wall also clad in Hakwood flooring. Now, the most relaxing part of the cottage doubles as our office. That’s the kind of neat functional solution that makes the space work for every occasion.”

“The floor was such an important decision for us, the material that instigated the whole palette.”

Products used
Flooring Rubens, Sierra Collection
Grades Classical
Finish Oil
Thickness 15 mm (5/8")
Plank widths 180 mm (7")
Flooring Meridon, Old World Collection
Grades Classical
Finish Oil
Thickness 20 mm (3/4")
Plank widths 180 mm (7")
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