Annie’s Rustic Cottage Inspiration


I’ve had my house in Normandy for some 25 years. It’s an old farmhouse complete with an old cowshed and barns. Inside, I’ve introduced elements of rustic country style, which I feel is in keeping with the home’s history. My kitchen (shown here) brings together many rustic elements, including an old cider barrel that I’ve aged using a wash of my paint, Chalk Paint™. By the fire, I keep an old French log basket and a very battered antique Louis Vuitton trunk. The cushion is made of old French mattress ticking.


Rustic country furniture tends to be quite basic and simple in the way it is made. Tables, sideboards, and chairs will be chunky and built to last.

The interior of this American homestead fuses rustic country elements – like an Adirondack style basket and a pair of Swedish wooden children’s snowshoes – with other elements from other styles (the pair of neoclassical vases, for instance). The table is a “country Hepplewhite” and all the elements are natural and rustic in function and texture.


When I was working on my last book, ‘Annie Sloan’s Room Recipes for Style and Colour’, I visited this lovely rustic cottage in the Peak District in the North of England. It was like a hidden treasure-trove with its original features waiting to be discovered. In the kitchen, they have put in an AGA cast-iron range stove, which is very much in keeping with the working kitchen. The kitchen worktop and sink are original. Everything is on display, within easy reach.


The mini cupboard in this rustic English kitchen was actually sourced from Romania. It’s a real country piece and the owners use it to store their collection of English spongeware. To create a similar look, try mixing Antibes Green and a bit of Aubusson Blue from my Chalk Paint™ paint palette, and distress back heavily with sandpaper once painted.


The bathroom in this English cottage is a mix of blue-green hues. The rolltop, freestanding, single-ended Victorian bathtub, with its old brass faucets and ball-and-claw cast iron feet is a classic rustic country item. Here it is set in shades reminiscent of my Aubusson Blue and Louis Blue. The chair is a lighter Greek Blue with very textured and worn paintwork. The natural iron latch on the well-worn door is pure rustic.

ROOM RECIPES FOR STYLE AND COLOUR by ANNIE & FELIX SLOAN, published by CICO Books. Photography by Christopher Drake © CICO Books 2014

Written by Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan

One of the world’s most respected paint and colour experts, Annie Sloan brings decades of expertise – and plenty of style – to her hugely popular line of decorative paint, Chalk Paint™.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2015, Chalk Paint™ is a unique, eco-friendly, formula that sticks to just about any surface – inside and outside the home – without the need for priming or sanding. Inspired by 18th and 20th century décor and design, the range comprises over 30 decorative and historic colours, which combine well to provide an even larger colour palette. With a brand new line of stencils, fabrics, brushes, waxes to provide protection and durability to painted projects, and other finishing products, Annie’s inspirations are transforming more and more homes every day.

While growing the range, Annie also finds time to swap paintbrush for pen. Her 24 books on decorative painting, with a 25th due to come out later this year, have sold well over 2 million copies and are giving people the world over the skills and confidence to get creative.

A passionate supporter of small businesses, Annie only sells her products through independent shops. She encourages each of her tight-knit group of global Stockists to be individual and inspiring in their ventures and – like the lovers of her paints and products – to find their own Annie Sloan.

Annie trained as a fine artist and turned to decorative work after university in the mid -1970s while painting murals in houses as commissions. By 1987, Annie had written the phenomenally successful book ‘The Complete Book of Decorative Paint Techniques’ which is considered to be the industry bible on the subject. Unable to find the paints that she wished to work with, Annie used her knowledge of colour, paint, pigments and art history and invented Chalk Paint™ in 1990.

In 2000 Annie set up a shop in Oxford to showcase Chalk Paint™, run courses, and offer interior design services. More books followed and there are now nearly 1,500 Stockists around the world, with 43 Stockists in Canada and growing, and an ever-expanding portfolio of complementary products.

6 thoughts on “Annie’s Rustic Cottage Inspiration

  1. Having an open fire with no screen seems dangerous. There is a cloth draped like a curtain hanging above the open fireplace, there is a wicker basket just a few inches from the flames which could catch fire if a spark landed in it there. Not safe. The place does look cozy and nice, but safety should be considered. Any open fire should have either a screen or glass doors and nothing flamable should be near enough to cause a fire.

  2. We agree, safety is an important consideration. These photos are staged for a photo shoot but for every day use, a screen would be in place for improved safety.

  3. There’s just something about this ….absolutely love it. Can I come visit? LOL

  4. So beautiful and so much old world charm to look at,your home is wonderful Annie it looks like it has always looked this way x

  5. can you use annie sloan chalk paint to paint out side decking ?and if so would it chip and will it protect the wood in winter months .thank you

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