Last May, my husband and I put in an offer on our very first home—a country cottage nestled in a tiny village in the English countryside. After touring most of the UK over the past eight years, we picked the lush little pocket known as the Cotswolds for a ton of reasons, but I won’t lie to you: the local aesthetic ranked high on my list. Hello to all of my cottagecore dreams, finally realized—except for one tiny snag.
Because our humble-but-charming abode was built in the 1600s, it’s been marked as Grade II listed. It’s a UK-specific demarcation, but basically, in the name of historical preservation, we’re not allowed to do any work until we have explicit approval from the local Heritage Committee. And, as you might expect of a home built in the 1600s, there is a lot of work to be done.
While I’m happy to wait, it also means I need to channel my excitement in the only way I know how: retail therapy. Because the room I’m currently most excited about decorating is the kitchen, that’s where I’ve already started. We might not have our official move-in date yet or any idea of when we’ll be able to start renovating the current shell of a kitchen. But clearly, as soon as we do, I’ll be ready.
Here are some items that I've been eyeing to create my dream cottage kitchen, from cookware to essential utensils.
Kitchen Essentials from Our Place
I am a sucker for an Instagram ad, and the kitchenware brand Our Place is proof that the algorithm works. Every single time they target me, I turned into a human heart eye emoji.
I dipped my toe in with the Always Pot and Pan for our London flat, and when they announced a sale, I went all-in on everything. Plates, glasses, accessories, you name it. Piles of Our Place boxes surround me as I type, thanks to my own ridiculous lack of foresight. We probably won’t have a kitchen to place these in for another six months, at minimum. Do I care? No.
Our Place Always Pan Set
Original Wall Art
I want our art to feel as unique as the cottage itself, and when I heard about the Affordable Art Fair, I immediately signed up for tickets. It's exactly what it sounds like—an international art fair that showcases original art at accessible price points. We were blown away by so many pieces, and already purchased one from a gallery in Bath. It was a great way to learn about a new gallery and a new artist, and start our collection without breaking the bank.
Another piece that will definitely hang in the heart of our home is a beautiful custom painting of the cottage. It was a gift from my best friend, and she found Divine Print Studio on Etsy. The artist is based in the UK, but ships worldwide.
DivinePrintStudio Personalized Hand Drawn House Portrait
A Durable, Washable Rug
The kitchen is definitely the main hub of this house, which means the floors are going to get a ton of wear and tear. We're ripping out the current linoleum and crossing our fingers we'll find usable flagstone underneath, but I know a rug will still be necessary. We'll need one for underneath whatever dining set-up we sort out for the space!
While I'm hoping to go vintage in the sitting room, I'm finding Ruggable extremely appealing for the kitchen. Durable, washable, and with some perfect patterns for the cottagecore vibe? Sign me up.
Ruggable Marrakesh Beige Ivory Rug
A Starter Box Full of Kitchen Must-Haves
The team at Art + Cook was incredibly kind to send me one of their seasonal subscription boxes as a gift, and this should be on everyone’s list for stocking a new kitchen. Get it for a friend, get it for yourself, or get it because you need a little refresh but aren’t sure where to start. I was given the Winter subscription box, which included some major staples like a kitchen scale, a meat thermometer, a stainless steel and silicone utensil set, and a cutting board. Basically, all the things you realize you’re missing the first time you’re cooking in a newly stocked kitchen.
Art + Cook Subscription Box
Something Special from Julia Berolzheimer x Pottery Barn
Sure, I miss living an entire ocean away from our closest friends and family—but I might miss Pottery Barn more. I’m joking, of course, but when I saw Julia Berolzheimer’s new line for Pottery Barn, I realized that an empty suitcase will probably need to come back with me on our next U.S. trip. It’s just too hard to pick between the scalloped lacquer trays, the etched poppy glass vases, and the adorable poppy planters!
Pottery Barn Alice 12-Piece Dinnerware Set
All the Local Finds
I’m a big proponent of shopping local, both for the joy of finding unique pieces and for supporting small businesses. There are so many brands I’m drooling over that have roots in the English Countryside, and they all do kitchen pieces particularly well.
Even if you're not based in the UK or traveling here anytime soon, these brands have some major cottagecore inspo worth checking out. I love Matilda Goad for linens, Cutter Brooks for decor, Domestic Science for their beautiful vintage finds, and Mrs. Alice for all my tablescape needs. I also cannot get enough of Hogben Pottery!
Domestic Science Vintage Stoneware Pot
The Perfect Cooking Range
A range is our biggest-ticket item, and we have spent weeks deliberating on what to go with. Other ranges of interest are cast-iron cookers that use gentle, radiant heat and stay on 24/7—and, fun fact, can also function as an alternative to a tumble drier, iron, or heater. While these are classic English choices and they look beautiful, I personally find them tricky to use and unpleasant in hot weather.
Enter: the Lacanche Beaune. It has the look of a country cooking range, but it functions like a regular oven. We still haven’t purchased it, so there is time to change my mind, but I’m probably not going to. The Beaune is just so pretty. After years of cooking in rental flats full of appliances we didn't pick out ourselves, this is where I want to splurge.
Lacanche Beaune Range
Editor’s note: The writer received product samples, but all opinions are their own.