Before and After: This renovated cottage is a masterclass in year-round coziness

James Brett grew up near the house he now lives in, on the beautiful Northumberland coast. His parents still live in the village and by the time he graduated and was well established in a career that includes a lot of international travel, he realized he wanted a base closer to home. His mother had worked with Studio Dean interior designer Cathy Dean on a few projects and introduced James to her.

“I had bought an outdated cottage and wanted to transform it into something more unique,” he explains. “It was lined with pine, with lower ceilings and linoleum on the floors. An architect came up with a solution that gave me the three bedrooms I wanted, but it didn’t quite work for me; It was full of corridors and very little storage space. I wanted the house to flow better and when I met Cathy her ideas sounded like they had a lot more potential so I was delighted to hire her.”

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